“It is a shocking disappointment to freedom-loving Americans desperate to get our country back on track,” he said.
“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,” he said.
“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,” he said.
Despite strong opposition from the state’s Republicans leaders, however, Texas has met deadlines for some of the law’s requirements, such as implementing a tobacco cessation benefit for pregnant women on Medicaid.
And at least 5,700 Texans are participating in a federally mandated insurance plan for those with pre-existing conditions, though the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is running that program instead of the state.
Texas, however, has not implemented an online health insurance marketplace.
WASHINGTON (June 28, 2012)--In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday upheld the individual insurance requirement at the heart of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, but Republican leaders in Austin and Washington immediately vowed to work to repeal and replace the measure.
The court on Thursday handed Mr. Obama a campaign-season victory in rejecting arguments that Congress went too far in requiring most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty.
The court also let stand provisions barring lifetime caps on benefits, prohibiting denial of coverage to children younger than 19 because of preexisting conditions, and allowing parents to keep children on their policies until the age of 26.
The court found problems with the law's expansion of Medicaid, but said the expansion could proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold the entire Medicaid allotment to states if they don't take part in the extension.
The ruling came from the court’s four liberal justices joined by Chief Justice John Roberts.
The four dissenting justices, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, issued a joint statement that said, "The act before us here exceeds federal power both in mandating the purchase of health insurance and in denying non-consenting states all Medicaid funding."
Kennedy, speaking in court, summarized the dissent by saying, "In our view, the act before us is invalid in its entirety."
The decision is a crucial election-year victory for the president and also marks a pivotal point in the presidential race.
For Mr. Obama, the ruling vindicated his most significant legislative accomplishment.
“The highest Court in the land has now spoken," Mr. Obama said Thursday.
"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 re-fight the political battles of two years ago, or go back to the way things were,” Mr. Obama said.
“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,” he said.
Republican challenger Mitt Romney opposes the health care overhaul and is expected to double-down on his campaign pledge to repeal the law if he is elected.
He called the decision incorrect and said Thursday that it is "bad law."
He said it raises taxes and cuts Medicare.
Romney says that, if elected in November, he will work to repeal and replace the law, but he hasn't said precisely how.
"Our mission is clear, if we want to get rid of Obamacare we're going to have to replace President Obama,” he said Thursday.
“My mission is to make sure we do exactly that. And we return to the American people the privilege they always had to live their lives the way they feel most appropriate.”
As governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed into law a measure that required all state residents to have health coverage, a notion that served as the cornerstone of the president’s law.
Texas Republican lawmakers immediately vowed to step up efforts to repeal the law.
”As Republicans, we will redouble our efforts to repeal this job-killing law, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said.
“We must replace it with reforms that expand access and enhance care without adding trillions of dollars to the national debt and inserting Washington bureaucrats between Americans and their doctors,” he said.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, said the court’s ruling doesn’t mean the law is good policy.
“In fact, the majority said it was not ruling on fairness or wisdom of health care policy, but instead on the power of Congress to levy taxes,” she said.
“The court’s ruling confirms the president’s health care law is nothing more than a massive tax on the American people,” she said.
U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, said two “grave issues” are now at stake, the health care system and individual freedoms.
“This decision means that in the court’s opinion, there are no longer any limits on what individual actions the government can force us to undertake,” he said.
He said the House must move quickly to repeal, defund and replace the law “with commonsense health care reforms that increase coverage and lower costs.”
Carter said he favors increased federal funding of state high-risk pools to guarantee affordable coverage to those with pre-existing conditions; interstate health insurance to allow families to buy plans online at lower cost, allowing children to remain on family policies until they’re 26, and medical malpractice reforms.
U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, called the ruling disappointing and said he has voted 30 times to repeal, dismantle or defund the law.
“Congress must continue to work to fully repeal Obamacare and to facilitate reform of our health care system with the objectives of increasing healthcare access, lowering costs, and improving the stability of this important segment of our economy,” he said.
"We will be diligent and we will focus on private-sector solutions with inputs from patients, health care providers and health insurance providers. Americans deserve common-sense health care reforms that increase access to affordable, high quality care which strengthens the doctor-patient relationship and which gives American consumers a say in their health care.”
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement that the law is hurting the economy by increasing health care costs and making it difficult for small businesses to hire and said the ruling demands repeal of the entire law.
Boehner said Americans want a common-sense approach to health care and said Republicans are ready to work with a president who's willing to listen to the people and "will not repeat the mistakes that gave our country 'Obamacare.'"
Veteran Republican campaign adviser Terry Holt says, "Obama might have his law, but the GOP has a cause."
He said the decision will rally Republican support for an appeal of what Holt says "could well be called the largest tax increase in American history."
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was pleased by the ruling and said it’s time for Congress to move on to other business.
Reid said no one believes the law is perfect, but said Democrats have shown they'll work with Republicans to improve it.
He said passing the law is the single greatest step in generations to ensuring affordable health care for people in the United States.
Stocks of hospital companies moved sharply higher on initial reports that the Supreme Court upheld the individual insurance requirement.
Drug makers, biotech companies, hospitals and insurers likely will get additional customers because of the mandate, which is expected to bring coverage to about 30 million more Americans.
Medical device makers, meanwhile, will be hit with a sizable tax on their sales imposed under the overhaul law, without expectations of boosting sales sharply.
Dr. James Rohack, M.D., the director of the Center for Healthcare Policy at Scott & White Healthcare, issued a statement after the ruling Thursday in which he said, “Our experience tells us that access to timely, affordable health care especially primary care can lead to better outcomes at lower costs, will provide patients a better quality of life and can close gaps in health disparities.”
“Experience with our Scott & White Health Plan over the last 30 years also has taught us that premiums are more affordable when the healthy are part of the insurance pool. The PPACA individual requirement to purchase health insurance is a way to ensure the healthy are part of the insurance pool leading to premium affordability,” he said.
“Among the issues that we believe still need to be addressed: long-term costs of Medicare and Medicaid programs and improving access to primary and preventive care,” he said.