Supreme Court health care ruling - Bi-state political leaders react

11:43 AM, Jun 28, 2012   |    comments
(AP File)
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KSDK - NewsChannel 5 assembling statements and reaction from elected officials in Missouri and Illinois regarding the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act.

Gov. Jay Nixon (D-Missouri)
"We're just now beginning to review this ruling so that we can understand exactly what it means for Missouri. This ruling has significant complexities and implications for families, health care providers and insurers in our state. Here in Missouri, I'm committed to working collaboratively with citizens, businesses, medical providers and the legislature to move forward in a way that works best for families in our state."

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri)
"The three questions about the President's health care plan that have needed to be answered from day one are: Is it constitutional, is it a good idea, and can we afford it? The Court, in a 5-4 decision, answered the first question. The American people now will decide if the President's health care takeover is the right thing to do and whether we can afford it.

"In 2010, Missourians overwhelmingly rejected the individual mandate and sent a clear signal to Washington that Americans oppose ObamaCare. Elections matter, and this decision underscores the fact that we need new leadership in the White House and the Senate.

"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."

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Illinois)
"While I respect the Court's decision, the health care law threatens our economic recovery by raising taxes, imposing new regulations and creating a drag on the economy.

"Congress should repeal the health care law and replace it with common sense, centrist reforms that give Americans the right to buy insurance across state lines and expand coverage without raising taxes, while blocking the government from coming between patients and their doctors."

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois)
"In one of the most closely followed decisions in its history, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that President Obama's Affordable Care Act was clearly constitutional."

"This decision means that we can move forward to address the unsustainable increase in health care costs and expand the protection of health insurance coverage to over 30 million Americans - including millions in Illinois."

"Those who opposed any change in the law and dismissed the constitutionality of this measure were rejected by the actions of Congress and the opinion of the Chief Justice."

"It is also noteworthy that after two controversial, activist decisions in Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, the Chief Justice, in both the Arizona immigration law and the Affordable Care Act cases, appears to be working to reestablish the political neutrality of this court. That is a positive development."

Congressman Lacy Clay (D-Missouri, 1st District)
"I am extremely pleased by the Court's ruling that the health care reform law is constitutional. This is not a political triumph, but a victory for the American people. I was, and continue to be, a proud cosponsor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. I wholeheartedly believe in making quality health care available to and affordable for all Americans, and am encouraged that the Supreme Court agrees.

This ruling is significant. Insurance premiums will not increase, and health care costs for all of us will continue to be reined in. Most importantly, tens of millions of Americans will gain health insurance. That is the true victory.

This is also a big win for those who currently have health insurance. Individuals with pre-existing conditions will not face unaffordable premiums, and insurance companies will not be able decline to cover them. Parents will continue to be able to cover their children aged nineteen through twenty-six under their insurance plans. Seniors will not be forced to choose between paying for their prescription drugs - at astronomical prices - or buying food or heating their homes this winter.

I look forward to full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, when quality, affordable health care coverage will be available for all."

Congressman Todd Akin (R-Missouri, 2nd District)
"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."

Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-Missouri, 3rd District)
"Sixty years ago, President Harry S. Truman realized that to effectively grow as a nation, all Americans must have healthcare coverage," said Carnahan. "While changes to our healthcare law would be made, including the signing of Medicare with President Truman in attendance, his ultimate dream would be deferred for nine Administrations to follow. Two years ago, that dream came true and today, that dream is a full-fledged reality.

"I applaud the decision which echoes a majority of Americans who believe that healthcare coverage is both a right and a responsibility. Because of his courage and the hard work of President Obama, American families will be able to protect children with healthcare until they are able to buy coverage for themselves; insurance companies will continue writing checks to customers as a rebate for money not spent on patient care; 50 million Americans who were underinsured or uninsured will have an avenue to care, so they will not fear bankruptcy and ruin because of a simple cold or broken bone; seniors will face a diminishing donut hole in prescription drug coverage that will eventually disappear; doctors will continue examining the massive disparities in the way minorities are affected by some diseases and women will have free coverage for mammograms. Most importantly, Americans who simply want to buy insurance will never again be denied, simply because of a pre-existing condition.

"This is a great victory, not for the President or for any party, but for the American people and the dreams of people like President Harry S. Truman."

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R-Missouri)
The lieutenant governor said Affordable Care Act amounts to a monstrous tax on Americans, and he vowed to work toward its full repeal.

Lt. Governor Sheila Simon (D-Illinois)
"The Affordable Care Act is a good law. It helps seniors, young adults and middle class Americans receive stronger, more affordable care. It promotes preventive care, such as checkups and mammograms. And it prevents insurance companies from denying care to people with pre-existing conditions or charging women more based on their gender. The Supreme Court ruling today upholds these commonsense protections and puts our country on a healthier path. In Illinois, I encourage our state leaders to use this ruling as a backdrop as we set policies to make our citizens healthier, train the next generation of health care workers, grow local food systems and find other opportunities to move our state forward."

Missouri State Senator Scott Rupp (R-Wentzville)
"The Supreme Court ruling today is disappointing but also affirmed what we knew all along -- this is an enormous tax increase that will be felt by middle class and struggling Missourians. This tax will block job creation and further collapse our fragile debt-ridden economy. In Missouri I led the fight against Obama Care when I put Prop C, the Health Care Freedom Act on the ballot, and more importantly I stopped Governor Nixon from creating a health insurance exchange in our state which was the building blocks for socialized medicine. I will continue to fight against big government and I will always stand with the 70+% of Missourians that voted in favor of Prop C and against Obama Care. Elections matter and in November, the voters of Missouri will be the only court opinion that matters."

Missouri State Rep. Mary Still (D-Columbia)
"This decision means that college students and other young adults across the state have the option of remaining on their parent's health insurance while they transition into their first job. It also means transparent, more affordable health care options for all Missourians through a statewide health Insurance exchange."

Mayor Francis Slay (D- St. Louis City)
The United States Supreme Court has upheld most of the Affordable Care Act of 2010. This is great news for St. Louis and many of our residents. The decision means that students at Saint Louis University and Harris Stowe State University have the option of remaining on their parent's health insurance while they're in college and later transitioning to a job at a St. Louis-based employer. It means affordable and understandable options for thousands of St. Louisans who can afford it.

However, the Court's decision that states cannot be forced to increase Medicaid coverage means that our local health care safety net will be as important as ever. Over the last 10 years, our local partnership has increased the number of City and County residents with access to health care by about 30,000. We have increased the number of doctor visits by 120,000 per year. We are working right now to enroll more uninsured residents in the Gateway to Better Health Pilot Program.

If you live in St. Louis, do not have health insurance, and do not have the money to buy your own, please go to a neighborhood Federally Qualified Health Clinic to find out if you qualify. They are: Grace Hill Health Centers, Myrtle Hilliard Davis Comprehensive Health Care Centers, Family Care Health Centers or Betty Jean Kerr People's Health Centers.

KSDK

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