By Sarah Ferris - 03/02/15 06:51 PM EST
President Obama said his administration is not preparing a backup plan in case the Supreme Court rules against ObamaCare because he believes there is no “plausible legal basis” for such a ruling.
In his first public remarks on the high-stakes case, Obama stuck with his health secretary’s previous remarks that the administration is not concerned about how to protect the subsidies at the heart of his healthcare law.
"If they rule against us, we'll have to take a look at what our options are. But I’m not going to anticipate that. I'm not going to anticipate bad law," Obama said in an interview with Reuters.
His comments come two days before the Supreme Court will hear arguments for the widely anticipated case, King v. Burwell.
The conservative-backed lawsuit claims that people in 37 states have been illegally receiving subsidies because their states did not for exchanges of their own.
Republicans argue that the language of ObamaCare only permits subsidies to go to who bought healthcare from marketplaces “established by the state.”
Only 13 states — mostly those run by Democratic governors — have created their own marketplaces since 2010.
Proponents of ObamaCare have argued that no state raised the issue of subsidies when deciding not to create an exchange, and say the text of the law makes clear that subsidies should be available nationwide.
"If you look at the law, if you look at the testimony of those who are involved in the law, including some of the opponents of the law, the understanding was that people who joined a federal exchange were going to be able to access tax credits just like if they went through a state exchange," Obama told Reuters.
Obama's health secretary, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, has faced heavy criticism for her refusal to discuss a potential fallback plan.
Last week, a Republican House subcommittee chairman accused Burwell of secretly preparing a fallback strategy, even as officials publicly maintain that no plan exists. She and other HHS officials denied the claim.