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President Obama hails health care reform law ruling

President Obama hails health care reform law ruling

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court's decision upholding the constitutionality of the health care reform law is a victory for the American people, President Barack Obama said Thursday.

“Whatever the politics, today's decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court's decision to uphold it,” President Obama said in brief remarks at the White House after the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling.

Referring to the heart of the litigation—whether Congress had the authority to impose an individual mandate—the president said such a requirement is vital to help control insurance costs.

Without a mandate, even those who could afford coverage would remain uninsured and then go to emergency rooms for treatment when they get sick, resulting in providers shifting the cost of uncompensated care to those with insurance and driving up premiums, he said.

President Obama pledged to continue to implement the law and, where necessary, “improve on this law.” But he also said he hopes that the political battles over the law will come to an end with the court's ruling.

“What we won't do—what the country can't afford to do—is refight the political battles of two years ago,” President Obama said.

Read the Supreme Court's entire decision.

PLUS: Read Business Insurance's complete coverage of the Supreme Court health care decision.