These are reactions to the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision upholding the 2009 health reform act.
U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Moultrie:
"I am disappointed in today's decision. While I believe the individual mandate to directly contradict the Constitution, we must respect the decision of the court. However, this is not the final chapter in the healthcare-reform debate. I will continue to push to repeal the law, and urge Congress and the next administration to work to replace Obamacare.
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"This law adds new taxes on an already overtaxed population, and adds regulation to an already over-regulated industry. We must address the skyrocketing costs of health care and its impact on individuals, families and small businesses while working together on transparent and measured reforms to ensure that everyone has access to quality and affordable care."
U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany:
“With the Supreme Court’s upholding of the health care law, health insurers are still stopped from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, senior citizens’ prescription drug costs have declined significantly, young people still have the ability to stay on their parents’ plan until the age of 26, those with deteriorating health are safe from being dropped by their insurance company, and community health centers can continue to get the funding needed to provide primary care to those who need it.
"Understanding that this bill is not perfect, I am thankful that my constituents will continue to be benefited by the continuation of the healthcare law.”
U.S. Sen. Johnny Iskason, R-Atlanta:
"I am sorely disappointed that the Court has upheld the individual mandate as a legal tax on the American people. Today's ruling does not change the fact that there have been enormous problems trying to implement this terribly flawed law and that it must be repealed and replaced with a step-by-step approach that makes health care more accessible, affordable and competitive."
President Barack Obama:
"The highest Court in the land has now spoken. We will continue to implement this law. And we'll work together to improve on it where we can. But what we won’t do -- what the country can’t afford to do -- is refight the political battles of two years ago, or go back to the way things were.
"With today’s announcement, it’s time for us to move forward -- to implement and, where necessary, improve on this law. And now is the time to keep our focus on the most urgent challenge of our time: putting people back to work, paying down our debt, and building an economy where people can have confidence that if they work hard, they can get ahead.
The justices made the right call.
The justices made the wrong call.
I'm not sure.
958 total votes.
But today, I’m as confident as ever that when we look back five years from now, or 10 years from now, or 20 years from now, we’ll be better off because we had the courage to pass this law and keep moving forward."
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney:
“Let’s make clear that we understand what the court did and did not do. What the court did today was say that Obamacare does not violate the Constitution. What they did not do was say that Obamacare is good law or that it’s good policy. Obamacare was bad policy yesterday; it’s bad policy today. Obamacare was bad law yesterday; it’s bad law today.”
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal:
"My battle with Obamacare didn't start when I was elected as governor of Georgia. I wear with pride my bruises and scars from the fight against its passage in the U.S. House. Today, the highest court in the country let the American people down.
"While we recognize this is a huge setback for fiscal sanity and personal liberty, we are not giving up. Georgians and the American people deserve high-quality, sustainable health care. Congress must now work steadfastly on repealing this law and replacing it with reforms that help taxpayers instead of hurt them."
Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens:
"I disagree with this decision. Congress explicitly said this was not a tax. I call on Congress to act swiftly, repeal the law and replace it with real reform that respects the Constitution as written."
Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Adams:
"The Supreme Court today issued an extraordinary ruling that will help millions of American families achieve better access to medical care and no longer have to choose between economic security and their health. We are very pleased by the Court's decision to uphold President Obama's signature achievement and its protections for Georgia families. Two million Georgians will have new access to insurance, and more will gain preventative care, lower costs and quality service."
U.S. Rep. Jackson Kingston, R-Ga.:
“It may be constitutional but this massive new federal program does not improve the quality or lower the cost of health care. In fact, it does just the opposite. It will continue to be a drag on the economy as businesses are reluctant to hire new employees until they know all the cost and ramifications of the new mandates Therefore I will work for its repeal and to replace it with reforms that bring down the cost of care without increasing the size of government.”
Georgia Budget & Policy Institute Director of Health Timothy Sweeney:
"The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional is a major victory for the nearly 2 million Georgians currently living without health insurance. The new law will provide previously uninsured families with access to affordable, high-quality health care and provides important consumer protections to Georgians who already have including the elimination of lifetime benefit limits and the requirement that insurers cover pre-existing conditions. It's time to move forward with implementation of the law immediately so Georgians can take advantage of new health care options. In particular, Georgia should prepare to move forward with the Medicaid expansion that will bring billions in federal funds to the state while covering some of Georgia's most vulnerable residents."
Georgia Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Chris Clark:
"We are greatly disappointed in the decision rendered today by the Supreme Court and believe that the path on which our nation is being forced to move forward will be detrimental to both employers and employees throughout the nation as a result of increased costs and new regulations. Businesses will be forced to make difficult decisions that will likely result in employees losing their employer-provided coverage. Our organization will look forward to working with the Governor and other leaders at the state and federal level to implement the law in a way that takes into account the important role businesses play by providing this important benefit and the overall impact on our economy."
Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America President/CEO Robert Rusbuldt:
“The Big ‘I’ is disappointed with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the PPACA. Our association, economists and other industry leaders and experts agree that many of the provisions in the PPACA are causing more harm than good. The Big ‘I’ will continue to work with Congress to repeal provisions of the law that negatively impact our small business members and the customers they serve.”
Georgia Public Policy Foundation President Kelly McCutchen:
“The Founding Fathers would be mortified to see the body blow to their hard-won concept of America's limited government," McCutchen said. "Congress now has the power to do whatever it wants. This flawed decision highlights the urgent need for state action to protect taxpayers and health care consumers from the harmful effects of this law. The solution to this nation's health care problems certainly are not in Washington, D.C., and this ruling reinforces our commitment to work harder than ever to restore the proper balance of individual rights and government power in Georgia and in Washington. ... As a free-market think tank, we exist to defend the liberty of Georgians from state and federal government encroachments. We will redouble that effort as we advance the goals of better health care for all Georgians.”
U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio:
“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.”
U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.:
“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.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton:
“It’s 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.”
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.:
“What’s important to remember is that what the court rules on is whether something is constitutional or not, not whether it’s a good idea. And while the court has said that the law is constitutional, it remains a bad idea for our economy, and I hope that in the fall we will have a majority here that will not just repeal this law, but replace it with real solutions that will insure more people and cost a lot less money.”