Congressional statements on the Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act…
Links to statements by senators:
- Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
- Sen. John Boozman (R-AR)
- Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN)
- Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS)
- Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
- Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
- Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)
- Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
- Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT)
- Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX)
- Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-OK)
- Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
- Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE)
- Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)
- Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD)
- Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
- Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT)
- Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI)
- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
- Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
- Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
- Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
- Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)
- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
- Sen. John Thune (R-SD)
- Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)
- Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM)
- Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)
Links to statements by congressmen:
- Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL)
- Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL)
- Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA)
- Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA)
- Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL)
- Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA)
- Rep. Joe L. Barton (R-TX)
- Rep. Charles Bass (R-NH)
- Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI)
- Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL)
- Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)
- Rep. Diane Black (R-TN)
- Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
- Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO)
- Rep. John A. Boehner (R-OH)
- Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL)
- Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX)
- Rep. Robert A. Brady (D-PA)
- Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL)
- Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA)
- Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN)
- Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI)
- Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco (R-TX)
- Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)
- Rep. John Carney (D-DE)
- Rep. John Carter (R-TX)
- Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH)
- Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)
- Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)
- Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN)
- Rep. Jerry F. Costello (D-IL)
- Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY)
- Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX)
- Rep. John Dingell (D-MI)
- Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX)
- Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
- Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX)
- Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-VA)
- Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE)
- Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
- Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA)
- Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA)
- Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH)
- Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
- Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC)
- Rep. Gene Green (D-TX)
- Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL)
- Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI)
- Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA)
- Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV)
- Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
- Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY)
- Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey (D-NY)
- Rep. Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI)
- Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA)
- Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD)
- Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS)
- Rep. Robert Hurt (R-VA)
- Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS)
- Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA)
- Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI)
- Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA)
- Rep. John Kline (R-MN)
- Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH)
- Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
- Rep. John B. Larson (D-CT)
- Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH)
- Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI)
- Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)
- Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo (R-NJ)
- Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
- Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY)
- Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM)
- Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-MA)
- Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC)
- Rep. Candice S. Miller (R-MI)
- Rep. George Miller (D-CA)
- Rep. James P. Moran (D-VA)
- Rep. Nick Mulvaney (R-SC)
- Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA)
- Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY)
- Rep. Steven M. Palazzo (R-MS)
- Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)
- Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI)
- Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA)
- Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX)
- Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS)
- Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL)
- Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT)
- Rep. James Renacci (R-OH)
- Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX)
- Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA)
- Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA)
- Rep. David Rivera (R-FL)
- Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN)
- Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL)
- Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN)
- Rep. Mike D. Rogers (R-AL)
- Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-FL)
- Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ)
- Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-WI)
- Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
- Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR)
- Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ)
- Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA)
- Rep. Robert C. Scott (D-VA)
- Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC)
- Rep. Jose E. Serrano (D-NY)
- Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)
- Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL)
- Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID)
- Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ)
- Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY)
- Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)
- Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH)
- Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN)
- Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE)
- Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY)
- Rep. Bob Turner (R-NY)
- Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-OH)
- Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
- Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI)
- Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL)
- Rep. Allen B. West (R-FL)
- Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA)
- Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC)
- Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL)
- Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR)
- Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)
- Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY)
- Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS)
Speaker Boehner Statement on the Supreme Court’s Health Care Ruling
WASHINGTON, DC - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement after the Supreme Court announced its ruling on the president’s health care law:
“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.”
Pelosi Statement on Supreme Court Decision Upholding Health Care Reform
Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after the Supreme Court ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional:
“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. We completed the unfinished business of our society and strengthened the character of our country. We ensured health care would be a right for all, not a privilege for the few. Today, the Supreme Court affirmed our progress and protected that right, securing a future of health and economic security for the middle class and for every American.”
McConnell: Court’s Ruling Underscores the Need to Repeal Obamacare
‘Today’s decision does nothing to diminish the fact that Obamacare’s mandates, tax hikes, and Medicare cuts should be repealed and replaced with common sense reforms that lower costs and that the American people actually want.’
Washington, D.C.– U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the President’s healthcare law:
“Today’s decision makes one thing clear: Congress must act to repeal this misguided law. Obamacare has not only limited choices and increased health care costs for American families, it has made it harder for American businesses to hire. Today’s decision does nothing to diminish the fact that Obamacare’s mandates, tax hikes, and Medicare cuts should be repealed and replaced with common sense reforms that lower costs and that the American people actually want. It is my hope that with new leadership in the White House and Senate, we can enact these step-by-step solutions and prevent further damage from this terrible law.”
Background: Sen. McConnell spearheaded the effort by Senate Republicans to repeal Obamacare. He delivered more than 110 floor speeches prior to and after passage of the President’s health care law, and he and his colleagues filed four amicus briefs in court arguing against the constitutionality of the law. Every Republican senator opposed final passage of the law, and Sen. McConnell followed through with his promise to make repeal of Obamacare one of the first votes taken by the Senate at the start of the 112th Congress. He has pledged to make repeal of the health care law the first vote next year if Republicans are elected to the Senate majority in 2013.
