WASHINGTON — He didn’t get the 6 to 3 ruling he predicted. But U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott said the Supreme Court’s opinion upholding the Affordable Care Act made him feel “even better” than the day he watched President Obama sign the law in 2010.
The Seattle Democrat, a long champion of universal coverage, said Chief Justice John Roberts’ siding with the court’s four liberals in favor of the individual mandate was an emphatic rebuttal to the law’s opponents.
“We needed that affirmation. The president has been vindicated,” McDermott said in an interview shortly after the ruling.
McDermott attended the oral arguments in the case challenging the law’s constitutionality. Afterwards, he predicted Roberts and Anthony Kennedy would break with the conservative justices to uphold the law.
But McDermott said he was glad to get a 5-to-4 ruling. He crowed that he “always believed the law would withstand this attack by Tea Party Republicans like Washington State’s Attorney General, Rob McKenna.”
Some Republicans, however, said the court ruling won’t deter them from forging on with efforts to repeal the whole law.
Rep. Doc Hastings of Pasco, said in a statement he will keep pushing for a “different approach” that takes the government out of patient-doctor relationships.
“I have voted 30 times to repeal, de-fund, and eliminate all and parts of this job-destroying, government-knows-best approach to healthcare,” Hastings said. “Without full repeal of Obamacare, millions of Americans will continue to lose their current health coverage, seniors will have fewer Medicare choices, unelected unaccountable bureaucrats will be charged with making health care decisions that should be made by individuals, families and doctors, and the government will mandate which health care plans you can use – all while adding trillions to our ever-growing national debt.”