Lots of reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act.
Here is what we’ve got so far.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam:
We will review the entire Supreme Court’s opinion to fully understand its impact on the State of Tennessee. From initial reports, it appears the individual mandate has been ruled Constitutional and has been upheld.
My primary issues with ObamaCare are that it takes away the flexibility for states to encourage healthy behavior, will cost Tennessee hundreds of millions of dollars, and does nothing to solve the crisis of the cost of health care in America.
What was unanticipated is the section of the opinion that says states cannot be forced to expand their Medicaid program. This particular portion of the ruling is significant, but it is premature to know the exact ramifications.
Now it is up to Tennesseans and Americans to turn their attention to the November election. By electing Mitt Romney, we can be sure that the entire law will be repealed.
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen
The Supreme Court today rightfully upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and now the historic landmark can take its rightful place with Social Security and Medicare as powerful examples of what we can do as a country to help improve the quality of life for all Americans.
After a two-year legal battle that divided the country, the Supreme Court has confirmed that the reforms contained within the Affordable Care Act are constitutional and will continue to provide millions of Americans with the health care they need to live healthy, prosperous lives. This Supreme Court ruling is a victory for the American people and ensures that millions of Americans will have access to quality, affordable health care for generations to come.
U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher
This is exactly what the American people have said they do not want – Washington bureaucrats between them and their doctors. Under Obamacare, a panel of unelected bureaucrats now has the unprecedented authority to make decisions on seniors’ healthcare. Additionally, Obamacare cut over $500 billion from the Medicare program, not to mention up to 20 million Americans could lose their employer-based coverage. It will force American citizens to endure diminished quality of care, increased insurance costs, and excessive taxation brought on by inefficient Washington bureaucracy. This is essentially a tax on human freedoms.”
With unemployment bouncing around 8 percent and the real unemployment rate around 14 percent, the last thing we need right now is more taxes on Americans. This ruling means that this law will take money from you and put it in the hands of Washington.
The enacting of this law is an attack on our personal freedoms and cuts at the core foundation of principles that our country was founded upon. The only way to ensure the future of American’s healthcare is to completely dismantle and repeal Obamacare. From listening to doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in Tennessee, I know access and affordability are the chief barriers to quality care. Washington needs to get out of the way and let the people choose. We all make decisions for our families everyday and health care should be the most important decision we make.
U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.
The Supreme Court may have failed to declare the entire health-care law unconstitutional, but it is still an historic mistake that expanded a health-care system we already knew we couldn’t afford. Congress should repeal the law and then proceed step by step to reduce the cost of health care so more Americans can afford to buy insurance.
Shelby County Democratic Party chairman Van Turner
The Shelby County Democratic Party applauds the Supreme Court decision upholding the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act.
The decision is a huge victory for reducing health care costs and increasing access to preventative care that will benefit the millions of Americans who have been living without it for far too long.
Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney:
Getting rid of ObamaCare is now in the hands of the American people, and we can accomplish that by electing Mitt Romney President in November. Today’s Supreme Court decision will increase the determination of Tennessee Republicans to defeat President Obama and put an end to his reckless policies that have failed to address the economy and are only making things worse.
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey
It is intensely disappointing that this court failed to recognize what constitutionalists and conservatives know deep in their hearts: A federal government which can coerce its people to buy a product is a government unrestrained and out of control. Democrat Governor Phil Bredesen called Obamacare the ‘mother of all unfunded mandates’ and stated it will cost Tennesseans 1.1 billion dollars in the next few years. However, the fight does not end here. The court may have made its decision today but the people have yet to speak. When they do, Mitt Romney will be elected president and I will do all I can to aid him as he fulfills his solemn promise to repeal this insidious law.
State Senate Republican Leader Mark Norris
State’s rights, individual liberties and our ability to defend against governmental infringement of those rights have all been impacted in various ways.
As the State Senator responsible for passing a balanced budget each year, my first order of business is to determine the impact on our health care system and public resources. The Court’s remarkably expansive read on the federal government’s authority to tax is alarming. But the Court also recognized States’ rights to resist a further reach into our pockets. Perhaps next year our efforts to enact the Health Care Compact will finally succeed.
Unless and until Congress repeals the Act, our ability to interpret this complex ruling in such a way as to protect the taxpayer while preserving essential care is of utmost importance.
Bishop J. Terry Steib, Catholic Diocese of Memphis
The Catholic Bishops of the United States have consistently advocated for comprehensive health care reform which provides access to life-affirming health care for all, especially the poorest and the most vulnerable. We have taken no partisan position in the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and our concerns about the viability and application of the Act are public record, especially in the areas of federal funding for abortion, protection of conscience rights, and humane treatment for immigrant workers and their families.
The bishops once again renew their plea to Congress to ensure that healthcare services provided by federal funding are constitutionally sound and free of the defects which threaten human life and religious liberty.
We urge Congress and the Administration to work together toward humane and accessible healthcare for all people.