WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama warned the Supreme Court in an interview Wednesday that a ruling to invalidate Obamacare subsidies would be “a bad decision” and result in “millions of people losing their health insurance.”
Asked on CNN if he had a fallback plan, Obama said he expects the justices to decree that the Affordable Care Act statute allows health insurance tax credits in states that use the federal exchange.
“If you read the statute, it’s pretty straightforward and it’s pretty clear. So I’m not anticipating that the Supreme Court would make such a bad decision,” he said. “If the Supreme Court made a ruling that said the folks who have federal exchanges don’t get the tax credits what you’d end up seeing is millions of people losing their health insurance. And the truth is that there aren’t that many options available if in fact they don’t have tax credits, they can’t afford to get the health insurance that’s being provided out there.”
In a separate interview with ABC News on Wednesday, Obama called the lawsuit “the last gasp” of Obamacare opponents.
The remarks in the pair of interviews represent the most extensive thoughts the president has offered recently on King v. Burwell, which the Court is expected to decide by the end of June. The outcome is uncertain; a ruling against the government could greatly damage the health care law.
Obama also attacked the “stubbornness” of state leaders who haven’t expanded Medicaid coverage as allowed under the ACA, saying it’s “really based on ideology not on wise public health policy.”
He rated Obamacare an “8” out of 10, “because you can always improve something.”