Deval Patrick: Striking down Obama health law would be ‘a tragedy’

Governor Deval Patrick said this morning that Massachusetts residents will probably be unaffected, but millions of others across the country could lose their health insurance, if the Supreme Court strikes down President Obama’s health care law.

“It is unlikely that if they go in what I view as the wrong direction, and strike down all or some of the bill, that it will affect what we’re doing here in Massachusetts, because that’s based on state law,” Patrick said during his monthly appearance on WTKK-FM. “But it would be a tragedy, because we’re a country, and the issue of the cost and access to health care is a national issue.”

Like many Democrats, he seemed to be bracing for the possibility that the court will strike down at least part of the law.

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“We know this is an activist court,” Patrick told one of his co-hosts, Margery Eagan, a Boston Herald columnist who said she was worried the law will be overturned.

The governor, an ardent supporter of Obama and the health care law, declined to discuss the political implications for the president’s reelection campaign if the court rules against the administration.

Patrick insisted the focus must be on “the human impact.”

“Millions and millions of people” could lose their health insurance, he said.

Patrick went on the show at 8 a.m., an hour earlier than his usual time slot. He said he was doing so so he could be back at the State House at 10 a.m., when the court was expected to hand down its ruling.