Reaction Statements to SCOTUS Health Care Decision

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Today the Supreme Court upheld the health care reform’s Affordable Care Act. As is to be predicted, politicians had strong reactions both for and against the act.

President Obama’s main rival in the November elections, Republican Mitt Romney, lead the pack with talk of repealing the act:

“What the Court did today was say that Obama care did not violate the Constitution. They did not say that it is good law or good policy. If we want to get rid of Obama care, we are going to have to replace President Obama.”

The rest of Romney’s statement can be found on the IVN Editors Blog. House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, officially released his statement on his website this morning. He said,

“The president’s health care law is hurting our economy by driving up health costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire.  Today’s ruling underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety.  What Americans want is a common sense, step-by-step approach to health care reform that will protect Americans’ access to the care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a lower cost.  Republicans stand ready to work with a president who will listen to the people and will not repeat the mistakes that gave our country ObamaCare.”

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said the following:

“During the entire congressional debate over Obamcare, Democrats vehemently denied this was a tax on the American people.  The Obama Administration also denied it was a tax.  However, when the case went to Court, they argued, for constitutional purposes, it was a tax.

“I have always believed the individual mandate would not be upheld under the Commerce Clause because you cannot compel someone to enter into commerce. However, I have always been afraid the broad power to tax could be used by the Court to justify Obamacare. 

“The problem for the American people is this is a massive tax increase at a time they can least afford it and Obamacare will jeopardize the quality and accessibility of health care.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid commented in his statement on his official website this morning;

I’m pleased to see the Supreme Court put the rule of law ahead of partisanship, and ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional… Soon, virtually every man, woman and child in America will have access to health insurance they can afford and the vital care they need. Passing the Affordable Care Act was the greatest single step in generations toward ensuring access to affordable, quality healthcare for every American – regardless of where they live or how much money they make. The United States Supreme Court has spoken. This matter is settled. 
No one thinks this law is perfect. But Democrats have proven we’re willing to work with Republicans to improve the Affordable Care Act. Now that this matter is settled, I hope we can work together to create jobs and secure this country’s economic future.”

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, chose to emphasize the impact this act would have on women, children and the middle class in her statement.

“This decision is a victory for the American people. With this ruling, Americans will benefit from critical patient protections, lower costs for the middle class, more coverage for families, and greater accountability for the insurance industry. The Affordable Care Act is already paying dividends for millions of Americans – with more to come:
 Children can no longer be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions. Seniors are paying less for prescription drugs. Students and young adults can stay on their parents’ plans. Being a woman is no longer a pre-existing medical condition. In passing health reform, we made history for our nation and progress for the American people.”

The California Healthcare Institute released a lengthy statement, and questioned the implications today’s ruling has on Medicaid:

“The Supreme Court’s ruling, finding most provisions of the Affordable Care Act constitutional, surprised almost everyone. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the 5-4 majority, said that the Act’s individual mandate could stand, not, as the Obama Administration argued, under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, but based on congressional authority to impose taxes. As for the Act’s enormous expansion of Medicaid, seven justices (all except Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor) held that it went too far in imposing potential penalties on the states for noncompliance. Medicaid will expand, but how this plays out will take weeks and months to understand.”

West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller also expressed reservations about Medicaid:

“As a nation, we should use today’s decision to push reset on the national dialogue about health care reform and refocus on why we wrote this law in the first place – to provide affordable coverage for 32 million uninsured Americans, to link provider payments to the quality of care provided instead of the volume of services, to make Medicare better for our seniors, and to enact health insurance reforms that put patients over insurance company profits.

“One concern I have is the impact of the Supreme Court ruling today on the Medicaid expansion. When we wrote the law, we worked very hard to make sure that low-income Americans who aren’t currently eligible for Medicaid, but still can’t afford to pay for health insurance, are given an affordable option through the expansion of Medicaid. It appears the ruling could have seriously undermined their health care options. The decision still leaves in place an enormous financial incentive for states to do the right thing and expand coverage to this group. I hope every state will do that because these are good people who effectively have no other realistic option for affordable health care.”