Supreme Court upholds individual mandate in President Obama's health care overhaul
Presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said the act takes consumer choice away and vowed to fix that. He said that if he's elected, he will get rid of Obamacare and make sure those who want to keep their existing insurance can do so, while protecting the ability of people with pre-existing conditions to get insurance. There are better ways than the act, he said, that provide care and insurance at lower cost. While the court upheld most of the law, he said, it did not say it's good law or good policy.
"Whatever the politics, today's decision was a victory for people all over the country," said President Obama. He said the law means the quarter-billion Americans who already have insurance will be able to keep it, while reaching others who don't have care. He called the provisions "common sense protections for families."
"I did it because I believed it was good for the country. I did it because I believe it was good for the American people," he said.
Utah's senior senator, Orrin Hatch, issued this statement: "The American people know that this law violates our deepest constitutional principles of limited government, despite the Supreme Court's ruling today. President Obama's $2.6 trillion health spending law is an unprecedented power grab by this White House that will increase health care costs, add to our skyrocketing national debt and put Washington bureaucrats in between patients and their doctors. This ruling doesn't change the fact that a majority of the people of Utah and across America want this law repealed. The American people will have the last word in the ballot box this November. But let me be absolutely clear, I will continue to fight to repeal this assault on individual liberty and limited government."
"The court's decision illustrates one of the most egregious aspects of Obamacare, that it is a massive tax on the American people during one of the most challenging economic times in our nation's history," said Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah. "One of the primary concerns of families and small businesses is the cost of health care. Republicans in Congress have proposed hundreds of reforms that among other things will also lower costs. These reforms ensure that the American people, not Washington, make their own healthcare decisions.
"A one-size-fits-all approach works when you need one solution for one problem. With regards to healthcare, Americans want choices and options to address their unique and diverse needs. The (act) tramples on the rights of Americans to tailor their healthcare coverage. States and the American people, not Washington bureaucrats, are best suited to address our country's healthcare needs."
Retailers from the National Retail Federation expressed "dismay" with the ruling and said the court "missed an opportunity to redress the many shortcomings of the law. As it stands, the law wrongly focuses more on penalizing employers and the private sector than reducing health costs," it said in a prepared statement circulated to media. "For these reasons, NRF has been a consistent skeptic of the Affordable Care Act."
Consumers Union hailed it as a victory for consumers. "Health reform is alive and well and will benefit all of us," said its president, Jim Guest. "But today we are especially thinking of the seriously ill children who will continue to be able to get critical care, the young adults who can stay on their parent's insurance and the seniors who can better afford the prescription drugs they need. For these people and the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions, the uncertainty is over."
The American Academy of Pediatrics also hailed the court's ruling. Its president, Dr. Robert W. Block, said the act "invests in children's health from the ground up."
The Tax Foundation released a statement calling the ruling flawed and said it was wrong in its definition of what a tax is.
A crowd started gathering near the steps to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, a day before the ruling was expected, to be in place to hear the landmark decision. And media outlets in Washington, D.C., were reporting crowds "crammed in" to hear the decision.
Meanwhile, House Republicans were promising before the decision that if the Court did not strike down the act, they would act to replace pieces of the legislations a bit at a time to get rid of it.
"Obama might have his law, but the GOP has a cause," veteran campaign adviser Terry Holt told The Associated Press. "This promises to galvanize Republican support around a repeal of what could well be called the largest tax increase in American history."
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