How Arizona leaders are responding to the Supreme Court decision on the health care act?
Editor's Note: This article will be updated throughout the day.
Responses have started coming in regarding the Supreme Court's decision on Obama Care, also known as the Affordable Health Care Act.
Essentially, the Court has upheld the individual mandate as a tax. What that means is unclear at this moment. There are some minor portions that have been struck down. Evidently, the decision is almost as complicated as the bill itself.
This, of course, does not mean that there will be no more lawsuits regarding this bill.
Here is the text of the Supreme Court's Decision
Here are the responses we've received at this point:
"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."
"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 door for 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."
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX (June 28, 2012) – The Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, Andy Tobin (R-Dist. 1), reacts to the decision the U.S. Supreme Court announced this morning regarding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Reflecting on the high court's decision to uphold the individual mandate based on Congress' power to tax, Speaker Tobin said, "As former Chief Justice John Marshall once said, 'the power to tax involves the power to destroy'. If that is the case, President Obama will go down as having led the most economically destructive administration in American History."
Although the court decided to uphold the individual mandate, it did provide some potential relief to the states as seven Justices ruled the "Medicaid Expansion" provision to withhold existing Medicaid funds from non-compliant states as unconstitutional, characterizing the provision as "a gun to the head." However, the court offered no relief to taxpayers or businesses.
In further response to the ruling, Speaker Tobin stated, "Arizona's Republican leadership has led the legal battle to oppose Obamacare since it was first signed into law. The House Republican majority will continue to fight for the right to exercise Arizona's authority over its own budget and healthcare policies. We will also support our congressional representatives in their efforts to repeal and replace the ACA."
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl made the following statement today in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Obama’s health law:
"For over two years, the president’s health law has remained highly unpopular with the American people – particularly the mandate to purchase health insurance and other tax hikes. Because the Supreme Court did not strike down the most onerous provisions, it appears that the American people themselves will have to overturn the law by the choices they make in November’s election. We need to listen to the people to see what they would like; then, Congress can replace the flawed law with reforms that ensure Americans have health care that is affordable with a doctor of their choice and without increased taxes, mandates, and rationing.
"It hardly matters to the American citizens that the requirement to buy government defined insurance cannot be justified under the Commerce Clause if it can be justified as a ‘tax.’ Forcing people to buy something and penalizing those who do not with a ‘tax’ leaves citizens in the same position as if the mandate were justified under the Commerce Clause."
Sen. Jon Kyl is the Senate Republican Whip and serves on the Senate Finance and Judiciary committees. Visit his website at
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released the following statement on the Supreme Court's decision today on President Obama's health care bill:
"Today's decision by the Supreme Court is disappointing. Obamacare is unpopular with the American people because it puts Washington in control of our health care choices and does nothing to address the real problems in our system – most importantly the rapidly rising and unsustainable costs. In fact, Obamacare does the opposite, driving up the cost of health care and, as a result, impedes the economic recovery this country so badly needs. Congress should immediately begin the process of repealing Obamacare and replace it with common sense reforms that ensure all Americans can get the care they need at a price they can afford."
Congressman Gosar on Supreme Court Obamacare Ruling:
"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"
WASHINGTON, DC – 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."
The U.S. Supreme Court decision can be found here.
Congressman Paul Gosar, D.D.S. is a member of the GOP Doctor’s Caucus and has been a healthcare provider for over 25 years. Congressman Gosar has voted for the full repeal, partial repeal, or partial defunding of Obamacare 28 times.
Washington, D.C. - Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona’s Sixth District, today issued the following statement regarding the United States Supreme Court ruling to uphold Obamacare:
"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."
"Stopping Obamacare is now up to the American people. The Court's decision to uphold the mandate forcing Americans to purchase government-approved insurance based on its being a tax is disappointing to say the least, as it was sold to us expressly as NOT being a tax. In fact, this is the largest tax increase imposed on America in our nation's history. And it's only the beginning.
Now, the only way to save the country from ObamaCare's budget-busting government takeover of health care is to elect a President and Congress who understand the answer to rising health care costs is not, and never will be, bigger government and more government control.
ObamaCare is hurting the economy and must be repealed. Even though it has been held constitutional, it is still bad law. Healthcare costs continue to increase exponentially - despite the web of new government rules and regulations. It makes it harder for small businesses to hire workers and expand. It limits Americans' choice in healthcare and intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship and it creates trillions in new government spending we cannot afford, while slashing Medicare.
