Republican George Allen said he was “disappointed” with today’s Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, while Democrat Tim Kaine said the 5-4 decision was “an important first step in curbing discriminatory insurance company practices and increasing access to health care.”
In today’s decision, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the majority, including Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.
The majority found the individual mandate, considered the heart of the healthcare law, is permissible under Congress’s taxing authority. Writing for the majority Roberts held, “Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.”
The mandate requires people to buy health insurance or pay a fine.
“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,” Allen, a former U.S. Senator and Virginia Governor said.
Kane, also a former Virginia Governor, said that while he welcome today’s decision, “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.”
McDonnell hopes for change
And what of Virginia’s current Governor, Bob McDonnell? He called the ruling “extremely disappointing for Virginia and for America.”
McDonnell said the healthcare law “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.”
McDonnell said Virginia will “evaluate the steps necessary to comply with the law,” but added: “It remains my hope that we will elect a new President and Senate so that the existing law will be repealed and states will be given the freedom they need to implement healthcare solutions that work best for their citizens. We will evaluate the opinion in detail in the days ahead and determine what policies are proper for the people of Virginia.”
Moran, Connolly elated
Northern Virginia Democratic Congressman Jim Moran said that in today’s decision, “The Supreme Court reaffirmed what Democrats and President Obama have known for two years: the Affordable Care Act stands on firm constitutional grounds.”
“People across the country are already benefiting from reforms in the Affordable Care Act, including 6.6 million young people who can stay on their parents’ insurance, 105 million Americans who no longer have a lifetime limit on their coverage, and 5.3 million seniors in the ‘donut hole’ who have saved $3.7 billion on their prescription drugs,” Moran said.
Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly said the decision “means 1.3 million Virginians with pre-existing health conditions … will never again risk denial of health insurance coverage. It means that more than one-quarter million small businesses across the nation, and nearly 600 such businesses in the 11th District, will receive tax credits to cover 35 percent of the cost of purchasing insurance for their employees.”
“The ruling means more than 837,000 Virginians receiving Medicare – seniors and the disabled – including 56,000 of them in the 11th District, will receive free preventative services including colonoscopies and mammograms. It means nearly 3 million Virginians, more than 330,000 in the 11th District, with cancer or other chronic conditions will never again have to worry about arbitrary annual or lifetime limits on coverage. And it means that young adults will be able to remain on their parents’ health insurance policies until age 26.”
Cuccinelli: “dark day”
Virginia Attorney General and GOP gubernatorial hopeful Ken Cuccinelli called it “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,” Cuccinelli said.
“This unprecedented decision says that Congress has the authority to force citizens to buy private goods or face fines – a power it has never had in American history, and a power King George III and Parliament didn’t have over us when we were mere subjects of Great Britain,” said Cuccinelli who was one of several state attorneys general who challenged the law in federal court.