President: ObamaCare 'here to stay'

 
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“After multiple challenges before the Supreme Court, the Affordable Care Act is here to stay,” he said during a statement in the Rose Garden. 
 
If the challenge had succeeded, Obama said insurance would have become unaffordable for millions of Americans.
 
“America would have gone backwards. That’s not what we do,” he said. “Today is a victory for hard-working Americans all across this country.”
 
The ruling is a big win for Obama, affirming his signature legislative achievement and ending the last major legal threat to the law. 
 
In a 6-3 decision, the justices ruled that Americans who live in states without their own healthcare exchanges can continue to receive subsidies from the government.
 
That means that around 6.4 million people living in the roughly 34 states that rely on the federal exchange will be able to keep tax credits that help them afford health insurance.  
 
“This is not an abstract thing anymore. This is not political talking points. This is reality,” Obama said. “This law is working exactly as it is supposed to. In many ways, this law is working better than it’s supposed to.”
 
The administration had repeatedly warned that a ruling against the law would spark chaos in the healthcare marketplace, and had launched a public relations blitz in advance of the decision touting the benefits of the law.

Earlier this month, the president said “it seems so cynical to want to take coverage away from millions of people … and unravel what’s now become part of the fabric of America.” At one point, he said the Supreme Court should have never taken up the case in the first place.
 
In a nod to the role the healthcare law will play in his legacy, the president likened the program to Social Security and Medicare.

“This generation of Americans chose to finish the job,” he said.

“Someday, our grandkids will ask us if there was really a time when America discriminated against people who get sick.”
 
Obama urged Republicans, who plan to make healthcare a central issue of the 2016 campaign, to turn the page on the biggest battle of his tenure.

While there are still places where the law could be improved, “what we’re not going to do is unravel what has now been woven into the fabric of America,” he said.

Thursday’s ruling is the second major victory for the president this week. Congress passed a bill giving him fast-track power to finalize a Trans-Pacific trade pact that’s at the top of his agenda.

Senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, Domestic Policy Council director Cecilia Muñoz and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell — who was named in the Supreme Court lawsuit — stood smiling in the Rose Garden during Obama’s speech.

Obama was flanked by Vice President BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Democrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles MORE, who memorably called the healthcare law a “big f------ deal” when the president signed it in 2010.

“This was a good day for America,” Obama said.
 
— This story was updated at 12:45 p.m.