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SCOTUS upholds health-care law

Jun 28, 2012 3:00 pm
On Thu. June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the individual health-insurance mandate that is at the heart of President Obama’s landmark health-care law, saying the mandate is permissible under Congress’s taxing authority. “Whatever the politics, today’s decision was a victory for people all over this country,” Mr. Obama said in the East Room of the White House, immediately after the decision was announced. “Thanks to today’s decision, all of these benefits and protections will continue.” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. sided with the majority in voting to uphold the law. Passage of the legislation by Congress in 2010 capped decades of efforts to implement a national program of health care. The legislation is expected to eventually extend health-care coverage to more than 30 million Americans who currently lack it. Republicans in Congress and GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney have vowed to try and repeal the measure after the November elections. Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Local politicians made the following statements:

Rep. Chris Gibson, NY-20 (and running for NY-19) (R-Kinderhook): “When I ran for Congress in 2010, I heard time and time again from my constituents across New York that we need health care reform, but that the President’s health care bill was not the answer. In addition to multiple tax increases, failing to address rising costs, harming small businesses, and significantly increasing government involvement in health care, this bill stepped on our freedoms," Gibson said. "I respect that the Supreme Court has spoken, and the solution now must be legislative. We should begin substantive, bipartisan discussion on commonsense reforms – a number of which I have cosponsored or voted on already.”

Julian Schreibman (D-Stone Ridge), candidate for NY-19: “I am hopeful that the Supreme Court’s ruling will get Congress to stop bickering and start working together to build on the current laws and improve health care for all Americans. Like most Upstate New Yorkers I support covering children with pre-existing conditions and stopping insurance companies from dropping your coverage if you get sick. And I believe that it doesn’t matter what party you belong to, we can all come together to support seniors having their benefits strengthened and guaranteed.”

Wendy Long (R-Manhattan), candidate for U.S. Senate: "Although I have yet to read fully all the opinions in this complicated ruling, I respectfully disagree that Obamacare's individual mandate is justified as a tax. But now that the Court majority has called it a ‘tax,’ as New York's next United States Senator, I will work to repeal this tax and replace it with a sensible plan to improve health insurance coverage for all Americans."

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-Brunswick): "I am pleased the Supreme Court reaffirmed the hard fought progress that was made to ensure that no one can be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing condition, young adults will be covered, prescription drug costs for seniors will be reduced, preventive care including life-saving mammograms will be accessible and that insurance companies can’t cancel their coverage when you get sick."
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