Smith: Disappointed but not Deterred
Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obamacare:
Chairman Smith: “While millions of Americans are disappointed by today’s decision, Congress will not be deterred in our commitment to repeal Obamacare. The individual mandate may have been found to be constitutional as a tax, but that doesn’t make it good policy for the American people. The President’s promises about Obamacare have proved hollow. Obamacare costs our economy trillions of dollars, imposes new and burdensome taxes on the American people, and drives up costs for employers. Under this law, millions of Americans will be forced to abandon their current health care plans and change doctors. Decisions about treatment for certain illnesses will be made by a panel in Washington, D.C. rather than by patients and their physicians.
“Today’s decision not only upholds bad policy, it sets a dangerous precedent about the power of the federal government. Never before in our nation’s history has the federal government required people to purchase a good or service simply because they live in the U.S. – until now. Our Founders created a system of government where the power belongs to the people. Part of living in a free society means having the freedom to choose not to do something. Unfortunately, this ruling gives the federal government too much power over the daily lives of Americans.
“While President Obama may have won in the Supreme Court today, he has lost in the court of public opinion. A recent Reuters poll found that 56% of respondents oppose Obamacare and 61% oppose the individual mandate. House Republicans will continue to do our part to repeal Obamacare and enact real reforms that reduce health care costs without restricting the rights of Americans. But if the American people want to overturn today’s ruling, they must show up at the polls in November and elect a new President and members of Congress who oppose Obamacare.”
From Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) Spokesman John Hart
“Dr. Coburn will be reviewing the ruling and will respond with an updated plan to repeal and replace this unworkable law. The Court affirmed Congress’ power to tax people if they don’t eat their broccoli. Now it’s up to the American people to decide whether they will tolerate this obscene abuse of individual liberty.” – John Hart
Remember, in 2009, Dr. Coburn authored the leading Obamacare alternative, the Patients’ Choice Act, with Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and Reps. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Devin Nunes (R-CA).
Murphy on SCOTUS Decision: Repeal the President’s Healthcare Tax
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Washington, D.C. — Republican Doctors Caucus co-chair Rep. Tim Murphy, Ph.D. (PA-18) today released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA):
“Now that the Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of President Obama’s new healthcare tax, Congress must get to work on fully repealing this bill and undoing the new tax before it goes into full effect. The bill that was rushed through Congress and signed into law was unpopular, unworkable and unsustainable. It was not designed to deliver the kind of healthcare reforms Americans want and need. Simply put, a healthcare tax is not healthcare reform.
“Beyond repeal of the new healthcare tax, Congress must deliberate on what is truly needed — and is constitutionally sound — to fix our healthcare system rather than just raising taxes to finance it. The American people are demanding a system that delivers the care you need, at a price a price you can afford, from a doctor you choose — without new taxes or a government takeover.”
Levin Statement on Supreme Court Decision Upholding Affordable Care Act
WASHINGTON – Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) today made the following statement applauding the Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act:
“The winners today are the American people. After nearly five decades – spanning eight presidents – we have succeeded in enacting comprehensive health care reform. Americans are already benefitting from the law’s provisions that prevent the worst insurance company abuses, expand preventive care, reduce prescription drug costs for seniors, and allow young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance.
“Now we can move forward and implement the law’s provisions that will expand coverage, and reform our overall system to reduce costs for middle class families. I urge my Republican colleagues to respect the opinion of the Court and end their misleading and partisan all-out assault on health care reform.”
Leader Cantor Responds To ObamaCare Ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) released the following statement on the Supreme Court ruling on the President’s health care law:
“The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold ObamaCare is a crushing blow to patients throughout the country. ObamaCare has failed to keep the President’s basic promise of allowing those who like their health care to keep it, while increasing costs and reducing access to quality care for patients. In this tough economy, jobs and economic growth are on the minds of most Americans, but ObamaCare has increased uncertainty for small businessmen and women and forced them to put their hiring decisions on hold.
“During the week of July 9th, the House will once again repeal ObamaCare, clearing the way for patient-centered reforms that lower costs and increase choice. We support an approach that offers simpler, more affordable and more accessible health care that allows people to keep the health care that they like.
“The Court’s decision brings into focus the choice the American people have about the direction of our country. The President and his party believe in massive government intrusions that increase costs and take decisions away from patients. In contrast, Republicans believe in patient-centered, affordable care where health care decisions are made by patients, their families and their doctors, not by the federal government.”
Rep. Price: Court Ruling Allows for Administration’s Unbridled Attack on Personal Freedom
Washington, D.C. – House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA) issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld as constitutional President Obama’s health care law.
“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court has set a dangerous precedent by allowing this administration to continue pursuing its unbridled effort to erode personal freedom and undo the principles upon which this country was founded,” said Chairman Price. “President Obama’s health care law trumps personal health care choices in exchange for a more powerful Washington. It will force American citizens to endure diminished quality of care, increased insurance costs, health care rationing and excessive taxation brought on by an overzealous Washington bureaucracy. We have no choice but to exercise every possible legislative option to repeal this disastrous law, and the American people should know that House Republicans will continue to advocate on their behalf to restore personal control over health care decisions.”
