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Obamacare now appears safe. The battle over its future continues.

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For once, Democrats and Republicans are offering the same message on Obamacare: The landmark health care law is here to stay.

But so are the partisan battles over the law’s future, even after the final shreds of the GOP’s decade-long effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act appeared to be demolished by the Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision Thursday affirming the law for the third time.

The highly anticipated ruling, which found a group of Republican-led states lacked the legal standing to challenge the ACA, marks a clear turning point in the long-running health care wars that have defined a generation of politics. Even the law’s staunchest foes on Thursday dismissed the chances it would face another life-or-death moment before the courts.

“It’s significant in that it allows all parties to move on, to either build up or tear down — but they have to do so legislatively,” said health care strategist Chris Jennings, who has advised the last three Democratic presidents. “The courts are basically saying: Stop it, move on, you have every ability if you want to alter this bill, but do it by the books.”

The ruling will give new energy to Democratic efforts to build on Obamacare, through richer insurance subsidies and potentially a public option. And Republicans, who never settled on the “replace” part of their anti-Obamacare pledge, condemned the law’s high costs in the aftermath of Thursday’s ruling and vowed to fight Democratic proposals to expand government coverage.

“I suspect we’re going to continue to be working to try to make health care more accessible,” said Sen.........

© Politico

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