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PHOTO: President Obama After Hearing Health Care News

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Solicitor General Donald Verrilli in the Oval Office, after learning of the Supreme Court's ruling on the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," on Thursday.
Pete Souza
/
The White House
President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Solicitor General Donald Verrilli in the Oval Office, after learning of the Supreme Court's ruling on the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," on Thursday.

The White House has released a picture of President Obama on the phone with Solicitor General Donald Verrilli in the Oval Office after hearing the health care news. Verrilli was the one who argued the case in front of the Supreme Court.

Here's the picture:

Obama looks rather relaxed. But both The New York Times and NBC News report that Obama, who received the news like most Americans, first thought his signature legislation had been declared unconstitutional.

According to NBC, President Obama saw the news reported on CNN and Fox News. About 40 seconds later, White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler explained the surprising 5-4 ruling in favor of the administration.

The Times adds:

"Mr. Obama, one official said, was absorbing the news with a quizzical expression. Jack Lew, the White House chief of staff, stood next to him. When Ms. Ruemmler told the president that the court had upheld the law in a 5-to-4 vote, he broke out in a broad smile and gave her a hug. The two cable networks continued with the incorrect reports, though with the sound turned off, Mr. Obama paid no attention."

In a speech, President Obama declared, "today's decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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