Political world reacts to Supreme Court ruling on health care
June 28th, 2012
10:54 AM ET
8 years ago

Political world reacts to Supreme Court ruling on health care

(CNN) - While Democrats are praising the Supreme Court's decision Thursday to uphold President Barack Obama's sweeping health care legislation, Republicans are on the attack.

See statements from each side after the jump.

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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.”

Filed under: Health care • Supreme Court
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. Bob

    What I hate is the "We have a better idea" but never state what that idea is... The mandate was included because REPUBLICANS pushed for it based on the idea that the only way pre-existing conditions can be supported is by making sure people WITHOUT preexisting conditions are in the risk pool, otherwise NO-ONE would have insurance UNTIL they have a pre-existing condition. Insurance would disappear. (not completely sure that's a bad thing but it probably is). Want to lower healthcare rates, make sure hospitals are paid properly all the time. Insurance provides for that because individuals don't have the depth of funds for the 250,000 bill for major surgery after getting hit by a truck. Want lower insurance rates, insurance companies need to spread that 250,000 bill out over as many people as possible so they need people who don't have pre-existing conditions (like the chronic pain and constant surguries because of getting hit by a truck). There's only 2 ways to lower the percentage of pre-existing conditions, get rid of the people who have them or somehow convince people who don't to jump into the pool. If you mandate that you can't get rid of people who have pre-existing conditions, you have to provide some mechanism that increases the number of non pre-existing conditions, AKA a separate personal mandate, not sure how else to do it. But I'd love to hear a Republican actually stick his neck out and tell me how it would work without collapsing the entire system. I'd probably vote for him.

    June 28, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. Michael

    This is a dark day for our personal rights. I have no insurance, and dont want it. I truly believe that insurance is the modern day mafia! The insurance industry acts like they dont want this, but they do, because its a guarenteed paycheck! I can get any health procedure done for less than the insurance would pay. I have done it more than once. My last back surgery cost me less than one year of premiums; and it was a multilevel discectomy!

    June 28, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. n

    Palin when u talk it feels like a women with a brain of a child is talking. Go back to Alaska and be quite Americans want nothing to do with y. Palin when u talk about any president respect the office he/she deserve it and they worked had to get to that position.

    June 28, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. Matt

    Freedom is over. There is no longer any limit to the powers of the federal government. We are a police state.

    June 28, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. s

    Gee Ombama2012 you can never pick a side, yu must be some tired old troll with no job and not even from the US. Time to go home.

    June 28, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. DR

    Thank you B.O. for taxing us even more and killing jobs. Another promise broken.

    June 28, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  7. Flagship, NC

    I agree,
    Today my respect for chief justice Roberts grew to 10 (on a scale 0-10 ten being the highest).
    For all of you who worked so hard to help us common people....we thank you....we love you.

    June 28, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. dakster

    Amazing Romney has not yet sent out his public response. What a "leader" he would be.....NOT!

    June 28, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. Bob Greene

    Yeah, Nancy, have you ever been poor? Are you in touch with how hard it is to get by in this country today? And belive me it is easier now.

    Of course not, you have no clue, you belive people exist to provide you with position

    June 28, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. HPNIII

    What gets me is out of all the smart people in the country nobody has yet to realize that America's health care cost is not going to change, only the way in which it is payed for. People going to the hospital is a function of accidents and illnesses, and that is not going to change. There ain't no free lunch in the business world and a hospital is a business, who simply passes on bad debt to someone else, thus the $ 2.00 aspirin. The more people you spread the cost over, the less cost per person. It is simple math.

    June 28, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. Themistrius

    We've failed ourselves. If the government owns our health then we have no recourse and no second opinion. Try suing the united states government for malpractice sometime. Good luck. Another sixth of the economy in the hands of the failed institution that our government has been is the disaster that will tip us over the edge into a new oblvion that we've never faced. I need an entire bureaucracy between me and my own appendix like I need another 25% in taxes like they have in Canada.

    June 28, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. CA Liberal

    Its gratifying to see Republicans groveling and whining. I know about this health care problem. In 1983 I was laid off my oil field job along with everybody I knew. Unemployment in my town (Cody, Wyoming) was close to 50%. Lost my income and my health insurance. I was supporting 2 kids and a pregnant wife. I'll never forget that year.

    June 28, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. CITIZEN1052

    Nancy Pelosi is a criminal

    June 28, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. Donkey Party

    The mandate or "tax" is NOT ENFORCEABLE. No one has lost their freedom, no one has lost their rights. People need to stop watching the Fox Propaganda Channel.

    June 28, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. Themistrius

    Bob Greene you fool, it's easier at the expense of your future. Nothing is free, and now neither are we. We can't even choose how we live or how we die. The government now has that right and we are property.

    June 28, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  16. G. W. Bush

    It sucks the only thing I left the country with is an unjustified war in Iraq and massive debt... Nice work, Mr Obama! Now add to this laaw and make it the law people really want!! Easier to fix it than pass it and have it upheld.

    June 28, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. Themistrius

    Take enough money out of your account for at least a months expenses, store some food, prepare for an emergency. The stock markets plummeted on this news and they've got it right. This is very bad for our economy and our contry. Businesses won't wait for this to take effect, they know the costs of providing health care and the difficulties this unfortunate disaster will create unlike the CBO and the community organizer in chief. They will tighten their belts now before it's too late. They'll do what it takes to survive. You need to as well.

    June 28, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  18. TiredODaCrap

    If there is one person in all of government who could care less about the American people, it's Nancy Pelosi! Wait, it's an election year??? That explains it!

    June 28, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. Peter Grenader

    I just re-read Boehner's memo from a few days ago urging his colleagues not to spike the ball when the decision comes. As always, they followed in lock step. Laughing my you-know-what off.

    June 28, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  20. nasa1

    Mitch McConnell is saying "congress must act" to repeal the law. Heck, our do-nothing congress can't fight their way out of a paper bag. Next election, I am voting out ALL incumbents regardless of party affiliation and voting in Washington outsiders.

    June 28, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  21. sassysticks53

    Hey Mittens, hope you get a good night's sleep tonight! I know Obama will. Chief Justice Roberts is a hero to millions of Anericans today! Who would of thought Justice Riberts would vote the way he did? The GOP sure didn't think he would. My daughter can stay on my health insurance until she's 26 and I can't be denied insurance because I have a pre-existing condition! Big victory today for the American people.

    June 28, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  22. IndyDawg

    What does Pelosi care about how much the working class has to fork out – she and her cronies have health care for life and don't have to pay a dime for it.

    June 28, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. Polli

    Just kill the Bill......take away Obamaland. Death Of America. Obama American Dictator. Supreme Court Stooges

    June 28, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. Be Sane

    A victory for the American people (especially the middle class), just as Social Security, medicare, etc. were.
    Teddy is smiling in Heaven.
    Obama 2021!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 28, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. Eric

    I'm not democrat..... but I believe real health care reform is needed. As a very small business owner I currently CAN'T even get decent health insurance for my family. I would have to pay over $1000 a month just for basic and horrible health insurance. That is not right. I don't give a crap how it's done but America needs to find a way to let people get affordable (and good) health insurance. A few hundred a month (for a family) should be the highest level.

    I don't care if we say suing doctors is NOW illegal, that's fine with me. Take away some of the regulation that causes extra costs, force down doctor salaries, cap off profits so CEOs of health systems don't make millions of dollars. I'm not a socialist, but health care is indeed a basic right that a modern governments need to provide to their people. otherwise what's the point of government?

    June 28, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
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