Thursday, June 28, 2012

Political leaders react to Supreme Court Affordable Care Act ruling

Posted by Chris Haire on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 12:19 PM

As I drove to work today, I was under the impression the U.S. Supreme Court had struck down perhaps the most important provision of the Affordable Care Act, namely the individual mandate clause. After all, that's what CNN and others had reported. So imagine my surprise when I arrived at work, I discovered that something quite different had occurred. The Affordable Care Act had been upheld in its entirety, thanks to Chief Justice John Roberts who broke party lines by supporting ObamaCare.

Personally, I don't give two Schlitz about the act. It's a flawed piece of legislation that will serve as nothing more than a bandaid on a 12-inch gash on the bleeding body politic. And it's not going to single-handedly turned the United States into a socialist nation. That already happened a long time ago. We should all be used it by now.

But enough about me and my uninformed opinions. What do our political leaders, with their equally uninformed opinions, have to say about this game-changing day in American History?

Read on and enjoy. (Note: We'll add more comments as we get'em.)

U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina

“The Supreme Court may have failed to stop this government takeover of health care, but the American people will not. Since the day this law was rammed through Congress, the American people have demanded repeal, and today’s ruling doesn’t make Obamacare any less dangerous to our nation’s health. Freedom-loving Americans are disappointed, but we cannot be discouraged.

“The President’s health care law must be fully repealed as all of its promises have proven false. We were told it was not a tax hike, but this ruling confirms it is an unprecedented and enormous tax on the poor and middle class Americans. President Obama needs to explain why he is enacting this middle class tax hike over the objections of the American people during the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression.

“We were told it would lower health costs, but health care premiums are exploding. We were told that Americans could keep their personal health plans, but millions will now lose it. We were told it would improve our economy, but it is now the largest obstacle to employers hiring new workers.

“This government takeover of health care remains as destructive, unsustainable, and unconstitutional as it was the day it was passed, unread, by a since-fired congressional majority. Now as then, our first step toward real health care reform and economic renewal remains Obamacare’s full repeal, down to the last letter and punctuation mark.

“I urge every governor to stop implementing the health care exchanges that would help implement the harmful effects of this misguided law. Americans have loudly rejected this federal takeover of health care, and governors should join with the people and reject its implementation.”

“The President’s health care law will not reform anything, but is already undermining what does still work in America’s health care system. We cannot build a free market health care system on this flawed structure of centralized government control, we must repeal all of it and start over with commonsense solutions that make health care more affordable and accessible for every American. We can allow Americans to purchase lower cost plans from other states, support state high-risk pools to cover those with pre-existing conditions, medical-malpractice reform to end frivolous lawsuits, and tax equity so Americans who don’t get their health insurance from an employer are not penalized.”

“Today’s decision, however unfortunate, nonetheless represents an opportunity to all Americans, to claim their right to create a health care system of, for, and by the people, not government or special interests. The American people now have the chance and Congress has the responsibility to fully repeal this Washington takeover and reform health care ourselves, together, around the principles of individual liberty, not government mandates.

“The same freedom that made America strong and prosperous will make us healthier, too, so long as politicians remember that the health care system is supposed to serve our people, and not the other way around.”

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina

"To our Democratic colleagues, stand by your tax increase or stand with us to Repeal and Replace Obamacare.

"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.

"Now Congress has a chance to Repeal and Replace Obamacare, one of the largest tax increases on the American people, with common-sense health care reform we can afford. I am glad I voted against one of the largest tax increases on the American people in modern history for the purpose of creating government-controlled health care.

"The question for Congress is — Did you intend to tax the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars to create a government-controlled health care system or not?

"I am urging the Republican leadership to immediately insist on debating whether or not Obamacare is in fact a tax in the eyes of the politicians who proposed the legislation. If it was never meant to be a tax, they should immediately Repeal and Replace this bill."


Former Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvannia

"Today's outcome is the worst of all scenarios. Not only are our rights being taken away and Americans are being forced to do something we don't want to do, but now we are being burdened with the biggest permanent tax increase in our nation's history. This is a sad day.

"I believe so strongly that if we do not defeat President Obama this November and elect more conservatives in the House and Senate, our country's future prosperity is at risk. We saw the absolute disregard President Obama showed for the Supreme Court's ruling on the Arizona immigration law, that I have no doubt that he sees today's ruling in his favor as a mandate that he can now do whatever he chooses by any means possible.

"President Obama believes he is above the law, entitled to abusing his power to get what he wants, and willing to violate the constitution and the oath he was sworn to uphold. He has proven to be a very dangerous person to have this kind of power, and if he is not stopped this November, I am fearful that the make-up of this country as established by our founders will never be the same."

