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“There is an important connection — a profound connection” — between people who can’t afford health insurance and liberty, the Obama administration told the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday.

But the attorney for the 26 states that are challenging the Democrats’ health care law said “it’s a very funny conception of liberty that forces somebody” to buy health insurance.

In his concluding appeal to the court, U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr. told the justices that Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid will allow millions of people with chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease to “be unshackled from the disabilities that those diseases put on them and have the opportunity to enjoy the blessings of liberty.

“And the same thing will be true for a husband whose wife is diagnosed with breast cancer and who won’t face the prospect of being forced into bankruptcy to try to get care for his wife and face the risk of having to raise his children alone. And I could multiply example after example after example,” Verrilli said.

“In a very fundamental way, this Medicaid expansion, as well as the provisions (individual mandate) we discussed yesterday, secure of the blessings of liberty. And I think that that is important, as the Court is considering these issues, that that be kept in mind.

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