Many people aren’t aware of the impending Supreme Court ruling that could leave 6.4 million people without healthcare, but President Barack Obama made an impassioned plea to preserve the Affordable Care Act on moral grounds.
"Health care is not a privilege. It is a right,” he proclaimed in a speech to the Catholic Health Association of the United States at a conference in Washington on Tuesday.
"The rugged individualism that defines America has always been bound by a shared set of values, an enduring sense that we're in this together," Obama said.
"America is not a place where we simply turn away from the sick, or turn our backs on the tired, the poor, the huddled masses. It is a place sustained by the idea, I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper - that we have an obligation to put ourselves in our neighbor's shoes and see each other's common humanity.”
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The fate of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, hangs is the balance as the Supreme Court debates the case of King v. Burwell. The case is based on a single clause in the Obamcare legislation. David King et. al. contends that the Affordable Care Act that makes the tax credit subsidies illegal if they don’t go through an online market for health plans created by individual states. The federal government runs the exchange in 34 states.
Obama argued that the Affordable Care Act’s success in reducing the number of uninsured Americans means the legislation should be protected. "Five years in, what we are talking about is no longer just a law. It's no longer just a theory. It isn't events about the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. This isn't about myths or rumors that folks try to sustain," he said. "This is a reality that people on the ground, day to day, are experiencing. Their lives are better. This is now part of the fabric of how we care for one another. This is health care in America.”
The Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling by the end of the month.