S.C. Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian

I wanted to join you in cheering the decision of the United States Supreme Court upholding President Obama's Healthcare Law. Even Justice John Roberts agrees the law is constitutional.

This is a huge day for the President and the people of this country. Americans will now have the opportunity to live a longer, healthier life with a less expensive health care system.

It is now time to work even harder for the President and get him reelected in November. He has only begun the fight to turn this country around from the Republican system that benefits the few to an America in which all of have a chance to grow and prosper.

Make sure to go to the Obama for America website and tell them you want to volunteer so we can reach out to you as we get closer to the election. We can't win without the personal commitment of each one of you to give us just one day of your lives in the next four months. Just one day of knocking on doors or making phone calls will make the difference in the lives of all of us and Americans for generations to come.

Please sign on to the Obama for America website and volunteer.

Thank you and think of today as a huge victory for not just Democrats but for all Americans.

S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson

"While the Supreme Court agreed with the states that the Act violates the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, it carved out new authority to accomplish the same goal under Congress' taxing power - despite the Obama Adminstration and Congress' own efforts to avoid calling the Individual Mandate a tax on Americans."

"The Obama Administration, through Congress, has now been allowed to pass this tax on all Americans. It was, and is, a wolf in sheep's clothing. Congress must now repeal this tax and draft a solution that will actually help the health care problems this country faces."

"Further, for states like South Carolina, a catastrophic new reality emerges. Under the Act, the states will be forced to expand their Medicaid rolls to unprecedented levels. While the Court ruled today that existing federal money used to fund Medicaid cannot be cut, any new money necessary to fund this explosion of new recipients could be withheld from any state that does not fall in line with Congress' wishes. Many states will simply not be able to afford this new onerous mandate."

The Libertarian Party

The Supreme Court Ruling on ObamaCare does not matter. It will make little difference to America in the short run, and no difference in the long run.

Why? Because almost all elected Republicans and Democrats are Big Government politicians – in all things – including health care. After this Supreme Court decision, they will get back to work expanding government involvement in all things – especially health care.

One thing could make things worse. Electing Republican Mitt Romney President.

Why?

Republicans fiercely oppose, and often defeat Democratic Party attempts to massively expand government involvement in Health Care – such as HillaryCare.

But Democrats usually vote for Republican Party legislation to massively expand government’s role in Health Care.

Republican President George Bush’s $1.1 Trillion Government Prescription Drug Program was voted into law by Republicans and Democrats.

Republican Governor Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts state government expansion into Massachusetts health care – RomneyCare – was voted into law by both Republicans and Democrats. With virtually no resistance.

A Republican-controlled House of Representatives and US Senate would oppose Democratic President Barack Obama’s health care proposals.

But a Republican majority House of Representatives and US Senate would support and vote for a Republican President Mitt Romney’s Big Government health care proposals. And most Democrats in the House and Senate would, too.

What Republican Governor Romney did to Massachusetts’ health care, a Republican President Romney would do to America’s health care.

A President Mitt Romney would not undo ObamaCare. He’d make it permanent.

A first-term President Mitt Romney would be far more dangerous to small business, the private sector, and taxpayers than a lame-duck President Obama – no matter what the Supreme Court decided.

Sarah Palin, on Twitter

Obama lied to the American people. Again. He said it wasn't a tax. Obama lies; freedom dies.

Sarah Palin, on Facebook (A Google search notes that Palin made the following statement, but that statement has been removed)

Mad at today's Obamacare decision? Maybe Chief Justice John Roberts has a master plan that conservatives should thank him for!

Michele Bachmann

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Those were words my mother drilled into me as a child growing up. After the events of this morning, this has never been more true: to get rid of Obamacare, we're going to have to fight.

I'm asking you to pledge your support for full repeal of Obamacare in the United States Congress by making special gift to my campaign of $100, $75, $50 or $25 dollars today.

As the leader against Obamacare in the United States Congress, my laser focus on its repeal will only grow stronger in the months ahead. From the very day that it was passed in the dark of night, I was clear that the only way to ensure the demise of Obamacare was to repeal it. Now that the Supreme Court has failed to rule it unconstitutional, we only have one option: we must repeal Obamacare! And to do this I need your immediate support.

Will you join me today by committing to:
1) Defeating Barack Obama
2) Capturing a conservative majority in the United States Senate
3) Committing to funding my re-election campaign to ensure we maintain control of Congress

That's why I hope you'll make an urgent contribution of $25, $50, $100, or any amount up to the legal limit to ensure that I have the resources to lead the effort to elect an Obamacare-proof Congress this November.

