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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Obama Healthcare Plan; Connecticut Officials React

The justices also found that the so-called "individual mandate" in what's become known as Obamacare, is constitutional.

 

Editor's Note: The full text of the healthcare law decision can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/28/supreme-court-health-care-reform-ruling_n_1605393.html

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In a landmark decision, both legally and politically, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld President Barack Obama's sweeping healthcare law, including the central mandate that individuals must buy health insurance.

According to ABCNews, the court's ruling means you have to buy health insurance or be subject to a tax.

Pundits and politicians alike are already heralding the decision as a major political boon to Obama, whose supporters were concerned that an overturn of the law, or just the individual mandate, would harm the president's re-election bid this year.

Obama's health care law, which also requires health insurers to provide coverage to children of policy holders up to 26 years old and bans insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, was challenged by several states who argued that some of its conditions, particularly the individual mandate, were unconstitutional.

Republicans also had vehemently opposed the health care law and their presumptive presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, has vowed to seek its repeal if he's elected.

Connecticut officials react

The Hartford Business Journal reports that the head of one of Connecticut's leading business lobbying groups was "deeply disappointed" by the ruling:

"The tragedy in this ruling is that Connecticut residents are now at the mercy of politicians from other states and bureaucrats in Washington whose decisions won't be based on what is best for Connecticut," said Andrew Markowski the Connecticut state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. "Small businesses here will be overwhelmed by mandates, taxes and burdens imposed on them by people whom we cannot as easily hold accountable."

With the news Thursday that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Health Care Act - mandating all Americans to acquire health insurance - politicians, public officials and candidates for office sent out statements to the media and tweeted their reactions.

Here are a few excerpts from what they said:

“The Supreme Court has taken a historic stand with the Affordable Care Act — this decision demonstrates that the nation will do the right thing in ensuring accessible, affordable health care for all Americans. With SCOTUS validating the law, Republicans in Congress should cease their efforts to repeal the reforms and instead join President Obama in focusing on job creation.” – a joint statement to the media from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman.


“Whew! Supreme Court does the right thing. This is a good day for health care in America.” – Rep. Chris Murphy, D-5, also a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, via Twitter.


“Today’s decision by the High Court is extremely disappointing. The American people were told that this legislation would lower costs. It hasn’t. They were told that it would not increase taxes. It does. The tax increases that finance this will devastate small businesses and middle class families.” – U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon, R, who explained her opinions in a full statement here.


"Obamacare is increasing health insurance premiums, reducing patient choice, threatening the quality of care, and impeding medical progress.  On top of that, six years of Obamacare 'benefits' are paid for with ten years of taxes." - U.S. Senate candidate Chris Shays, R, in a statement to the media.


“Today's ruling was a victory for families and insures every American will get the care they need even if they can't afford health insurance.” - Susan Bysiewicz, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, via Twitter.

 

“The uncertainty created by the false questioning of the Act’s legality has been settled and states, insurance companies and businesses can move forward and keep carrying out the important health care and consumer protection provisions contained in the law.” – Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3, in a statement to the media. 

 

“SCOTUS stands with children w/pre-existing conditions, women, would-be entrepreneurs, seniors and progress for the American people.” – Rep. Jim Himes, D-4, via Twitter.


“Today’s ruling is a landmark moment in the fight for stable, secure health coverage for all Americans.” – Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2, via Twitter.


“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a victory for the millions of Americans who need health care, for the individuals living with medical conditions who would otherwise be denied coverage, for parents who will be able to keep their children on their insurance plan until age 26 and for seniors struggling to afford their prescription medications. Tens of thousands of Connecticut residents have already benefitted from health care reform, and tens of thousands more will benefit as more provisions of the law take effect.” – Attorney General George Jepsen, a Democrat, via a statement to the media.


“ObamaCare must be repealed. Let's send a bold conservative with courage to DC this fall.” – Mark Greenberg, Republican candidate in the 5th District Congressional race, via Twitter.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Health Care Act:

This is a tremendous day for all Americans.  The Supreme Court has taken a historic stand with the Affordable Care Act—this decision demonstrates that the nation will do the right thing in ensuring accessible, affordable health care for all Americans. With SCOTUS validating the law, Republicans in Congress should cease their efforts to repeal the reforms and instead join President Obama  in focusing on job creation. In Connecticut, we’ve been leading the way on this issue—we never stopped working, and today’s decision is an affirmation of everything we’ve worked so hard to prepare. Now let’s make sure we continue to implement this historic, positive change.

Christopher Shays, Republican candidate for United States Senate released this statement in response to the Supreme Court's decision on Obamacare.

"The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the constitutionality of the individual healthcare mandate just reaffirms the need to send someone to the United States Senate who has the ability to repeal this destructive law.  Obamacare is the single greatest infringement on our individual liberties and personal freedoms that we have seen in my generation. This was a power grab of the U.S. health care system by Chris Murphy, a Democratic Congress and the Obama Administration.


Daria Novak June 28, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Today the Supreme Court handed down their decision upholding the individual mandate and declaring Obamacare a tax on the American people. “My goal cannot be any clearer. As your representative in the next Congress I will VOTE TO REPEAL THIS TAX,” said Novak. “I am the only candidate running in this Congressional District who is standing strong against this bad legislation. Rep. Courtney ignored the will of the people and supported this mandatory tax promising us big government, big debt, and interference in our private lives. It is BAD legislation. I pledge to you, the voters of Eastern Connecticut, I will vote to repeal this healthcare tax in the next Congress and restore your individual liberty,” continued Novak. We can replace the job-killing Obamacare tax, restore our rights and ensure the next generation is not left to pay our debt. We can work to reform healthcare so that up to 20 million citizens don’t lose their right to keep their current insurance. It’s your choice now. Are you going to support a big, intrusive and all-powerful government or sound healthcare policy? Which option do you think is best for you and your family? When I am in Congress I will work to lower healthcare costs while ensuring government bureaucrats don’t come between you and your doctor; that pre-existing conditions don’t disqualify individuals and that every state has good access to health care.
Bill Cash June 29, 2012 at 02:01 PM
My first reaction after reading these comments is that Shays and McMahon don't know what's in the act. They are just throwing out the Republican talking points which have been very distorting.
Wayne Rigney June 29, 2012 at 03:17 PM
The following information was provided by the Society of Human Resources: While the individual mandate was deemed by a majority of the Court to violate the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution, it was ruled constitutional because Congress has the authority to impose a tax on individuals who go without insurance. Key steps employers need to take: 1. Determine the strategic implications of whether or not to offer a plan. Health benefits are just one part of an overall total rewards strategy. How does an organization’s having (or not having) health benefits impact other talent acquisition and talent management strategies? 2. Review the Supreme Court decision as to its impact on your organization. 3. If a plan is offered, perform a qualitative analysis on whether it makes sense to remain a grandfathered plan or become nongrandfathered by examining the seven PPACA provisions that apply only to nongrandfathered plans. 4. Perform a qualitative analysis to determine if existing plans meet qualifying eligibility and affordability standards. In order for employers to avoid potential penalties, ensure that any health plans offered meet both standards. 5. Determine the true organizational costs of either offering or not offering health coverage after 2013. For many organizations, this is not the "no-brainer" that it may first appear. 6. Perform a quantitative analysis to project the so-called "Cadillac tax" set to begin in 2018.
Jon July 02, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Great! What other liberties will be taken away? America is no longer FREE There is NO CHANGE. OBAMA STILL STINKS

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