“Since the beginning of this debate, Republicans have developed and promoted positive solutions that empower individuals and families to choose the health care coverage they want. We have done so because it is obvious the status quo in America’s health care system is broken and in need of reform. Our solutions would preserve the sacred doctor-patient relationship and keep unelected bureaucrats from denying access to care. Most importantly, these measures would expand access, address costs, assure quality and encourage innovation all without putting the government in control or imposing mandates.”
Chairman Price, an orthopaedic surgeon, has authored H.R. 3000, the Empowering Patients First Act. This proposal would:
- Provide the financial incentive for every single American to be able to afford the health coverage they want for themselves and their families, not that the government wants for them.
- Solve the insurance challenges of portability and pre-existing conditions by allowing everyone to take their health coverage with them if they change or lose their job and have access to robust pooling opportunities so that no one is priced out of the ability to purchase insurance, regardless of health status.
- Save hundreds of billions of dollars by ending the practice of defensive medicine.
Hoyer Statement on Supreme Court Ruling on Health Care Reform
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act:
“Our highest court has weighed in, and its decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a victory for all Americans who have ever worried about being able to access or afford the care they need. Democrats are proud to have worked hard to pass this landmark legislation in 2010 and of our efforts to make sure it is implemented in a way that continues to yield new benefits for patients, employers, and care providers.
“The Affordable Care Act made it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against patients on the basis of pre-existing conditions, allowed young people to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26, and prohibited insurance companies from charging women higher premiums than men. The Medicare Part D ‘donut hole’ is closing, and seniors on Medicare now have access to free preventive services like mammograms and colonoscopies. Moreover, the Affordable Care Act provides deficit savings of more than $1 trillion over the next two decades. The Affordable Care Act further brought peace of mind to the 30 million uninsured Americans who will finally be able to access affordable coverage once the law is fully implemented.
“Republicans have been trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act since the day it was enacted, and they have been eagerly awaiting today’s ruling. But they must now accept that the Affordable Care Act will remain in place and that the time for litigation and partisan posturing on this issue ought to come to an end. Republicans now have a responsibility to work with Democrats to implement the Affordable Care Act, and I call on them to do so in order to make care affordable and accessible to Americans.”
McMorris Rodgers Reacts to Supreme Court Ruling on Health Care Law
While Law Might Be Constitutional, it’s Still Unworkable;
Congress Will Continue “Repeal & Replace” Strategy;
Time Has Come for Common Sense Reform
Washington, D.C. – After being inside the Supreme Court for their historic ruling on the health care reform law, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference, released the following statement:
“As a mom with two young children, a wife who helps balance the family budget, and someone who helped run a family-owned small business, I am disappointed the Supreme Court has decided to uphold ObamaCare – especially the individual mandate, which is an unprecedented expansion of government power. The health care law that passed Congress over the will of the American people two years ago was a disastrous law that raised costs, made it harder for small businesses to hire employees, and cut Medicare, among other things. Now, after months of deliberation, the Supreme Court has ruled that while the law might be unworkable, it’s not unconstitutional. While I do not agree with the Court’s decision, I respect it and encourage others to do the same. The Court’s ruling will have no impact on Congress’ continuing efforts to repeal the law. In fact, we are more determined than ever to repeal it and replace it with something better.
“Instead of celebrating, President Obama should recognize the inherent problems with his law and work with Republicans to find better solutions. Together, we should implement a series of common-sense, step-by-step reforms that will put patients in charge of their health care decisions and use the principles of choice and competition to expand access, lower costs, and improve quality.”
Rep. McMorris Rodgers voted against the health care reform law in 2010, and voted to repeal it in 2011. She signed the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ)’s amicus brief in support of Florida’s challenge to the health care law.
Hensarling Criticizes SCOTUS Decision, Calls for Full Repeal
WASHINGTON – House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) released the following statement today in response to the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Like many Americans, I am extremely disappointed by today’s decision. The president’s health care law was essentially and regrettably upheld. While I respect the Court’s ruling, I do believe it was wrongly decided. I do not believe the federal government is empowered by the Constitution to mandate the purchase of health insurance and I continue to believe that the president’s health care law is bad for our nation’s health and bad for our nation’s future.
“We must never forget that the president’s health care law increases health care costs, cuts more than $500 billion from Medicare, forces people who like their current private insurance into exchanges, threatens quality of care, and assaults religious freedom, while also making it harder for small businesses to hire more workers during the weakest recovery since the Great Depression.
“Instead of spending two years engineering a government takeover of health care, the president should have worked with Congress – both Democrats and Republicans – to enact policies that will grow our economy and create wealth and jobs for all Americans.
