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Washington • An hour after the Supreme Court knocked down a second challenge to the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama emerged from the Oval Office to take a victory lap.
"Today, after more than 50 votes in Congress to repeal or weaken this law; after a presidential election based in part on preserving or repealing this law; after multiple challenges to this law before the Supreme Court," Obama said, "the Affordable Care Act is here to stay."
The high court had agreed by a surprising 6-3 ruling that Congress didn't intend for federal subsidies to go only to those Americans living in states that set up their own health-care exchanges. It's estimated 6.4 million people receive subsidies impacted by the ruling.
This marked the second time the justices have upheld the law, having previously ruled that the government could legally mandate health care coverage for individuals.
Even so, Republicans again signaled they are far from done in their efforts to dump what has come to be known by both opponents and proponents as Obamacare.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said Thursday's decision allowed the administration "simply to ignore the law and to implement its own preferred policy instead."
"Fortunately, Republicans have a plan to reverse this course by repealing and replacing Obamacare with reforms that put patients not Washington first," said Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
"Today's Supreme Court announcement does nothing to lessen my resolve to replace Obamacare with a more patient-centered health-care plan," added Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah. "I remain convinced that Obamacare must be replaced with a plan that empowers patients by taking the government out of their health-care choices and lowers costs by enabling the free market."
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he will continue to "expose the haste and lack of transparency" in drafting and implementing Obamacare, though he would rather just jettison the whole thing.
"I will continue to work with fellow Republicans," Chaffetz said, "to repeal and replace this egregious law."
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, took less than an hour after the decision to declare the war continues against the health-care law passed by Congress in 2010 without a single Republican vote.
"Republicans will continue to listen to American families and work to protect them from the consequences of Obamacare," Boehner said. "And we will continue our efforts to repeal the law and replace it with patient-centered solutions that meet the needs of seniors, small-business owners, and middle-class families."
The Democratic National Committee happily blasted out reactions to the decision from the declared Republican presidential candidates noting every one used the word "repeal."
"I will work with Congress to repeal and replace this flawed law," said former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. "As president, I will fight for full-fledged, 100 percent repeal," added Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. "I remain committed to repealing this bad law," echoed Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
Democrats, on the other hand, pleaded with their counterparts to stop trying to end what they say is the law of the land and is here to stay.
"To my Republican colleagues, I say respectfully: Stop banging your heads against the wall trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. "It's time to move on."
Obama, too, urged those from the opposition party to stop trying to unravel "what has now been woven into the fabric of America."
"My greatest hope is that rather than keep refighting battles that have been settled again and again and again, I can work with Republicans and Democrats to move forward," Obama said from the Rose Garden. "Let's join together, make health care in America even better."
While enjoying a big win from the Supreme Court, Obama isn't likely to get his kumbayah moment with the GOP. In the House, dozens of bills already have been filed to weaken or outright toss the health-care law, including the "No Obamacare Kickbacks Act of 2015," the "Stopping Illegal Obamacare Subsidies Act" and the "Obamacare Taxpayer Bailout Prevention Act."
In the Senate, every Republican senator has signed on as a sponsor of a bill called the "Obamacare Repeal Act."