White House Statement on King v. Burwell

November 8th, 2014

Today, within hours of the cert grant in King v. Burwell, the White Houser released this statement:

The ACA is working. These lawsuits won’t stand in the way of the Affordable Care Act and the millions of Americans who can now afford health insurance because of it. We are confident that the financial help afforded millions of Americans was the intent of the law and it is working as Congress designed.

This lawsuit reflects just another partisan attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act and to strip millions of American families of tax credits that Congress intended for them to have. We will continue to ensure that every American has the peace of mind of having access to affordable insurance. We are confident that the Supreme Court will recognize both the clear reading of the entire law, and the certain intent of Congress in crafting it. Indeed, with uninsured rates plummeting across the country, it’s clear that the Affordable Care Act is already working. American families who have already enrolled, or are planning to sign up during the open enrollment period beginning on November 15th should know that nothing has changed: tax credits and affordable coverage remain available.

Compare this to Josh Earnest’s press conference on November 14, 2011, the day the Court granted cert in NFIB v. Sebelius.

  MR. EARNEST:  Well, I haven’t looked at the specific polling.  I think that there have been a number of rulings that have come out at the district and at the Court of Appeals level  — at the Court of Appeals level, we’ve actually seen that there have a been a number of judges that were appointed by Republican Presidents who’ve agreed that this a constitutional provision.

I don’t think that’s particularly surprising.  It certainly wasn’t a surprise to people in this administration.  But it is why we are confident that it’s something that’s going to be upheld by the Supreme Court, and that as the benefits of the Affordable Care Act continue to be implemented, that these benefits — that the benefits of things like the personal responsibility provision will become clearer.

Q    Is he worried about the election year timing of a decision from the Court?

MR. EARNEST:  He’s not.  He’s not.


Q    Josh, the Court’s decision to take this up is hardly a surprise.  But when did the President find out about this?  How was he advised?  What kind of discussions has he had since word was received about it?

MR. EARNEST:  You’re right, it is not a surprise.  And in fact, it’s actually something that we had requested.  We had formally asked the Supreme Court to consider this issue.  I can’t speak to when the President found out about it.  It was announced early this morning, East Coast time, so I assume that he found out this morning.  But I’m not sure of the mechanism.