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Former Obama chief of staff Emanuel applauds healthcare verdict

June 28, 2012|By Hal Dardick, Chicago Tribune
  • Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's former chief of staff, thanked Obama for "not listening to politics" on healthcare reform.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's former chief of staff,… (M. Spencer Green / Associated…)

CHICAGO – Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday called the healthcare decision “historic,” noting that presidents from both parties for decades before Obama tried and failed to expand medical coverage.

As Obama’s chief of staff at the beginning of the term, Emanuel was a key player in passing the law through Congress, where he previously served.

It’s a good thing the president ignored his warnings about the political peril of wading into health care, Emanuel told reporters.

“I gave him my advice. I told him many times (about) the political cost of doing this,” Emanuel said. “And thank God for the country, he didn’t listen to me.”

Thanks to the president’s “not listening to politics,” Emanuel said, young adults up to 26 and people with pre-existing medical conditions will be able to get medical insurance.

That Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., a Republican appointee, tipped balance was “rich with irony,” he added.

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