The American people have said time and time again that they are opposed to the huge government intrusion and massive spending posed by Obamacare. But, the Supreme Court isn't accountable to popular opinion. That's the job of Congress and the President. And, because I'm confident that the people are on our side, I'm going to make it my #1 priority to make repeal of Obamacare and create millions of new jobs the primary issue of this election — and to take back our government.

Will you join me?

You see, with a win today and election victories in November, Democrats will use their momentum to enact other disastrous policies like cap and trade, card-check, and more taxpayer funded abortions — even chasing the single-payer healthcare option they've longed for to replace the individual mandate.

While Democrats are celebrating a victory today, they don't know what we know: starting today, we're going to work harder than ever towards a victory in November. Because you and I know what is at stake.

We know that the prospect of our liberty being lifted forcefully from our hands is a real possibility. But like our forefathers before us, we will fight this to the end.

That's why your support today is so crucial. Will you join me by making the largest contribution you can afford to help me lead this fight for our liberty in the months ahead?

It's easy to be demoralized by what seems to be a step back, but we should look at today as the beginning, not the end. With a clear vision of what is on the line, our fight to take back our liberty starts today. With a resounding victory in November, not only can we repeal Obamacare, but we can turn the tide of the economy by enacting the common-sense conservative policies that we know will create jobs and prosperity in America.

Thank you for your continued support. It will make the difference in November's elections.

National Right to Life

“All voters who care about the value and dignity of human life must do everything they can to elect Mitt Romney and a Congress who are committed to repeal of ObamaCare,” said National Right to Life President Carol Tobias. “If President Obama wins re-election, it will mean massive abortion subsidies and it will put the lives of millions at risk through systematic government-imposed rationing of lifesaving medical care.”

Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding most of the ObamaCare law is a call-to-action for the right-to-life electorate to work to elect a Congress and president this November committed to repealing ObamaCare in 2013, in order to prevent a future in which abortion insurance will be heavily subsidized by federal taxpayers and federal bureaucrats will be authorized to ration life-saving medical treatment.

That is the assessment of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of state right-to-life organizations, after analysis of today’s ruling in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius.

Under the enacted law, federal tax-based subsidies will begin in 2014 to subsidize millions of private insurance plans that will cover abortion-on-demand, including some plans (“multi-state plans”) that will be administered by the federal government. Under another provision of the law, the federal government could even order many plans that do not receive federal subsidies to cover abortion as a “preventive” service. The law also created an array of other mechanisms and funding pipelines by which access to and subsidies for abortion can be expanded if President Obama wins a second term.

Moreover, few Americans realize that under ObamaCare, private citizens’ right to spend their own money to save the lives of their own families will be subject to drastic restriction.

Unless repealed, ObamaCare will give federal bureaucrats the power to impose so-called “quality” measures on all health care providers, under which treatment that a doctor and patient deem needed to save that patient’s life or preserve the patient’s health but which runs afoul of the imposed standards will be denied, even if the patient is willing and able to pay for it. In 2015 and thereafter, an 18-member “Independent Payment Advisory Board” is directed to inform the federal Department of Health and Human Services how to use those imposed standards to limit what private citizens are permitted to spend on their own families’ health care to below the rate of medical inflation.

These and other provisions of the law that will authorize rationing are documented at
http://www.nrlc.org/HealthCareRationing/index.html.

National Right to Life strongly opposed enactment of the ObamaCare law because of its abortion and rationing components.

Barack Obama, the guy who just pwned the GOP

Good afternoon. Earlier today, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act — the name of the health care reform we passed two years ago. In doing so, they've reaffirmed a fundamental principle that here in America — in the wealthiest nation on Earth – no illness or accident should lead to any family’s financial ruin.

I know there will be a lot of discussion today about the politics of all this, about who won and who lost. That’s how these things tend to be viewed here in Washington. But that discussion completely misses the point. Whatever the politics, today’s decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold it.

And because this law has a direct impact on so many Americans, I want to take this opportunity to talk about exactly what it means for you.

First, if you’re one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance — this law will only make it more secure and more affordable. Insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime limits on the amount of care you receive. They can no longer discriminate against children with preexisting conditions. They can no longer drop your coverage if you get sick. They can no longer jack up your premiums without reason. They are required to provide free preventive care like check-ups and mammograms — a provision that's already helped 54 million Americans with private insurance. And by this August, nearly 13 million of you will receive a rebate from your insurance company because it spent too much on things like administrative costs and CEO bonuses, and not enough on your health care.