“For these reasons, House Republicans have already voted 30 times to repeal, defund, or dismantle parts of the law. I stand ready to once again vote to repeal what the Supreme Court left standing. For the sake of our freedom, our health care, our families, and our economy, the president’s health care law must be eliminated in its entirety.
“I look forward to the next Congress where Republicans can work with a new president to enact step-by-step reforms that are patient-centered and will make health care more affordable for Americans.”
Larson Statement on Supreme Court Ruling Upholding the Affordable Care Act
WASHINGTON – House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (CT) released the following statement on the Supreme Court decision today to uphold the Affordable Care Act:
“The Supreme Court decision today is a great victory for children with pre-existing conditions, for women who have been unfairly discriminated against, and the start to providing a solid groundwork for ensuring that all Americans can get the care they need.
“Much work still needs to be done to make healthcare affordable and accessible to all, but hopefully today’s ruling means we can set the partisan fights aside and move forward as a nation.”
DCCC Chairman Steve Israel’s Statement on Supreme Court Decision Upholding Health Care Reform
“Today’s ruling isn’t a political victory for Democrats, it’s a victory for America’s middle class and seniors, and now House Republicans need to drop their partisan obstruction and move on. Insurance companies are not back in control of a patient’s care. Insurance companies can’t again deny coverage to people with asthma, cancer or heart disease, or block women from getting cancer screenings.
“Republicans have wasted the last 18 months on a misguided, partisan crusade to put insurance companies back in charge of health care, instead of getting the economy back on track and strengthening the middle class.
“Democrats will continue to fight Republicans’ wrong priorities: putting insurance companies back in charge of health care and drastically cutting Medicare, raising health care costs for seniors while protecting tax breaks for millionaires, Big Oil and corporations that ship jobs overseas.”
KYL STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT’S OBAMACARE RULING
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl made the following statement today in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Obama’s health law:
“For over two years, the president’s health law has remained highly unpopular with the American people – particularly the mandate to purchase health insurance and other tax hikes. Because the Supreme Court did not strike down the most onerous provisions, it appears that the American people themselves will have to overturn the law by the choices they make in November’s election. We need to listen to the people to see what they would like; then, Congress can replace the flawed law with reforms that ensure Americans have health care that is affordable with a doctor of their choice and without increased taxes, mandates, and rationing.
“It hardly matters to the American citizens that the requirement to buy government defined insurance cannot be justified under the Commerce Clause if it can be justified as a ‘tax.’ Forcing people to buy something and penalizing those who do not with a ‘tax’ leaves citizens in the same position as if the mandate were justified under the Commerce Clause.”
Barrasso: Health Care Law Remains Unworkable, Unpopular, Unaffordable
Vows to Repeal and Replace with Step By Step Reforms
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) delivered the following statement after the Supreme Court ruling regarding the President’s health care law.
“The law remains unworkable, unpopular and unaffordable.
“Today’s decision does not change the fact that the President’s health care law is bad for patients, providers and taxpayers. It also confirms that the President clearly broke his promise not to raise taxes on the middle class.
“Americans will not accept a law that results in higher costs, fewer choices, and less personal control.
“It is now more important than ever that we get a President and a Congress that will repeal this law and replace it with step by step reforms that finally put patients first. Americans deserve to get the care they need, from a doctor they choose, at a lower cost.”
Senator Barrasso is an orthopedic surgeon and Chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.
REID FLOOR STATEMEMT ON SUPREME COURT DECISION TO UPHOLD AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor today regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
I’m pleased to see the Supreme Court put the rule of law ahead of partisanship, and ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional.
Millions of Americans are already seeing the benefits of this law.
Seniors are saving money on their prescriptions and checkups.
Children can no longer be denied insurance because they have a preexisting condition, a protection that will soon extend to every American.
No longer will American families be a car accident or heart attack away from bankruptcy.
No longer will they live in fear of losing their health insurance because they lose their job.
No longer will tens of millions of Americans rely on emergency room care – or go without care entirely – because they have no insurance at all.
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.
Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress continue to target the rights and benefits guaranteed under this law.
They would like to give the power of life and death back to insurance companies.
But 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.
Millions of Americans are still struggling to find work. Our first priority must be to improve the economy.
It’s time for Republicans to stop refighting yesterday’s battles.
Now that this matter is settled, I hope we can work together to create jobs and secure this country’s economic future.
Chairman Cleaver’s Statement on the Supreme Court Ruling on the Affordable Care Act
Washington, DC - Today, Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, II released the following statement on the Supreme Court Ruling on the Affordable Care Act:
“I am pleased that the highest court in the land has ruled that the Affordable Care Act in its entirety is constitutional. I believe not only in the constitutionality of the law, but the right—not the privilege—of quality healthcare for all. For far too long, access to healthcare has been in the hands of those who value money over lives. I commend President Obama for leading the charge for this change.
