By Kent David Du
After the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, upheld the individual mandate, figures from both the left and right of the American political system reacted to the controversial law’s constitutional ruling.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi: “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.
“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.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: “I’m happy, I’m pleased to see the Supreme Court put the rule of law ahead of partisanship and ruled that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional.
“No longer will Americans live in fear of losing their health insurance because they lose a 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 towards ensuring access to affordable, quality healthcare for every person in America, regardless of where they live or how much money they make.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “You know, I haven’t had the chance to read the decision. I literally just heard as we landed that the Supreme Court has upheld the health care law. Obviously I want to get into the details, but I’m very pleased. That’s how I hoped it would turn out. I think its a great moment to just think about what this will mean for the millions and millions of Americans who have already benefited from the Affordable Care Act and so many more who will continue to do so. There will be a lot of work to do to get it implemented and understand what the opinion says, but obviously I was quite excited to hear the results.”
MoveOn, a Democratic group: “Today, justice was upheld. But the fact that the Affordable Care Act was ever in jeopardy shows how politicized this court has become. All too often, this 1% Court has legislated from the bench on behalf of corporations and the wealthy instead of acting as fair arbiters of the law.
The next president will nominate as many as three new justices, setting the court’s direction for a generation. There’s every reason to believe Mitt Romney would try to put more 1% justices on the court. MoveOn will dedicate our energy and resources to reelecting President Obama to ensure more fair-minded justices are seated on the court.”
U.S. Senate Candidate Tim Kaine of Virginia:
“The Affordable Care Act is an important first step in curbing discriminatory insurance company practices and increasing access to health care, but more needs to be done to bring down costs. Our government, businesses, and citizens cannot continue to spend more than any other nation on health care while getting second-rate results. As Senator, I am committed to working with all stakeholders to find additional improvements to the Affordable Care Act that give all Americans affordable access to high quality services.
Democratic National Committee Executive Director Patrick Gaspard (via Twitter): “it’s constitutional. Bitches.”
Update from Gaspard (via Twitter): “I let my scotus excitement get the better of me. In all seriousness, this is an important moment in improving the lives of all Americans.”
Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona: “Today the Supreme Court affirmed that Romneyare is constitutional.”
House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, (D-Mich.): “Today is a historic day. The Affordable Care Act can now takes its rightful place among this nation’s other critical efforts to ensure that the basic human needs of all Americans are met. Just as our Social Security and Medicaid systems provide a critical safety net to older Americans, the Affordable Care Act will help make health care more affordable and accessible for all.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson: “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.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: “This is a historic day, made possible by tremendous courage shown by President Obama. Because of the president’s courage, kids coming home from college will have access to their parents’ healthcare. Because of his courage, seniors will have help accessing affordable prescription drugs. Because of his courage, people with pre-existing and chronic conditions will not be denied access to health insurance. That’s what political courage is.
The President had the courage to bend the needle of history and did something presidents have tried to do for 60 years.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell: “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.”
House Speaker John Boehner: “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.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus:”Today’s Supreme Court decision sets the stakes for the November election. Now, the only way to save the country from ObamaCare’s budget-busting government takeover of health care is to elect a new president.
“Under President Obama’s signature legislation, health care costs continue to skyrocket, and up to 20 million Americans could lose their employer-based coverage. A panel of unelected bureaucrats now has the unprecedented authority to come between elderly patients and their doctors. Meanwhile, the rules and regulations placed on job creators and small businesses make it nearly impossible to hire new workers at a time when Americans desperately need jobs.
“We need market-based solutions that give patients more choice, not less. The answer to rising health care costs is not, and will never be, Big Government.”
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli: “This is a dark day for the American people, the Constitution, and the rule of law. This is a dark day for American liberty.
“This decision goes against the very principle that America has a federal government of limited powers; a principle that the Founding Fathers clearly wrote into the Constitution, the supreme law of the land. The Constitution was meant to restrict the power of government precisely for the purpose of protecting your liberty and mine from the overreaching hand of the federal government.
Club for Growth President Chris Chocola: “Today’s Supreme Court decision is unfortunate. ObamaCare is a debacle and an unwarranted intrusion of the federal government into the marketplace. Republicans in Congress should continue to try to repeal ObamaCare in its entirety and replace it with market-based health care policies that will improve quality and bring down costs.”
Senate Candidate George Allen of Virginia: “While disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision on President Obama’s health care law, I believe it reinforces what is truly at stake during this pivotal election. This November the American people have an opportunity to choose new leadership in Washington who will listen to their voices and repeal this costly, harmful government health care law.”
2008 GOP Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin (via Twitter):”Obama lied to the American people. Again. He said it wasn’t a tax. Obama lies; freedom dies.”
U.S. Senate Candidate David Dewhurst of Texas: “Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to uphold Obamacare as constitutional is reason number one why we need a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate to repeal this monstrous law. As I have said from the start of my campaign, my top priority on Day One in Washington will be to file legislation to repeal every word of Obamacare and throw the law in the trash can. Whether the individual mandate is characterized by the court as a mandate, or a tax, it is most certainly a disaster for America.”
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell: “Today’s Supreme Court ruling is extremely disappointing for Virginia and for America. The PPACA will create a costly and cumbersome system that will impair our country’s ability to recover from these challenging economic times, infringes on our citizen’s liberties, will harm small businesses, and will impose dramatic unfunded mandates on Virginia and all states. Simply put, this is a blow to freedom. America needs market-based solutions that give patients more choice, not less.”
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio: “While the Court has deemed the law constitutional as a tax on the American people, it is still flawed policy that is unaffordable for our families, our small businesses, and our government. The President’s one-size-fits-all health care spending law is the centerpiece of a failed agenda that has increased economic uncertainty, stalled job creation, and deepened the spending hole that Washington.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: “I’ve been clear from the very beginning that I do not believe a one-size-fits-all health care program works for the entire country and that each governor should have the ability to make decisions about what works best for their state. Today’s Supreme Court decision is disappointing and I still believe this is the wrong approach for the people of New Jersey who should be able to make their own judgments about health care. Most importantly, the Supreme Court is confirming what we knew all along about this law – it is a tax on middle class Americans.”
Louisiana Gov: Bobby Jindal: “Ironically, the Supreme Court has decided to be far more honest about Obamacare than Obama was. They rightly have called it a tax. Today’s decision is a blow to our freedoms. The Court should have protected our constitutional freedoms, but remember, it was the President that forced this law on us.”
Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum:”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.”
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky: “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.”
Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri: “This decision does not change the fact that ObamaCare will lead to higher health care premiums, increased federal spending, and greater uncertainty for small business owners nationwide. That’s why Congress must repeal this deeply flawed law in its entirety and replace it with thoughtful, common-sense reforms that put patients and doctors in control of health care – not Washington bureaucrats.”
Former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann: “This is a turning point in American history. We will never be the same again with this denial of liberty interests. But also it is a black cloud pragmatically speaking on economic recovery. There will be no hope of economic recovery between now and the election. We have exhausted now our legal solutions to be able to rid the nation of Obamacare. Now we have to look for a political solution.”
Former presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry: “This ruling will be a stomach punch to the American economy. It is a shocking disappointment to freedom-loving Americans desperate to get our country back on track. Obamacare is bad for the economy, bad for health care, bad for freedom. Americans have made clear their overwhelming opposition to its convoluted, burdensome and overreaching mandates.
Freedom was frontally attacked by passage of this monstrosity – and the Court utterly failed in its duty to uphold the Constitutional limits placed on Washington. Now that the Supreme Court has abandoned us, we citizens must take action at every level of government and demand real reform, done with respect for our Constitution and our liberty.”