SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - President Barack Obama says the Supreme Court ruling to keep his health care reform is a victory for people all over the country.
But not everyone is so sure about that.
The Supreme Court's decision made Mitt Romney's temperature rise.
In Washington, Romney said, "Obamacare was bad policy yesterday, it is bad policy today. Obamacare was bad law yesterday, it is bad law today."
It also appeared to leave Governor Herbert with a bit of a sick feeling in his stomach,
"Whatever the decision was going to be, I always believed it was bad policy. I still believe it is bad policy."
And the man who may be Utah's next attorney general, John Swallow, said this is the wrong prescription,
"Certainly, we are disappointed in the ruling that the mandate will be upheld under the taxing power."
But then there's Utah Senator Mike Lee.
While he also isn't the biggest fan of the court's ruling, Lee comes at it from a different place.
Lee served for a year as a Supreme Court clerk and was in the court Thursday as the ruling was announced.
Lee told ABC 4,
"Eyebrows were going up left and right. People were looking at friends around them and kind of silently acknowledging their surprise."
And then there is President Obama.
He's the one who signed the health care bill into law, a law which, for better or worse, will forever be associated with his name.
After today’s ruling the President said,
“When we look back 5 years from now or 10 years from now or 20 years from now, we will be better of because we had the courage to pass this law."
No sooner had the court ruled, then both sides – Republicans and Democrats - sent fund raising letters to their supporters.
The following are longer statements from Utah's leading federal and state politicians:
Senator Orrin Hatch:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee and a current member and former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:
“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 at the ballot box this November. But let me be absolutely clear, I will continue the fight to repeal this assault on individual liberty and limited government.”
Senator Mike Lee:
WASHINGTON—Today Senator Mike Lee issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act:
"Today’s Supreme Court decision is only a temporary and hollow victory for the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court allowed the individual mandate to stand as a tax, but it concluded that Congress had exceeded its regulatory authority under the Commerce Clause by attempting to impose the individual mandate as a government directive. The individual mandate is already highly unpopular, and it will become even more so as the American people recognize it for what the Court deemed it to be—a tax on the middle class that coerces Americans into healthcare decisions they would not choose for themselves.
"Importantly, the Court today also held that the manner in which the Affordable Care Act sought to expand Medicaid violates the Constitution and our nation’s system of federalism. The federal government may not bully the states into expanding Medicaid by threatening to take away all federal Medicaid funding.
"Today’s decision makes it all the more important—and likely—that the Affordable Care Act will be repealed after the elections this November. It is essential that members of Congress, as the people’s elected representatives, act to protect individual liberty. When we look back at today’s decision in the coming months and years, I believe it may ultimately be regarded not as a victory for the Affordable Care Act but instead as a recognition and validation of federalism, limited government, and the freedoms protected by our constitutional structure."
Congressman Rob Bishop:
WASHINGTON– Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that found the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to be constitutional under Congress’ taxing power, Congressman Rob Bishop (Ut-01) issued the following statement:
“I am disappointed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision. I’ve voted to fully repeal ObamaCare and will do so again to stop this monumental shift in government control over our lives.
“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. One of the primary healthcare 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 health care 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 Patient Protection and Affordable Care 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.
“While this is certainly not the decision we were hoping to hear, it does not mean this fight is over. This massive tax is the wrong direction for this country and every aspect of this law will continue to be reviewed, scrutinized, and reformed. Leaving the bill as it exists today is simply not an option.”
In a September 2009 interview with George Stephanopoulos, President Obama said with regards to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:
Congressman Jason Chaffetz:
Washington, DC – Congressman Jason Chaffetz released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:
“Today’s Supreme Court decision establishes Obamacare as one of the biggest middle class tax increases in American history. The President’s firm pledge that “no family making under $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase” joins a litany of broken promises that now threaten our long-term economic stability.
Repealing Obamacare now becomes Priority One for the 113th Congress. Having already voted 30 times to repeal the law, I remain committed to full repeal.
I am disappointed in this decision and its implications for the US economy. Between the budgetary impacts of the law, the economic fallout from the tax increases, and the driving up of health care costs inherent in the policy, we simply cannot afford to let this law stand.”