Only full repeal can end this damage and stop things from getting worse
America needs real health care reform, and that means repealing ObamaCare.
We should enact commonsense, step-by-step reforms based on the free market and not dictated by the government. We must protect Americans' access to the care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a lower cost. This is possible and Americans know it."
"Today's ruling by the Supreme Court doesn't change the fact that Obamacare continues to be one of the most damaging pieces of legislation ever passed by Congress. It is nothing more than a massive tax increase and spending time bomb that threatens our economy.
In Congress, I will work tirelessly to repeal every single word of this abomination."
EAST VALLEY - Matt Salmon, former Congressman and candidate for Arizona's 5th congressional district, today released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court's decision on ObamaCare:
"The Supreme Court's decision to uphold ObamaCare under taxing provisions is a major blow to hard-working Americans who do not want their taxes raised or the government controlling their health care plans. The longer that ObamaCare remains in place the more our deficit continues to grow and the more jobs that are lost. It is now more imperative that ever to elect proven conservatives to Congress who have the experience and courage to make the tough decisions, so we can fully repeal this flawed bill before it furthers harms our economy. Americans deserve a better and less costly solution than a flawed 2,700 page bill that was rushed through a Democrat-controlled Congress. Repealing ObamaCare will now be my top priority when I return to Congress."
Tempe – Travis Grantham, candidate for Congress in Arizona’s 9th Congressional District released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare.
“I am extremely disappointed that the United States Supreme Court ruled to uphold the individual mandate as a tax today in The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”
“This disastrous bill is anything but affordable and will only act as a burden on the American people. Never before has there been such an immense effort on the part of any American President to implement such a crippling law on America’s economy. This is a 2,700 page bill that was not read by anyone who voted in favor of this monstrosity. There are ways to solve the problems within our health insurance laws but never should these solutions share the same foundation upon which Socialist policies are derived from.”
“ObamaCare continues to be an economic burden for not only the United States but for all working families. We must work together to replace those in Washington D.C. who refuse to repeal ObamaCare in its entirety. If elected to Congress, I will make the repeal of this tax and the full repeal of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act my top priority. We must repeal ObamaCare before the crushing aspects of this bill take effect.”
Phoenix-based group has only lawsuit in the country challenging the law’s price-setting board
PHOENIX--Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the 2010 federal health care law’s individual mandate opens the door for legal challenges to other aspects of the law to move forward. The Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute will immediately move ahead with its lawsuit challenging the Independent Payment Advisory Board, the law’s price-setting board.
The Goldwater Institute’s challenge, Coons v. Geithner, is the only case in the country specifically aimed at the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a 15-person presidentially appointed panel that will set Medicare policy and health care payment rates without the possibility of judicial review or the right for patients to appeal its decisions. Coons v. Geithner has been on hold in federal court pending the outcome of the Supreme Court decision.
The Institute is challenging the Independent Payment Advisory Board under the separation of powers doctrine. Unlike any other federal commission, IPAB won’t have to follow the basic steps for adopting and enforcing administrative rules. The Board’s annual payment schedules and policy proposals can’t be examined by the courts and automatically will become law unless amended by Congress through a difficult and complex procedure. Finally, the Board has been made unrepealable by Congress expect for a two-week window in 2017. If Congress were to approve a repeal of the Board in 2017, following the complex process allowed in the health care law, that repeal automatically would be delayed until 2020.
"Protecting any new federal agency from being repealed by Congress appears to be unprecedented in the history of the United States," said Clint Bolick, vice president of litigation at the Goldwater Institute. "No possible reading of the Constitution supports the idea of an unelected, standalone federal board that’s untouchable by both Congress and the courts and we will pursue this challenge all the way back to the Supreme Court if necessary."
If IPAB is allowed to stand, Bolick said, then the idea of checks and balances between the branches of government means nothing.
To learn more about the Goldwater Institute’s work in this area, please visit http://goldwaterinstitute.org/article/coons-v-geithner-federal-health-care-lawsuit.
The Goldwater Institute protects America’s greatest inheritance – the liberty and economic freedom of the individual – by holding government accountable and standing up for regular taxpayers just like you. Learn more about the Goldwater Institute at www.goldwaterinstitute.org.
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