Obama: We don’t need to re-fight healthcare battle

ATLANTA -- President Obama has no interest in re-fighting a battle over healthcare reform. The Supreme Court, of course, may force his hand.

Days before the high court is set to rule on his signature first-term accomplishment, the president sidestepped what the justices might decide and instead underlined the consequences if Republicans followed through on a pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

He fit his argument into the one-word slogan of his reelection campaign, forward.

“The American people fight for what’s right. And the American people understand that we’re not going to make progress by going backwards. We need to go forward,” he told several hundred supporters Tuesday at a downtown hotel.

“They understand that we don’t need to re-fight this battle over healthcare. It’s the right thing to do, that we got 3 million young people who are on their parents’ health insurance. It’s the right thing to do to give seniors discounts on prescription drugs. It’s the right thing to do give 30 million Americans health insurance.”

Obama said he didn’t doubt that Mitt Romney and the Republicans would follow through on implementing their vision if elected, a blueprint he said would lead to “tens of millions of people” losing health insurance and “vulnerable” Medicaid beneficiaries losing access to needed services.

Before Romney can follow through on his pledge to “repeal and replace Obamacare,” the Supreme Court will have their say. Obama never mentioned the looming ruling, but administration officials say they are ready for whatever decision comes down.

“We are confident that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional in keeping with decades of precedent under the commerce clause,” spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.