Congressman Jim Matheson:
Washington, D.C.—Congressman Jim Matheson issued the following statement in reaction to the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act:
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling answers some questions and raises some new ones, and we should all thoroughly review the details outlined by the Court. The constitutional issues have been addressed and as Chief Justice Roberts said, it is the role of Congress to weigh the legislative merits of this policy. We can now do so with full access to the ruling on the law’s constitutionality.
As we consider the future of the law in the weeks ahead, I reflect on the emotional, complicated discussion about health care that has occurred during the past two years. It is important to remember that while there are many perspectives, a goal we all share is reform that ensures access to quality health care at an affordable price.
We know health care expenditures in America are projected to climb faster than the overall economy throughout the next decade, which is the same trend we have seen for the past 30 years. By 2021, health care will account for nearly a fifth of the economy if action is not taken to curb growing costs. This is an unsustainable trend.
From the beginning, I voted against the Affordable Care Act because it failed to address the critical issue of rising health care costs. Increased access to health care is an important objective but that goal alone does not provide the reforms that are needed to lower costs. Today’s ruling raises additional concerns about increased federal costs and also possible new taxes for modest income folks who may not be included in the law’s expansion of Medicaid.
There is a lot of work to do in order to achieve the right reforms for health care in our country. I stand ready to work with both parties on constructive, bipartisan solutions to this challenge.”
Congressional Candidate and Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love:
SARATOGA SPRINGS, UTAH: Mayor Mia Love, the Republican nominee for Utah’s 4th Congressional District, has released the following statement on today’s Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare.
“ObamaCare is a disaster for working Utah families. It is increases the cost of healthcare and will cause millions of Americans to lose their current coverage and be forced into government-run programs. It is not affordable, it is not sustainable, it has terrible economic implications, and it increases our national debt by trillions.”
“It is unfortunate that ObamaCare even went to the Supreme Court. When Jim Matheson had a chance to stand with Utah and repeal this new mandate and tax, he failed to do so. Utahns deserve representatives in Washington who will work to take back control of our healthcare, who will put Utah first in action and not just in words.”
Utah Governor Gary Herbert:
Salt Lake City - Governor Gary R. Herbert expressed extreme disappointment today regarding the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. His staff is presently conducting a thorough legal and policy review. He has released the following statement:
The Affordable Care Act is the wrong focus by a side-tracked administration that thinks a massive, top-down government program is the solution. Government bureaucracy and inflated spending is the problem. This law has divided the nation at a time when we should be focused on fixing the economy.
This law may be constitutional, but it's still bad policy. The Affordable Care Act imposes a one-size-fits-all plan on all states, effectively driving us to the lowest common denominator. It results in burdensome regulation, higher costs, and a massive, budget-busting Medicaid expansion. Service is improved and costs are reduced through markets, not mandates. It is now up to the American people and Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a true market-based solution, a solution driven by states.
As Justice Roberts indicated, the Court took a legal position that Congress CAN enact such reform, not that Congress SHOULD implement such reform. It's time for an honest policy discussion about federal entitlements and debt. We need to implement a new plan that empowers individuals, and then works with market principles to expand choice and access to healthcare. At the end of the day, people - not government - should be responsible for making health decisions.
President Obama doesn't understand that markets, not mandates are the best way to reduce costs and improve service. He doesn't trust the market. It is up to the American people to resolve this now. If we want to replace Obamacare, we need to start by replacing Obama.
When it comes to the greatest policy challenges of our time, especially with regard to health care reform, we don't need a federal mandate to solve our problems. We need state solutions. Not once did the current administration seek state input when crafting its failed policy. We need solutions that empower the consumer, maximize consumer choice, enhance options, increase information to consumers, strengthen state flexibility and optimize limited resources. As 50 laboratories of innovation, states are the innovators and we are doing real reform in Utah. The voluminous rules and dictates in the ACA are like weeds in a ditch that are inhibiting the flow of state innovation.
Utah's market-oriented competition is a great example of sensible reforms that drive down costs and improve service. Insurance companies should compete for your business, not the other way around. Utahns enjoy unprecedented insurance choices and a broad access to health information.