“This past March we celebrated the two year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, just as the Supreme Court prepared to hear arguments regarding the constitutionality of this important and critical law. The Affordable Care Act provides access to all our nation’s communities and brings compassion back into the healthcare equation.
“As members of the Congressional Black Caucus, we endured hateful attacks and contentious meetings, but remained steadfast in our commitment and efforts to reform our healthcare system. Before the Affordable Care Act, 1 in 5 African Americans lacked health insurance, one of the highest rates for any community. Since March 2009, 2.4 million African Americans seniors with Medicare have received free preventive services. Another 5.5 million African Americans with private health insurance now have expanded coverage for preventive services at no additional cost. 410,000 African American young adults who would otherwise be uninsured have gained coverage due to the Affordable Care Act. Nearly every aspect of the Affordable Care Act positively impacts minority communities—protecting those with preexisting conditions, ensuring dependent coverage, providing vital preventive services and care, making healthcare affordable for small businesses, bringing more doctors and nurses to chronically underserved communities, and increasing Medicare benefit coverage. Nearly all of the 44 million Medicare beneficiaries are now eligible to receive preventive services like mammograms and colonoscopies, as well as annual wellness visits with their physicians. Preventive services are essential for all Americans.
“From the very beginning, the Republican Leadership attacked the Affordable Care Act by focusing on repealing patients’ rights and keeping insurance companies in control. As I have said before, they seek to defund, and we seek to defend. Repealing the Affordable Care Act would have a devastating impact on all Americans, especially those in our most vulnerable communities. The Supreme Court’s ruling upholds the provisions that protect and provide for Americans in need. We will not stand by and allow our communities’ rights to be trampled. We remain committed to seeing the full implementation of healthcare reform all across this great nation. Our history has taught us that one setback cannot stop the fight for justice. As Theodore Parker said, ‘the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice.’ We’ve come too far to turn back now.”
Feinstein Statement on Supreme Court Health Care Decision
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) made the following statement today after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act:
“This is an historic day. The Supreme Court today upheld the health care reform law passed by Congress in 2010, meaning Californians can be confident that access to affordable health insurance is finally a reality.
“I believe the health care reform law—including the individual mandate and the insurance exchanges designed to create large purchasing pools to make coverage more affordable—is critical to reducing the number of Americans who go without health insurance. The state exchanges will be up and running in 2014, and I am gratified they will have an opportunity to help Californians and drive down soaring health care costs.
“Because of today’s decision, California will receive an estimated $14.5 billion in federal funds designated to increase insurance coverage—including an estimated $5.5 billion annually to help low and middle-income residents purchase insurance in the exchanges and an estimated $9 billion a year to insure newly eligible Medi-Cal beneficiaries. **
“Many positive benefits of the law have already gone into effect including provisions that allow children to stay on their parent’s health insurance plan until age 26, prohibit insurance companies from denying children health insurance based on a pre-existing condition and prohibit insurance companies from canceling coverage because of an illness such as breast cancer. Millions of Americans will continue to benefit from these insurance reforms.
“I realize that passage of health care reform was extremely controversial. But we cannot forget that insuring fellow Americans and driving down the exploding cost of health care spending in this country is a national emergency. Even with this favorable decision from the court, our work reforming the insurance market and expanding access to health care continues.”
**Data on the Affordable Care Act’s effects on California has been compiled by research organizations including the Urban Institute, Kaiser Family Foundation and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
SCHUMER STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO SUPREME COURT RULING ON AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) released the following statement Thursday in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act:
“This decision preserves not only the health care law, but also the Supreme Court’s position as an institution above politics. Just as Speaker Boehner vowed not to spike the football if the law was overturned, Republicans should not carry on out of pique now that the law has been upheld. Democrats remain willing to cooperate on potential improvements to the law, but now that all three branches of government have ratified this law, the time for quarreling over its validity is over. Congress must now return its full-time focus to the issue that matters most to the public, and that is jobs.”
Van Hollen Statement on Supreme Court Decision Upholding Health Care Reform
Washington, DC – Today Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen issued the following statement after the Supreme Court ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional:
“Today’s decision is a huge victory for the American people. The historic Affordable Care Act has changed the course of health care in our nation for the better, and will continue to improve the quality of life for all Americans as it is fully phased in. Ensuring that people can’t be denied care or dropped from their coverage because they have a pre-existing condition; lowering health costs; refusing to force seniors to choose between lifesaving medicine or heating for their homes; expanding access to affordable care; and putting Americans – not insurance companies – in charge of their health care choices – that is what the Affordable Care Act means for our nation.”
Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Scotus ACA Decision
Chairman Charles Gonzalez (TX-20):
“The Supreme Court’s decision is a victory for all Americans, including the 16 million uninsured Hispanics. Access to healthcare has been a longstanding concern to the Hispanic community, as Latinos are far less likely to get preventive services but have a greater chance than whites of being diagnosed with diseases like diabetes.
