Local Leaders React to Health Care Ruling
Here are the reactions of some of our locally elected officials to the Supreme Court ruling upholding the health care reform law:
Congressman Doc Hastings released the following statement after the Supreme Court announced its ruling on the president’s health care law:
“I am disappointed that most of this 2,700-page law written by Democrats behind closed doors and rammed through Congress remains law,” said Congressman Doc Hastings. “I have voted 30 times to repeal, defund, and eliminate all and parts of this job destroying, government-knows-best approach to healthcare.
“Without full repeal of Obamacare, millions of Americans will continue to lose their current health coverage, seniors will have fewer Medicare choices, unelected unaccountable bureaucrats will be charged with making health care decisions that should be made by individuals, families and doctors, and the government will mandate which health care plans you can use – all while adding trillions to our ever growing national debt,” Hastings said.
“I will continue to support full repeal so we can move forward with a different approach – one that protects the patient-doctor relationship from government intrusion and puts patients first.”
Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray released the following statement after the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act.
“This is a victory for the health care security and stability of Washington families. Today’s ruling means that families and small business owners will continue to benefit from better access, more choices, and a health care system that no longer works only for those who can afford it. It means that health care decisions will be in the hands of patients and their doctors, and that insurance companies will be forced to compete for the business of Washington state families.
“It is also welcome news for all those across our state who are already benefitting from this law. It means that over 62,000 young adults in Washington will be allowed to keep their health coverage, that tens of thousands of Washington seniors will continue to receive checks for Medicare support, that hundreds of thousands of patients will continue to access free preventative services like mammograms and colonoscopies, and that millions of policy holders will continue to see the value of their premium dollar improve.
“This decision offers a chance for those on all sides in this long and impassioned debate to begin the process of moving forward. It is time for us to come together to find common ground. As this bill continues to be implemented, there is no reason why we can’t all work together to fix what’s not working and take advantage of what is.
“This law is the product of the stories and struggles of millions of Americans, including countless Washington state families that shared their stories with me. Over the last three years I have heard from young people who couldn’t find affordable coverage, seniors facing the Medicare donut hole, and everyday Washingtonians who were suddenly faced with catastrophic illnesses.
“Today, with this ruling, my hope is that they have been provided peace of mind knowing that the change they fought for has not been defeated.”
Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) issued the following statement regarding the United States Supreme Court’s decision that affirmed the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
"This is an important step in upholding a law that will help drive down the cost of health care and increase access to those who don't have coverage. Many important provisions will help reward the state of Washington for its cost-effective, outcome-based delivery system.
“It means people can’t be denied insurance for preexisting conditions. It means small businesses will get tax breaks for providing health insurance. It means cheaper prescription drugs for seniors and it means young adults will be able to stay on their parents health insurance. It ends unfair penalties on Washington providers who deliver quality health care at a lower cost than other regions around America and it ensures Washington state's Basic Health Plan will continue to serve as a national model for expanding access to care using bulk purchasing power. And it helps to build Washington state’s future health care workforce.
"Following today's decision, I will continue to strongly advocate for the principles of increasing access to quality health care, controlling health care costs, and improving the efficiency of our medical delivery system. As a member of the Small Business Committee, I will continue to work with Washington state small businesses to reduce the costs of health care and support small business job growth.
“Moving forward, Congress needs to work in a bipartisan manner to provide greater economic certainty, support job creation and bolster the middle class.”
Gov. Chris Gregoire today issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act:
“I applaud today’s Supreme Court decision. Since the Affordable Care Act was signed by the President, we have worked tirelessly to implement it in our state, with my firm belief that it was constitutional and would ultimately withstand legal challenge. I’m extremely pleased that the majority of the Court agreed on the merits of the law highlighted in the briefs that I and others submitted on its behalf.
“The real winners today, however, are the millions of Americans and Washingtonians who have and will now continue to benefit from this Act. Among them are more than 50,000 young adults in our state who have gained insurance coverage through their parents’ plan, our more than 60,000 seniors who’ve annually received assistance to purchase needed prescription drugs, and the millions here that are no longer subject to unfair practices by insurance companies. And with this cloud of legal uncertainty removed, I look forward to the day not long from now when more than 800,000 people in our state will be able to use our Health Benefit Exchange to get the health insurance that they need but currently must go without.
“This is a historic decision that will allow Washington to continue as a leader in providing access to quality, affordable health care to its residents. I am excited for what this means, and thank and congratulate the President and all those responsible for their foresight and perseverance in getting us to this day.”
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.”
Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna released this statement following the decision:
Our system of government provides a series of checks and balances, allowing new laws—especially ones that raise major constitutional questions—to be tested in court,” said Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna. “While we’re disappointed that this close decision did not find in the states’ favor with regard to the individual mandate, the country benefits from a thoughtful debate about the reach of federal power into the legal rights of the states and the personal financial decisions of all Americans.”
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision today, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said that the health care law is still a bad bet for Oregon and that it must be repealed before it does more damage to the economy, families, and seniors.
“Speaker Pelosi said Congress had to pass the bill so Americans could find out what’s in it. Now we know: a massive tax increase on middle class families and small businesses,” Rep. Walden said.
“The President’s health care law is the wrong prescription for Oregon seniors, families, and small businesses. It’s hurting our economy by making it more costly for small businesses to hire new workers. It takes half a trillion dollars from Medicare, which will only make it more difficult for seniors—especially in rural areas—to get access to medical care. And it empowers a board of fifteen unelected bureaucrats to decide what health care individuals will get. That decision should be between patients and doctors, not unelected bureaucrats in Washington,” Rep. Walden said. “It’s your life. It’s your health. You should have the right to choose your doctor and hospital and make your own decisions about what’s best for you and your family.”
“I look forward to voting on July 11 to fully repeal this unworkable law, as a clear majority of Americans favor. Oregonians deserve a patient-centered health care system that allows them to access the care they need from the doctor and hospital they choose at the lowest possible cost,” Rep. Walden said.