Politicos React to Obamacare Ruling


Reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act was as swift as it was predictable, with Democrats praising the ruling and Republicans throwing brickbats.

“Here in America, in the wealthiest nation on earth, no illness or accident should lead to any family’s financial ruin,” said President Barack Obama. Speaking from the East Room, Obama hailed the ruling, saying, “I know there will be a lot of discussion about the politics about this, about who won and who lost,” he said. “But that discussion completely misses the point.”

“Whatever the politics, today’s decision was a victory for people all over this country, whose lives will be more secure because of this law, and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold it,” Obama said.

Obama highlighted the benefits of the ACA, including the end of lifetime limits, discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions, and the end of gender discrimination in billing.

Obama also defended the mandate, saying that “people who can afford to buy health insurance should take the responsibility to do so.” He added, ”This idea has enjoyed support from members of both parties, including the current Republican nominee for President.”

The current Republican nominee for president, Mitt Romney, disagreed with the decision, and with the benefits of the ACA.

“What the court did not do in its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected President of the United States. And that is, I will act to repeal Obamacare,” Mitt Romney said. Though Romney had signed a similar law as governor of Massachusetts, he has been staunchly opposed to the Affordable Care Act. “What the court did today was say that Obamacare does not  violate the Constitution. What they did not do is say that Obamacare is good law, or that it is good policy.”

“Obamacare would add trillions to the national debt,” Romney said. Studies have shown that the Affordable Care Act would actually cut the deficit by reducing the growth of Medicare.

Romney said that eliminating national health care would require a change of administration.

“If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we have to get rid of President Obama,” Romney said.

Other Politicians Respond

The commentary was not limited to the presidential candidates, however. In a floor speech, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) praised the decision.

“I’m happy, I’m pleased to see the Supreme Court to put the rule of law ahead of partisanship and ruled that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional,” Reid said. Reid acknowledged that the ruling could require some tweaks in the law, but said, “we may do some things to improve the law and we’ll do that together but today millions of Americans are already seeing the benefits of the law that we passed.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) agreed. In a tweet, Pelosi said the ruling was a “Victory for the American people. Millions of American families will have certainty of health care benefits [and] affordable care.”

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. “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,” he said.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) scheduled a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act for July 11. He called the court’s decision a “crushing blow to patients throughout the country.” Cantor acknowledged that the House had already done so, saying the body would “once again repeal Obamacare.” While the Republican-controlled House will certainly vote to eliminate the law, the Democratic-controlled Senate will just as certainly not take it up.

In an interview on CNN, conservative firebrand and former presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) called the ruling a “turning point in American history.” She said the court was an “activist court,” and said the court’s reliance on the tax argument was “bizarre.”

“This means for the first time in the history of the country that Congress can force Americans to purchase any product, any product Congress wants them to,” Bachmann said.

Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D- Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) the co-chairs of the House Progressive Caucus, praised the ruling. In a joint statement, they said, “The health care reform act provides that children will not be denied coverage due to a preexisting condition, young adults will be able to stay on their family health plan, and that Americans can keep their health care insurance if they get a major illness.”

“The Affordable Care Act will now take its rightful place with Social Security and Medicare as powerful examples of what we can do together to improve the lives of every American,” they added.

Liberal Orgs Cheer, Conservative Orgs Boo

Planned Parenthood issued a statement cheering the court’s decision. “This decision will have a profound and concrete impact on millions of people’s lives,” said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Affordable, quality health care will now be available to millions of women who had no coverage or inadequate coverage before.”

The Traditional Values Coalition, meanwhile, blasted the decision, calling the ruling the “largest tax hike in American history.”

“At a stroke, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the nationalization of 18% of the United States economy, raised taxes by $1 trillion dollars, and jeopardized the American experiment through the most reckless and invasive legislation our generation has experienced,” said TVC president Andrea Lafferty in a statement.

Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus said the ruling “sets the stakes for November’s election.”  He added, “We need market-based solutions that give patients more choice, not less. The answer to rising health care costs is not, and never will be, Big Government.

The American Medical Association, which backed the law, said that they were “pleased” by the ruling. In a statement, AMA president Dr. Jeremy A. Lazarus said, “this decision means millions of Americans can look forward to the coverage they need to get healthy and stay healthy.”

The American Association of Retired Persons also cheered the ruling. AARP CEO A. Barry Rand said, “We look forward to the continued implementation of this critically important legislation so that millions of Americans can continue to receive the benefits it provides.”

