Tags: Barack Obama | Healthcare Reform | Nikki Haley | Supreme Court | Valerie Jarrett | supreme court | healthcare

Valerie Jarrett: Court Ruling Validates Affordable Care Act

By    |   Friday, 26 Jun 2015 09:22 AM

The Supreme Court's decision to allow insurance subsidies for all Americans was a "strong validation of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act," presidential senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said Friday.

"I think that, coupled with the fact that over 60 million people and counting have signed up to have healthcare, many for the first time, shows as matter of law and part of our society, healthcare is here to stay," Jarrett told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.

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On Thursday, the court ruled 6-3 that Obamacare subsidies that help Americans pay for insurance coverage are valid in all 50 states, not only the 16 states that either have their own exchanges or the three that have state-federal hybrid exchanges. According to the plaintiff in the King v. Burwell lawsuit, the healthcare law specifies that the subsidies should only go to exchanges "established by the state."

But while the ruling met with outcry from conservatives, including all of the declared and potential GOP presidential candidate, Jarrett said Republicans have not been able to agree on an alternative.

"That is the problem when you talk about repealing and reforming or reforming Obamacare," she said. "If you have no plan that your own party can agree on, it becomes a less viable political issue and now you wonder whether it's an issue at all in 2016."

The ruling was also a defining moment, she said, as "millions of Americans, putting politics aside, are covered now and with pre-existing conditions. You can't in any way exaggerate the impact this has to the average person."

Jarrett also discussed the president's role as speaker at Friday's funeral for South Carolina State Sen. Clementa Pinckney, the pastor was killed along with eight of his parishioners at Charleston's historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church last week.

"He has spent a good deal of time thinking about it himself," said Jarrett. "He was working on the speech last night. I have not spoken with him this morning about it. But I do know that he intends to eulogize the life of Rev. Pinckney. That's why he's there."

She said Pinckney's widow, Jennifer, told her this week that Obama's address means a great deal to her and her family, and to the families of the other victims in the attack.

"Rev. Pinckney was an extraordinary man," Jarrett said. "He began preaching at the age of 13. He was ordained at 18. He was the youngest African-American to be elected to the legislature in South Carolina."

As a minister and statesman, Jarrett said, "he has a long history and his family of both dedication to faith and to God, to leadership within the church. But also [he was an] activist engaged in civil rights and civil justice."

The slain minister, she said, is a role model for everyone around the country, "and the grace and generosity of spirit and forgiveness that we've seen at the time of an atrocious tragedy is a true test of character and spirit and it's a teaching lesson for us all."

Meanwhile, Jarrett said there are many steps still needed to heal the nation after the murders, and she believes that it was "an important act of symbolism for Gov. [Nikki] Haley to say she wanted to take down the flag in South Carolina."

But more needs done than "symbolic gestures," said Jarrett, as "we have to look in our hearts and souls and see what kind of country do we want to be. I think what happened here is people began to understand just how painful that flag was to so many people around our country."

The Confederate flag, and what it symbolizes, is a "terrible part in our nation's history," said Jarrett. "And just keep in mind, it is not as though it was flying up since the end of the Confederacy. It was put up in the early '60s as a symbol to respond against the civil rights movement."

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The Supreme Court's decision to allow insurance subsidies for all Americans was a "strong validation of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act," presidential senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said Friday.
Valerie Jarrett, supreme court, healthcare, charleston
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2015-22-26
Friday, 26 Jun 2015 09:22 AM
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