“Already we have seen the benefits of these reforms in the Latino community. Nearly 750,000 young Latinos have been able to get coverage through their parents’ plans and by 2014, when the reforms are fully implemented, 9 million more uninsured Latinos will be eligible to receive coverage. With the decision, America moves closer to lightening the burden on working families and ensuring that all our citizens will have a brighter future.
“Now, it is time for my Republican colleagues to stop playing partisan politics with Americans’ well-being. Their obstructionist arguments lost in Congress and lost in our country’s highest court, so hopefully Republicans will end their insistence that important policy goals cannot or should not be accomplished. The Supreme Court has announced clearly that our healthcare reforms are constitutional and can deliver coverage to those who need it most, so now Congress must move forward with solutions. If things are done simply for the sake of political advantage, as Republicans have demonstrated to do, the American people will continue to suffer.”
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) commented on the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. From Chairman Baucus:
“This is a win for millions of American families, small businesses, and seniors who are getting more affordable health care, tax cuts, and protections from insurance company abuses thanks to this law. Now it’s time to put politics aside. We need to move forward and find ways to work together to put America back on track.”
RANGEL: SCOTUS RULING IS VICTORY FOR AMERICA
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Charles B. Rangel issued the following statement after the announcement made by the Supreme Court of the United States to uphold the Affordable Care Act:
“Today, the Supreme Court made a momentous decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, which is a victory for America. The Court stayed true to the Constitution and to the American people. As the House sponsor of the healthcare reform bill, I cannot overstress how thrilled I am with today’s announcement. It means a better future for our great country.
The parts of the Act in effect have already had tangible benefits. Nearly 13 million Americans will benefit from $1.1 billion in rebates from insurance companies this summer, including more than 1 million New Yorkers; 54 million Americans in private plans have received one or more free preventive services; 6.6 million young adults up to age 26 have taken advantage of the law to obtain health insurance through their parents’ plan, of whom 3.1 million would be uninsured without this coverage; 17 million children can no longer be denied coverage because of preexisting condition; In 2011, 360,000 small employers used the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit to help them afford health insurance for 2 million workers. These statistics are only a small glimpse at the numerous benefits of the health care law, benefits that will only increase as the rest of the bill goes into effect.
When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, we accomplished something that couldn’t be achieved since 1912. I will continue to work with my Democratic Colleagues to defend President Barack Obama’s landmark legislation and fight against Republican attempts to dismantle it. In the meantime, it’s time to focus on spurring economic growth and getting Americans back to work.”
Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs: Affordable Care Act Can Now Take Its Rightful Place in History
June 28, 2012
Washington, D.C. – Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, released the following statement after the Supreme Court decided to uphold the historic Affordable Care Act:
“This ruling is a significant victory for the American people. After a two-year legal battle, the Supreme Court confirmed today that the Affordable Care Act will continue to provide millions of Americans with health coverage. The health care reform act provides that children will not be denied coverage due to a preexisting condition, young adults will be able to stay on their family health plan, and that Americans can keep their health care insurance if they get a major illness. The Affordable Care Act will now take its rightful place with Social Security and Medicare as powerful examples of what we can do together to improve the lives of every American.
“Despite today’s victory, Republicans in Congress will continue their assault on universal health care for the American people. Throughout this year, GOP lawmakers have tried to repeal and cut back health care benefits, including Medicare and Medicaid. We must continue to work together to protect vital reforms that will improve the health of every American.
“Today’s decision is a turning point for the American people. Let’s remember that millions of American families suffered without health care coverage for decades. The health care reform program has already benefited millions of families. The Court’s decision to uphold reform proposed by President Obama and enacted by the Congress is a sign that dramatic change can happen when the American people demand change. We have made an important step forward toward our goal of affordable universal coverage. Now we need to be vigilant to implement the law so that American families have the health care they have needed for decades.”
STATEMENT BY SENATOR JOHN McCAIN ON TODAY’S SUPREME COURT DECISION
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision today on President Obama’s health care bill:
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is disappointing. Obamacare is unpopular with the American people because it puts Washington in control of our health care choices and does nothing to address the real problems in our system – most importantly the rapidly rising and unsustainable costs. In fact, Obamacare does the opposite, driving up the cost of health care and, as a result, impedes the economic recovery this country so badly needs. Congress should immediately begin the process of repealing Obamacare and replace it with common sense reforms that ensure all Americans can get the care they need at a price they can afford.”
Dreier Statement on Supreme Court Healthcare Ruling
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman David Dreier (R-CA), Chairman of the House Rules Committee issued the following statement today regarding the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the healthcare law:
“Today’s ruling makes clear what many of us have said all along – the flawed healthcare law represents one of the largest tax increases in American history. As our economy continues to struggle, we need to be reducing the tax burden on small businesses and working families, not increasing it. We must redouble our efforts to repeal and replace this law with patient-centered reforms that will reduce costs and help the American people meet their healthcare needs. I will be supporting the House’s efforts to do so in the coming weeks.”