The people of the United States - as patients and consumers, as employers and employees, deserve full repeal. As we look to the future, as we consider the fate of healthcare reform, I say look to the states, Washington, D.C. Look to the states. Let the states decide. The American people deserve nothing less.
Utah Governor Candidate Peter Cooke:
SALT LAKE CITY-- On Thursday, June 28th, Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Peter S. Cooke responded to the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, upholding the Affordable Care Act.
"The Supreme Court has today established the Affordable Care Act as the law of the land. As Governor, I will commit to meet the challenge of responding to its coverage and funding mandates through effective management of the health care cooperative system, health care cost containment which still preserves the benchmark of superb care set by Utah’s physicians, and restructuring of Medicaid to secure affordable care for Utah’s children and families," Cooke said.
Utah Chief Deputy Attorney General John Swallow:
Salt Lake City-- Chief Deputy Attorney General John Swallow, who is the Republican nominee for attorney general of Utah, stated the following regarding the ruling on Obamacare:
“The Supreme Court has made its ruling on Obamacare, but make no mistake: Americans who cherish freedom and love our Constitution won a major victory. Utah should be proud of our leadership role in standing up for our rights and taking on Obamacare’s assault on individual freedom.
We stopped the federal government from grabbing unlimited power over our everyday lives by stopping an unprecedented expansion of the Commerce Clause. This is a major victory and will be felt in every state throughout America.
We also stopped the government from holding Medicaid funding hostage and forcing Utah to allocate hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending that would bankrupt our budget. This is a win for states’ rights and a reaffirmation of the Tenth Amendment.
Finally, because the individual mandate was ruled a “tax,” we still have work to do. That’s why this election is so important. We must elect Mitt Romney as President and elect conservative majorities in Congress so we can repeal this trillion-dollar tax on all Americans. We also need Orrin Hatch in the Senate so Utah can lead the charge as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
Without Mitt as President and Sen. Hatch as Chairman, Obamacare will become a permanent part of all of our lives. We can’t let that happen.”
Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon:
Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon has lauded the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the core of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
“I think this is a victory for the American people,” says Mayor Corroon. “With the Supreme Court’s decision behind us, it is now time for Utah to come up with a local solution that works for the people of our state.”
“The Court’s decision means people with pre-existing conditions will not be denied coverage,” the Mayor adds. “Lifetime caps on coverage will be eliminated, seniors will be covered through the “donut hole” coverage gap where they were paying 100% of costly drugs, and adult children can stay on parents’ health insurance until the age of 26.”
Most of the law will not go into effect until 2014. More than 50 million Americans took advantage of the physical exams, cancer screenings, flu shots, child immunizations that the law provides for without co-pay.
"In light of the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, the Health Care Compact Utah joined after passing legislation during the 2012 session is the best protection for Utahns against Obamacare overreach," said Derek Monson, Sutherland Institute director of public policy. "Utah should reject the federal expansion of Medicaid while pursuing patient-centered, free market health care reforms such as Health Savings Accounts and transparent medical pricing that will lead to free-market competition and better, more affordable health care for all Utahns."
Utah Democratic Party Chair Jim Dabakis:
Salt Lake City –The Supreme Court upheld the majority of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act on Thursday, preserving coverage for hundreds of thousands of Utahns. In the 5-4 decision, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the bulk of the Affordable Care Act was upheld as constitutional. Utah Democratic Party Chair Jim Dabakis responded,
“First, the Utah Democratic Party would like to thank Senator Orrin Hatch for championing of the nomination of Chief Justice John Roberts to the court. It was, after all, Justice Roberts who wrote the opinion.”
“Today is a good day for insured Utahns, who will keep the protections and benefits that they currently enjoy as a result of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act – including protection from discrimination based on sex, age, or pre-existing conditions, free or low-cost preventative care, and the ability to keep young people on their parents' insurance until 26.”
“And today is a good day for uninsured Utahns,” Dabakis continued, “who will be able to obtain affordable coverage, reducing the burden on their families and the American taxpayer.”
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