WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama said on Monday that he was confident that his signature health care law would survive legal challenges despite a setback in a Virginia federal court.
Speaking to an Ohio ABC affiliate, the president offered a bit of swagger when asked for the first time by a reporter to respond to a federal court's ruling that the individual-mandate provision of the health care legislation was unconstitutional
"I'm confident that this will be upheld in the courts," Obama told SYX Columbus. "Keep in mind, we had already had two other federal courts rule that it was constitutional, we have had 12 other courts that have dismissed challenges to the health care law. So this was one opinion that we strongly disagree with, but we already have the majority of other lower-court [decisions]."
Tallying up the wins versus the losses is a tactic the White House has turned to in the wake of Judge Henry Hudson's decision, handed down earlier Monday. And with good reason: While the court's ruling portended a likely future Supreme Court decision on the health-care law, the administration remains on solid legal ground. Despite Monday's setback, a host of experts -- including some conservatives -- have argued that the legislation remains on firm ground. Even if the requirement that individuals buy health insurance or face fines is ruled unconstitutional, it could theoretically be severed from the remainder of the legislation and leave the rest of the reform package standing.
As White House spokesman Robert Gibbs tweeted on Tuesday: "Most overlooked part of judge's ruling yesterday on health care - he explicitly refused to strike down the entire bill as the VA AG asked."