CLYBURN STATEMENT ON U.S. SUPREME COURT RULING
WASHINGTON, DC—Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn released the following statement after today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act.
“This is a big, big victory for the American people. President Obama and Democrats in Congress carefully crafted this law on the basic premise that every American deserves affordable access to quality health care as a matter of right and not of privilege. This law puts decisions about medical care in the hands of families and their doctors instead of corporate CEOs. I have said throughout this debate that this law is the Civil Rights Act of the 21st century. History will look kindly on this tremendous achievement.”
Upton Statement on Obamacare Ruling
WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today issued the following statement after the Supreme Court ruled on the health care law:
“While I certainly disagree with the Supreme Court’s opinion, it does not change the American people’s opinion that the law is unaffordable, unworkable, and still must be repealed. This law was controversial as it was being crafted and it has only grown more unpopular as its reach into individuals’ lives has grown, and threatens to expand further still.
“For the past two years, Republicans have undertaken the kind of careful scrutiny of this law that should have occurred long before it was enacted. With each layer of the law we peeled back, we found more evidence that Obamacare does not allow Americans who like their health care coverage to keep it. Instead, it is a law that would increase costs and taxes on individuals, states, and businesses, making it harder to grow our economy.
“The stakes could not be higher in states like my home of Michigan, where spending is finally under control and jobs are being created after years of high unemployment – but the positive gains will be short lived if the costly mandates and taxes of Obamacare are allowed to kick in.
“We remain committed to reforming our nation’s health care system, and doing so without following the same failed path that brought us to this point of legal confusion, public opposition, and economic uncertainty. One of the mistakes of Obamacare was that it tried to fix every problem in the health care system with one massive new law crafted in Washington. And we ended up with an unpopular and unworkable law because its authors failed to listen to the American people and failed to address the most pressing challenge to our health care system in rising costs.
“Governors across the nation have long sounded the alarm on the unfunded mandates in Obamacare and their impact on state budgets and the sustainability of the Medicaid program. Today’s decision on Medicaid acknowledges at least a small measure of restraint on federal power by rejecting the notion that Congress can cut off all Medicaid funds to a state simply because it chooses not to participate a massive expansion of the program it cannot afford. But much more needs to be done to preserve state flexibility and avert the spending explosion.”
LIEBERMAN STATEMENT ON THE SUPREME COURT DECISION
WASHINGTON, DC- Today, Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:
“I am pleased by the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which I supported,” Lieberman said. “Now that the constitutional debate surrounding the ACA has been resolved, Congress should closely monitor the implementation of the law to ensure that it is fiscally sustainable in the future. There are many outstanding issues surrounding this law that will demand Congress’ attention in the years ahead, including the accommodation of religious concerns and sticking to commitments to cut health care delivery costs. Finally, it is imperative that we take the extremely important steps that are necessary to bring our nation’s spiraling debt under control and reform critical health care programs like Medicare to ensure that the benefits they provide remain available to future generations of Americans.”
ROCKEFELLER SAYS SUPREME COURT’S DECISION REAFFIRMS HEALTH REFORM LAW
Expresses Concern About Impact on Medicaid
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Jay Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care, today issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the health care reform law.
“Today, the Supreme Court confirmed what Congress knew to be true when we wrote the health reform law – that it is constitutional. Health care reform is the law of the land and, given the court’s decisive ruling, I am hopeful that we will move forward with its implementation in earnest.
“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.”
Rockefeller further stated his reaction to the Supreme Court ruling.
“The idea that the vast majority of Americans are satisfied with health care the way it is today simply doesn’t match what I have heard from West Virginias about health care over many, many years. West Virginians are tired of insurance companies drastically raising their premiums every single year – including a 55 percent jump in West Virginia in just seven years — without providing better care and in some cases kicking people off when they get sick and actually need medical services. West Virginians are tired of hearing that our state ranks among the top states for prevalence of chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. And, West Virginia families who have health insurance are tired of paying thousands of dollars more in premiums each year to cover the costs of the uninsured. The status quo is not acceptable, which is why Congress passed this health reform law.
“This law is not perfect – no law ever is. But, there simply is no moral justification for anyone sitting back when individuals and families throughout our state – often our own friends and neighbors – don’t have health insurance. And there is no financial justification for a health care system that forces people to seek care in the emergency room because they can’t afford insurance. Uncompensated care for the uninsured adds $2,000 on average to family health insurance premiums and $760 on average to individual health premiums in West Virginia.
“It’s real people in West Virginia who I’m concerned about – not keeping score in Washington. I will continue to stand by every West Virginian, and I won’t back down until they get the health care they need. Today was a vital milestone in that fight and I am proud of the role that I played in bringing this law into existence.”
