PHOENIX - The Supreme Court's Affordable Care Act ruling Thursday sparked reaction across the nation and right here in Arizona.
The following are official statements from around the state:
Governor Jan Brewer:
"Today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court flies in the face of what most Americans know to be true: ObamaCare is an overreaching and unaffordable assault on states' rights and individual liberty.
"For defenders of freedom and the free market, the decision to uphold ObamaCare is nothing short of disheartening. The ramifications are sure to be vast, including a new tax on middle class Americans and the erosion of individual liberty as Americans begin to see their health insurance choices dictated by an overbearing federal government.
"Everyone recognizes that the American health care system is not perfect. Costs are too high, and accessibility remains a hurdle for many Americans. But the answer to rising health care costs is not - and will never be - Big Government. We need real, responsible reform. We need the innovation of states like ours - states that have enacted leading health care models promoting private sector competition, consumer choice, quality coverage and controlling costs. True reform will spring from sovereign states that are free to provide the coverage that best meets the needs of their citizens at a price they can afford. I stand ready to work alongside Congress, state legislators and stakeholders alike in developing sound proposals that enhance choice and competition and bring stability and predictability to our health care marketplace.
"If nothing else, today's decision officially sets the stakes for the November election. It is now up to the American people to save our country from the fiscal and regulatory nightmare known as ObamaCare. Come November, we must elect a President who understands the economy, represents free enterprise and respects the Constitution and individual liberty.
"If Arizonans are to have access to the health care they need from the provider they choose, ObamaCare must be fully repealed."
Attorney General Tom Horne:
The Supreme Court has upheld Obamacare on the basis of the taxing power. This is interesting because when the bill was passed, the Democrats insisted it was not a tax as that would have been unpopular. The Court did hold, as we had argued, that the mandate exceeded the limits of the commerce power.
Those who oppose Obamacare have an election in a few months in which they can express their view.
Finally, and most interestingly, by a vote of 7 to 2, the court for the first time in history put a limit on Congress' power to micromanage the states using conditions on federal funding. They did this in restricting the Medicaid expansion mandate.
This has been the principal method by which Congress has interfered in states' business to the extent never contemplated by the Constitution. This will be an important legal development.
Congressman Jeff Flake:
"This ruling has made the path forward on healthcare very clear: Congress must repeal Obamacare," said Flake. "The implementation of this government-run healthcare system will not only decrease the quality of healthcare in this country, but it will place an enormous burden on the economy at a time when we can least afford it. I will continue to work to fully repeal Obamacare and replace it with market-based healthcare reforms that improve the quality of care and lower costs through competition."
Senator David Schapira:
"The goals of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are to make healthcare more accessible and affordable. This ruling is a win for millions of Americans for whom healthcare coverage would be out of reach without this legislation.
"Due to recent decisions made by the Arizona Legislature and Governor, more than a million Arizonans, including many children, are without health insurance. This Supreme Court decision and the implementation of ACA will ensure that many of our fellow Arizonans have access to healthcare once again.
"This ruling also guarantees that seniors will pay less for drug costs, and many Americans with pre-existing conditions, including myself, can no longer be denied health insurance coverage.
"There is still work to be done. The belief that everyone has a right to healthcare should not be a partisan issue. We need leaders who are interested in finding ways to provide access to affordable, quality healthcare for all Americans."
Congressman Paul Gosar:
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision to uphold President Obama's nationalization of our country's private health care system. The constitutionality of the law was challenged on several grounds, including its justification grounded under the Commerce Clause. The Court ruled that the Commerce Clause would not support such a broad federal power grab, but, the Court also ruled that Congress had the power to nationalize healthcare under the taxing powers.
"When Obamacare was sold
to the American public by Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and other Democrats, they essentially lied to the public and said it was not a tax. However, in order to pay for this monstrous government takeover, taxes were imposed in a variety of ways, including through the individual mandate that required everyone to buy government insurance or pay penalties. Today, the Court said Congress can impose new taxes and that the individual mandate is constitutional as a new tax. In short, if it walks like a tax, talks like a tax, and quacks like a tax, the Supreme Court will tell us it's a tax. And so it did."
Gosar continued, "Hard working American people already suffer under a crushing weight of taxes. The last thing they need is yet more taxes. This is what Obamacare is, however, and I will not rest until this excessive and wasteful tax is repealed."