There’s more. Because of the Affordable Care Act, young adults under the age of 26 are able to stay on their parent's health care plans — a provision that's already helped 6 million young Americans. And because of the Affordable Care Act, seniors receive a discount on their prescription drugs — a discount that's already saved more than 5 million seniors on Medicare about $600 each.

All of this is happening because of the Affordable Care Act. These provisions provide common-sense protections for middle class families, and they enjoy broad popular support. And thanks to today’s decision, all of these benefits and protections will continue for Americans who already have health insurance.

Now, if you’re one of the 30 million Americans who don’t yet have health insurance, starting in 2014 this law will offer you an array of quality, affordable, private health insurance plans to choose from. Each state will take the lead in designing their own menu of options, and if states can come up with even better ways of covering more people at the same quality and cost, this law allows them to do that, too. And I’ve asked Congress to help speed up that process, and give states this flexibility in year one.

Once states set up these health insurance marketplaces, known as exchanges, insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate against any American with a preexisting health condition. They won’t be able to charge you more just because you’re a woman. They won’t be able to bill you into bankruptcy. If you’re sick, you’ll finally have the same chance to get quality, affordable health care as everyone else. And if you can’t afford the premiums, you'll receive a credit that helps pay for it.

Today, the Supreme Court also upheld the principle that people who can afford health insurance should take the responsibility to buy health insurance. This is important for two reasons.

First, when uninsured people who can afford coverage get sick, and show up at the emergency room for care, the rest of us end up paying for their care in the form of higher premiums.

And second, if you ask insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions, but don’t require people who can afford it to buy their own insurance, some folks might wait until they’re sick to buy the care they need — which would also drive up everybody else’s premiums.

That’s why, even though I knew it wouldn’t be politically popular, and resisted the idea when I ran for this office, we ultimately included a provision in the Affordable Care Act that people who can afford to buy health insurance should take the responsibility to do so. In fact, this idea has enjoyed support from members of both parties, including the current Republican nominee for President.

Still, I know the debate over this law has been divisive. I respect the very real concerns that millions of Americans have shared. And I know a lot of coverage through this health care debate has focused on what it means politically.

Well, it should be pretty clear by now that I didn’t do this because it was good politics. I did it because I believed it was good for the country. I did it because I believed it was good for the American people.

There’s a framed letter that hangs in my office right now. It was sent to me during the health care debate by a woman named Natoma Canfield. For years and years, Natoma did everything right. She bought health insurance. She paid her premiums on time. But 18 years ago, Natoma was diagnosed with cancer. And even though she’d been cancer-free for more than a decade, her insurance company kept jacking up her rates, year after year. And despite her desire to keep her coverage — despite her fears that she would get sick again — she had to surrender her health insurance, and was forced to hang her fortunes on chance.

I carried Natoma’s story with me every day of the fight to pass this law. It reminded me of all the Americans, all across the country, who have had to worry not only about getting sick, but about the cost of getting well.

Natoma is well today. And because of this law, there are other Americans — other sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers — who will not have to hang their fortunes on chance. These are the Americans for whom we passed this law.

The highest Court in the land has now spoken. We will continue to implement this law. And we'll work together to improve on it where we can. But what we won’t do — what the country can’t afford to do — is refight the political battles of two years ago, or go back to the way things were.

With today’s announcement, it’s time for us to move forward — to implement and, where necessary, improve on this law. And now is the time to keep our focus on the most urgent challenge of our time: putting people back to work, paying down our debt, and building an economy where people can have confidence that if they work hard, they can get ahead.

But today, I’m as confident as ever that when we look back five years from now, or 10 years from now, or 20 years from now, we’ll be better off because we had the courage to pass this law and keep moving forward.

Thank you. God bless you, and God bless America.

Mitt Romney, the guy who crafted the beta test version of the Affordable Health Care Act


Today, the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare. But regardless of what the Court said about the constitutionality of the law, Obamacare is bad medicine, it is bad policy, and when I'm President, the bad news of Obamacare will be over.

It was always a liberal pipedream that a 2,700 page, multi-trillion-dollar Federal Government takeover of our health care system actually could address the very serious problems we face with health care. With Obamacare fully installed, government will reach fully half of the economy - that is the recipe for a struggling economy and declining prosperity.

On Day One, I will work to repeal Obamacare to stop the government's takeover of our health care and intrusion in our lives. I will push for real reform to our health care system that focuses on helping patients and protecting taxpayers.

