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. Here's a look at what the GOP is saying.
Kan. Governor Sam Brownback: "Stopping ObamaCare is now in the hands of the American people. It begins with electing a new president this fall."
Kan. Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins: "When the PPACA was being debated, I stated that I felt this was bad policy that would lead to fewer jobs, more debt, higher healthcare costs, and reduced access to quality care in our rural areas. Further, I have contended this law never addressed the primary problem with our healthcare system: cost. Contrary to the PPACA's stated purpose of making healthcare "affordable", the Act ignored the aspects within our healthcare system that inflate expenses. Our healthcare system is in need of significant reforms, but these reforms must address the problems of cost.
While I am disappointed by the decision, it just further highlights the importance of electing a Congress that does not pass bad policy in the first place. The Obama Administration and the last Congress ignored the public concerns and ramrodded this bad legislation through the legislative process. Unlike the legislative and executive branches, the judicial branch does not have the responsibility to listen to public opinion or to ensure a particular policy is good for the nation; they are merely tasked to determine if the Constitution permits it. While I disagree, in the judgment of the Supreme Court, it does.
It is my expectation the House will immediately get back to work on addressing the major issues that face our healthcare system. First and foremost, we must repeal the PPACA. Then, as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, I am anxious to get to work on passing sound, common sense legislative reforms that will put patients - the consumers of health care - in charge."
Mo., Congressman Todd Atkin: "Since its inception I have fought against the adoption of Obamacare and I applaud the innumerable citizens who have stood for freedom, common sense and the right to life in opposition to this dangerous piece of socialist engineering.
"Today's ruling does not end the need for continued opposition to this offensive overreach into the most private aspect of Americans' lives. With this decision, I, my conservative colleagues and a substantial majority of Americans will redouble our campaign to defund and repeal all of Obamacare.
Kan. Congressman Kevin Yoder: "Today, the United States Supreme Court upheld the President's health care law as constitutional. After hours of testimony, oral arguments and rigorous debate, the justices ultimately decided the legislation was within the scope of the powers granted to the federal government in the Constitution. The Court ruled the penalty for not buying insurance is permissible as a tax - something this Administration adamantly told the American people it would not be.
"While I am disappointed with the court's decision, the Supreme Court ruling does not change the fact that this law is fundamentally flawed and unworkable. It will lower the quality, and increase the cost, of care for all Americans. It is a tremendous burden on small business and our struggling economic recovery, and we simply can't afford it. After today's decision, we must first repeal the administration's health care law, and begin bipartisan efforts to find bold solutions to our health care challenges that can reduce cost, improve the quality of care and ensure every American has health care access without a large federal takeover of our health care system. We can reduce the cost of care in the United States by eliminating expensive mandates, reducing administrative burdens, and capping frivolous medical liability lawsuits. We need to promote preventative care and reduce re-admissions and hospitalizations. We need insurance reform - it should be tax deductible for all Americans regardless of employment and it should be accessible across state lines. We need competition and choice.
"Today's court decision, while unfortunate, is but one chapter in the debate over how to improve our nation's health care system. In the coming days and weeks, I hope to work with members of both parties, as well as constituents, doctors and patients as we come together as to find solutions to the health care challenges that face our nation."
Mo., Lieutenant Governor Brad Lager: "I am disappointed in the Supreme Court's ruling today, that upheld the single largest tax increase in the world. I believe that we should work more for our families then we do for government. I believe the best government is one that governs least, not one who seeks to tax our behaviors."
"We now know that our public leaders failed us once again due to fact they simply did not read the legislation. Our President said this was not a tax increase and today we now know the truth. Why their have been many politically
motivated lawsuits, the only way to defeat this policy is to elect competent conservative leaders that will fight for our values."
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."
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."
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."
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