"Americans stand resolved that this legislation will spell the ruin of health care in this country by driving up taxes, increasing health care costs as well as weakening the physician patient relationship with bureaucratic interference," Dr. Gosar, stated.
"As a healthcare provider, I remain confident that the best solution is a full repeal of this costly burdensome legislation which will hurt patients by undermining access to quality care while adding billions to our deficit. I will continue to advocate for stronger, smarter and more cost effective measures to solve our nation's healthcare crisis without government interference. We must remember that the driving force for all healthcare reform should be a patient centered and patient friendly system."
Congressman Ben Quayle:
“I believe that today’s decision was a disaster for the American people and the American healthcare system. Even before full implementation, Obamacare costs drastically more than promised, raises the costs of healthcare for American families and harms the ability of businesses to offer health insurance, or even hire new workers.
“I will continue to fight every day for the full repeal of this government takeover of healthcare. The fight against Obamacare doesn’t end today – it’s just getting warmed up.”
Today the Roberts Court has shown the courage to stand up for affordable, accessible health care for every American.
While some have played political games and opposed the Affordable Care Act, Chief Justice John Roberts put aside ideology and joined his colleagues in upholding the Act.
His leadership is an example to everyone who serves, and it is an example to a gridlocked Congress.
Americans pay more for health care than every other industrialized country in the world, millions of working people still live without insurance, and millions of families are just one illness away from bankruptcy. If there is one issue that crystallizes Washington's failure to protect the forgotten middle class, it is our broken health insurance system. I worked hard to help make affordable health care a reality for every American. I have no illusions that the work is done.
The Affordable Care Act is not perfect. It does include several important protections of American consumers, however. Those include protecting women from insurance discrimination, protecting children from being denied care for "pre-existing conditions," covering children who have autism or Down's Syndrome, allowing children to remain on their parents' insurance policies until they are 26 and protecting seniors from the medication expense known as the "doughnut hole."
I have said before that Congress would have more work to do no matter how the Court ruled. If I am elected, I will work to reduce costs for families and re-orient our payment system toward preventive medicine. We cannot accept more gridlock standing in the way of progress for the working families who have made all of the sacrifices in this tough economy.
Constitutional or not, ObamaCare is dead wrong and absolutely must be repealed. The President's massive expansion of government hurts small business, stifles economic growth and impinges on the freedom of every American.
This is a pivotal moment. Under ObamaCare, millions of Americans stand to lose their employer-based health care. We need to move toward market-based health care reform - reform that lowers costs, improves the quality of care for patients and protects Americans' freedom to choose for ourselves. Now, more than ever, we need Washington outsiders who understand that ObamaCare is adding an additional burden to business, a burden that makes it more difficult for the private sector to grow and create jobs.
Wil Cardon opposes ObamaCare and won't stop fighting until it is repealed.
Senate President Steve Pierce
“Today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court comes as both a tremendous disappointment and dangerous precedent for years to come. Forcing Americans to buy a private product or service of the government's choosing, under threat of financial penalty, opens the
unchecked federal power for future generations. There is simply no limiting principle after today's decision, and federal mandates that a citizen purchase a certain kind of car or consume healthier foods are no longer as far fetched as they once seemed.
The so-called Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, will have devastating effects on Arizona once it is fully implemented. The Medicare tax increase takes effect in 2013, as well as taxes on medical devices and other products, which will have a detrimental effect on job creation.
The centralized bureaucracies and endless new regulations and mandates will accelerate Arizona's already dangerous doctor shortage. As the Arizona Republic recently pointed out, our state needs 2,400 physicians just to come up to the national average. The Court's
limited reading of withholding Medicaid funds notwithstanding, the law would increase Medicaid enrollment in Arizona by 36% or more, while Arizona taxpayers will be forced to pay for 10% of these new enrollees by 2020, at a cost of over $850 million.
There is now only one remaining opportunity to overturn this terrible law - this November's elections. Any remaining doubt that this coming election is the most important in generations should now be settled.”
Congressman Trent Franks
"If forcing the purchase of government controlled healthcare down the throat of every American is now fully in keeping with United States Constitution, the Founding Fathers noble struggle to ensure that their children would walk in the sunlight of liberty has become a broken dream.
"My great consolation is that this decision has now been appealed to a higher court where, this November, the sovereign citizens of the United States of America will demonstrate to Mr. Obama that his arrogant declaration of supremacy over them, and over the cause of human freedom is profoundly premature."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.