Deputy Solicitor General: Victory for the Rule of Law

Finally, the Obama administration’s legal team cheered the decision, not because of the decision itself, but because of the way the ruling came down.

In an interview on CNN, Principal Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal acknowledged that elements of the decision were “conservative,” but said that was okay. Noting that the conservative Chief Justice John Roberts had joined the liberal bloc of the court in the ruling, Katyal said, ”These justices think impartially. They do cross lines….it’s a real, resounding victory for the rule of law. ”


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Image Credit: Donkey Hotey


Frances C.
Frances C6 years ago

Robin, You are completely wrong in your statements. Please get some facts before you spread Limbaugh lies. Government will not control health care, just make it available to more people and more affordable. Unfortunately private insurance companies will still be taking a piece of the pie.

Robin C.
Robin C6 years ago

Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine, Listen to speech here:


This is a sugar-coated smoke and mirrors.

just so you know, I'm all for people having health care..BUT..There are underlying agendas in D.C. It will control what doctors you can see..YOU WILL NOT HAVE A CHOICE! It will control where doctors can practice. They will NOT have a choice where they live it they continue to practice medicine. Government will control the quality of healthcare you will have. I BEG you to please listen to Ronald Reagan.

Kellyanne M.
Kellyanne M6 years ago

I am a Canadian. I truly do not understand the hatred to health care. I would like to know what specific services cost. Like having a baby,, or going to the doctor. It seems that any heath care in the States is out of the range of the average citizen. We may have to wait a bit here but we get medical services without extra payment. Yes we have taxes to pay for this but I really think it is worth it.

Robert Fitzgerald

It seems that, based on Republican arguments, such as market driven solutions, that the Republican fear of ACA is not about American health at all, in the least, but is ALL about money and profit. And it is NOT about that boogy term socialism. It is a term that is valuable because we tend to associate it with dictatorship, communism, and as standing against our sacred predatory capitalistic ideals.

It is about losing money and control in the health care industry. As the Baby Boom generation gets older, there is a vast market to be milked for all its worth. Never mind health care. Big Insurance loses large amounts of money by no longer being able to disqualify pre-existing conditions. Huge amounts of money are now going to be lost for not charging women more than men for the same conditions. And freedom. Business does not want to be told how to run their companies, and how much to charge for their services. THEY WANT THEIR MONEY!!!

Catt R.
Catt R6 years ago


Catt R.
Catt R6 years ago

George G.... I hear and feel your heart breaking, I recognize that feeling. My best advice is to check with your congressional representative to help locate an advocacy group. Check also for veterans advocacy groups and go to local senior centers and gleaning associations for leads to advocacy groups. Your best help at this moment will be information and an advocacy group may know where the proper hoops that need jumped are hidden. Another place for leads could be the State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, (with their support I was able to go back and succeeded for another 6 years in full-time employment)..... they may not be able to offer direct services, but should be able to suggest other resources for you, they have dealt with resources for crisis in your area so they can save you a lot of research time.

Catt R.
Catt R6 years ago

Steve R...... in reality congress is NOT above this thing.... there is a provision in the ACA that states starting in 2014 congress, their staff, and their families get THE SAME healthcare coverage they deem adequate for the rest of us.... no more of them getting unlimited healthcare for life and never paying a cent--------- maybe THAT is why they want so badly to overturn it.
We have been saying all along that if they only got the same coverage they would work hard to fix the healthcare issue...... we were wrong, they are only fighting to take our healthcare away, and keep what they have now--- their care paid for by us.------ and this is the America you are fighting to save..... while you are telling those of us the GOP is stating should just die that you agree with their plan.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown6 years ago

I'm sorry I meant "teaching rather than practicing law." I am tired.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown6 years ago

Michael-That is so similar to my experience. I taught a class as an adjunct and immediately realized it was what I was meant to do. I have lost so much money by teaching rather than teaching but it is so much more rewarding. It is funny because I wanted to be a college history professor originally and let people (advisors, etc.) talk me out of it in favor of the more lucretive lawyer profession. I should have followed my heart in the first place. But now I teach with the Criminal Justice/Social Science Department at a very good community college (so I teach a lot of history) plus I am an adjunct at a four year college where I teach Criminal Justice courses.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown6 years ago

Hey Michael, sorry I must be tired not to get that you were playing along. I am still licensed to practice law although I am a college professor now. It is so much more challenging and enjoyable (which I am sure you know!)