Sessions: Health Law ‘Financially Devastating To Our Republic’; Must Be Repealed
“The health care law is utterly unaffordable—[adding] $17 trillion in unfunded long-term obligations… It is unthinkable our nation would add this new, colossal debt burden at a time when we are already borrowing forty cents out of every dollar we spend. This 2,700-page health law… will be financially devastating to our Republic… If it is not repealed, it will cause Americans’ personal health costs—and our nation’s debt—to rise disastrously. It will massively expand the power and reach of the federal bureaucracy and its intrusion into our lives and livelihoods. This bill is bad for health care, damaging to our economy, and contrary to our free market heritage…
“The task now before the country is to fully repeal this onerous and unworkable law.”
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement today in response to the Supreme Court ruling on President Obama’s health care law:
“The Court’s decision is further proof that the health care bill, from the beginning and in its entirety, is a 2,700-page Rube Goldberg contraption that will never work. Even the fundamental justification for the legislation has been rejected. The Court upheld the law as a tax, not as a mandate. This is directly contrary to the avowed basis for the bill.
In no way can this decision, by the narrowest of margins, be used to bolster the wisdom of this legislation. For the Court to affirm the mandate portion of the law, it was forced to reject the President’s and the then-majority Democratic Congress’ contention that the mandate was not a tax. Under this ruling, the big spenders have once again succeeded in surreptitiously imposing a tax on the American people while pretending they are not. The problem is that the mandate remains a mandate. It remains a demand that Americans purchase a product they do not wish to purchase. I do not believe the central government possesses such a broad power.
The Court, at least facially, makes clear there are limits to the power of Washington to act under the Commerce Clause. This crucial constitutional principle, as a practical matter, has been in danger for some time.
The decision declares how the courts will rule on the health care law, but it in no way decides whether the law is good for America as a matter of policy. Neither does it absolve Congress from its independent duty to ensure it stays within its constitutional authority. The Chief Executive has the same obligation.
Independent of the constitutional issues, the health care law is utterly unaffordable—costing $2.6 trillion over the first full ten-year window. This massive new entitlement program adds $17 trillion in unfunded long-term obligations—more than twice the unfunded obligations of Social Security. It is unthinkable our nation would add this new, colossal debt burden at a time when we are already borrowing forty cents out of every dollar we spend. This 2,700-page health law, if it is not repealed, will be financially devastating to our Republic.
The majority redefines a provision of the law that declares a mandate to be a tax. I am very troubled by this. Scholars will give great thought to what the Court has done and I am afraid it will be concluded that this is a legal sleight of hand rather than a principled decision.
The question has to be asked to what extent all government mandates and demands can just be referred to as a tax, thus unleashing the power of the central government to dictate individual Americans’ private, everyday decisions.
It is particularly remarkable that the four most activist members of the Court did not conclude that the mandate violates the Commerce Clause. It would be hard to see any limits on the Commerce Clause if this mandate is not deemed to be outside its bounds.
The task now before the country is to fully repeal this onerous and unworkable law. If it is not repealed, it will cause Americans’ personal health costs—and our nation’s debt—to rise disastrously. It will massively expand the power and reach of the federal bureaucracy and its intrusion into our lives and livelihoods. This bill is bad for health care, damaging to our economy, and contrary to our free market heritage.”
MIKULSKI STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT’S DECISION TO UPHOLD THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today was joined by Senate Democrats in front of the United States Supreme Court to offer remarks following the Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act. Senator Mikulski issued the following statement on the health care reform decision:
“Good morning America! Good morning the world! If you wanted to know what democracy looks like, come to Constitution Avenue. This is what democracy looks like.
“The Congress voted on healthcare. The Supreme Court has ruled on healthcare. We now know that healthcare is legal, constitutional, undeniable and irreversible.
“Let’s hear it for Democracy!
“The system worked and it will work for the American people. We will now be able to go forward with making sure that 32 million people have universal access to health care insurance.
“We’ve broken the stranglehold of insurance companies where guys in pinstripes sitting in their board rooms decided who got healthcare. Now we know the people will get the healthcare they need, that their doctor says that they need, and they will be able to afford to get it.
“The crowds are cheering us on.
“For we women, it’s an enormous victory. Because today, what we’ve been able to affirm is that insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate on the basis of gender. No longer will women pay 30% more for their health care than men of the same health care status.
“Number two, simply being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing condition. We cannot be denied health care because we are pregnant, because we’ve had a C-section or because we’ve been a victim of domestic violence.
“We affirmed our preventive health care where we’ll be able to get our mammograms at no additional cost and we’ll be able to get our maternity health care.
“And as we fought for the women, we also fought for the men too.
“It’s very noisy here. It’s very exciting here. But this is the voice of democracy – open, free to all.
“God bless you. God bless America. Thank God the Supreme Court followed the Constitution.”