We cannot afford Barack Obama's on-the-job learning, Big Government proposals, and irresponsible spending. Our basic liberties are at stake - and I will fight to restore our freedoms, renew the respect for our Constitution, and halt the government takeover of health care.

This November it's all on the line. The stakes couldn't be higher.

Donate $10 or more to put a stop to the policies of Barack Obama and the liberal Democrats.

Former Texas Rep. Ron Paul

“I strongly disagree with today’s decision by the Supreme Court, but I am not surprised. The Court has a dismal record when it come to protecting liberty against unconstitutional excesses by Congress.

“Today we should remember that virtually everything government does is a ‘mandate.’ The issue is not whether Congress can compel commerce by forcing you to buy insurance, or simply compel you to pay a tax if you don’t. The issue is that this compulsion implies the use of government force against those who refuse. The fundamental hallmark of a free society should be the rejection of force. In a free society, therefore, individuals could opt out of “Obamacare” without paying a government tribute.

“Those of us in Congress who believe in individual liberty must work tirelessly to repeal this national health care law and reduce federal involvement in healthcare generally. Obamacare can only increase third party interference in the doctor-patient relationship, increase costs, and reduce the quality of care. Only free market medicine can restore the critical independence of doctors, reduce costs through real competition and price sensitivity, and eliminate enormous paperwork burdens. Americans will opt out of Obamacare with or without Congress, but we can seize the opportunity today by crafting the legal framework to allow them to do so.”

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky (And because Mat Catastrophe asked)

“Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional. While the court may have erroneously come to the conclusion that the law is allowable, it certainly does nothing to make this mandate or government takeover of our health care right."

“Obamacare is wrong for Americans. It will destroy our health care system. This now means we fight every hour, every day until November to elect a new President and a new Senate to repeal Obamacare."

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley


Chad Connelly, chairman of the SCGOP

Today is a sad day for those who believe that individuals, not the federal government, should be in charge of their own health care decisions.

Let’s not confuse what the Supreme Court said. The Supreme Court did not say that ObamaCare is good policy or good for the country.

The Supreme Court DID say that ObamaCare's policies as commerce are unconstitutional - and that they are only constitutional when considered a TAX.

Yet Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats continually misled the American people by saying ObamaCare is NOT a tax.

That's shameful.

Even worse, ObamaCare's rules and regulations on job creators and small businesses make it nearly impossible to hire new workers at a time when Americans desperately need jobs.

Health care costs continue to skyrocket and 20 million Americans could lose their employer-provided coverage. (Not to mention the disastrous effects of ObamaCare on our state's budget.)

We have a path to defeating ObamaCare and it is by electing a new president.

Will you help in that effort by contributing $10, $25, or even $50 today?

Your investments will give us the resources we need to compete with Barack Obama's Chicago attack machine.

The Herman Cain, former presidential candidate and self-help huckster provocateur

Today’s ruling on ObamaCare is simply surreal. The Obama Administration sold the individual mandate again and again with the argument that it was not a tax. Then they argued before the Supreme Court that it was a tax, because that was the only way to defend it constitutionally.

Justices Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy and Alito clearly saw through this exercise in semantics, and they deserve our thanks for their commitment to the Constitution and the law in their dissent. The best that can be said for Chief Justice Roberts, in voting to uphold the law, is that he rejected the administration’s argument that the mandate was permitted by the commerce clause.

That said, it should never have been the job of the Supreme Court to clean up a terrible piece of legislation perpetrated by Congress and the White House. ObamaCare may have been declared constitutional by five justices – although not in the manner the White House sold it, which is telling – but that doesn’t change the fact that it is a horrible law that will bankrupt this country, explode health care costs and diminish the quality of care throughout this nation.

Government tyranny has been slowed, but not stopped. What today’s ruling means is that anything government can call a tax, it has the power to do. Regardless of the semantics, we are subjected to government tyranny.

This merely emboldens the government to keep taxing and taxing and taxing.

Today is a temporary setback. The American people have hated ObamaCare since its inception, and they can see that it is already driving up health care costs. The ruling that really matters will come on November 6, when We the People have the opportunity to replace the president and the Congress who created this monstrosity with new leaders who will replace it with measures that value market forces and free choice.

Mitt Romney has already vowed that he will issue waivers to all 50 states on his first day in office. That is an excellent start. The next step is for the new Congress to repeal ObamaCare in its entirety and replace it with new measures that empower patients and physicians – not bureaucrats and insurance companies.

The fate of American health care remains where it belongs – in the hands of the American people. With your continued support, the people and liberty will prevail.

The fight is just beginning,

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