Obama questions legal reasoning of upheld reform law

President Obama said he agrees with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold the healthcare law but not the legal reasoning behind it, the president told Rolling Stone.

Referring to the Justice John Roberts's ruling on the Affordable Care Act, Obama said he wasn't surprised when the Supreme Court upheld most of the health reform law in June but thought it should have been upheld under the Commerce Clause, rather than Congress's taxing power,  The Hill's Healthwatch noted.

"The truth is that if you look at the precedents dating back to the 1930s, this was clearly constitutional under the Commerce Clause," Obama told the magazine.

Although the highest court handed down a decision to allow reform to stand largely intact, it rejected the idea that the law be upheld under the Clause.

"I think Justice Roberts made a decision that allowed him to preserve the law but allowed him to keep in reserve the desire, maybe, to scale back Congress' power under the Commerce Clause in future cases," Obama said about Roberts's strategy for future decisions.

With an election only a week away, Obama has largely reclaimed the term, "Obamacare," taking the Republican pejorative as his own classification for a domestic agenda focused on affordable healthcare, controlling Medicare spending and expanded Medicaid coverage.

The president told Rolling Stone he doesn't mind if his social platform goes down in history as "Obamacare," as he has previously noted his affinity for the moniker in his New England of Journal Medicine commentary and publicly at the first presidential debate.

Obama's healthcare platform includes cuts to Medicare payments to hospitals and other providers by more than $700 billion over a decade, the Associated Press reported.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act on his first day of office, would also reverse Obama's Medicare cuts to providers. However, the repeal would have the unintended consequence of hastening the insolvency of Medicare's trust fund, the AP noted.

For more information:
- check out the Rolling Stone article
- read the Hill blog post
- see the AP article

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