The intent of Obamacare is clear, and the law "doesn't need fixing" President Obama told a news conference in Germany on Monday.
"There is no reason why the existing exchanges should be overturned through a court case," he insisted, just days before the Supreme Court is expected to rule on a case that could eliminate subsidies for people who fot their insurance through the federal exchange.
Obama, a former constitutional law professor, said laws should be interpreted based on their "intent":
"And under well-established statutory interpretation approaches that have been repeatedly employed, not just by liberal Democratic judges, but by conservative judges like some on the current Supreme Court, you interpret a statute based on what the intent and meaning and the overall structure of the statute provides for," Obama said.
"And so this should be an easy case. Frankly, it probably shouldn't even have been taken up. And, you know, since we're going to get a ruling pretty quick, I think it's important for us to go ahead and assume that the Supreme Court is going to do what most legal scholars who've looked at this would expect them to do."
The Supreme Court case focuses not on intent, but on the plain language of the Affordable Care Act.
The question is whether the Internal Revenue Service, by regulation, can extend tax credit subsidies to people who purchased health insurance on the federal exchange.
Four words in the law specify that only exchanges "established by the State" may offer subsidized health insurance. But most states let the federal government set up their exchanges for them.