The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Thursday to uphold the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to by opponents as "Obamacare," sparking reactions from many North Texas individuals and organizations.
The following statements are reprinted directly from press releases or other written statements by the various organizations attributed.
Gov. Rick Perry released the following statement:
“This ruling will be a stomach punch to the American economy. It is a shocking disappointment to freedom-loving Americans desperate to get our country back on track. 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. 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.”
Attorney General Greg Abbott:
"Despite the outcome of this case, the federal government is more restrained than it was yesterday, and it's only because of (a) novel application of the facts that the court was able to conclude that Obamacare is a tax that Congress can impose ... This decision, in reality, marks a turning point in Constitutional history. ... The Supreme Court rebuked a runaway federal government that tried to hijack the Constitution."
U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas:
"The Supreme Court has declared the health care law constitutional, but that doesn't make it 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."
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas:
"The Supreme Court made clear today that the American people will be the ultimate judge of Obamacare. As Republicans, we will redouble our efforts to repeal this job-killing law."
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Rep. candidate for U.S. Senate:
"Obamacare has been a disaster since it was passed -- increasing America's tax burden to cover the out of control costs. Obamacare has further weakened our economy."
Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, Rep. candidate for U.S. Senate:
"This is a sad day for liberty. The Supreme Court has abdicated its responsibility to safeguard the Constitution, and it has rewritten Obamacare in an ill-advised attempt to save it."
Former Texas Rep. Paul Sadler, Dem candidate for U.S. Senate:
"The decision of the Supreme Court is a great victory for the citizens of this country who already have insurance, as well as those in need of health care."
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio:
"The Texas House will do its part during the next session by attempting to limit any negative impact the law might have on our state," Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio.
Dr. Dan Stultz, President, Texas Hospital Association:
"Texas hospitals recognize there are concerns with expanding the Medicaid population, but given the state's high number of uninsured, all options for gaining insurance coverage must be closely considered."
Doug Ulman, CEO, Lance Armstrong Foundation:
"Today, cancer survivors throughout the U.S. are celebrating. ... The Affordable Care Act's life-saving measures, so critical to cancer survivors and their families, will be preserved and we are enormously relieved that justice has prevailed."
Debbie Branson, Board Chair of Parkland Health and Hospital System, released the following statement:
“This is certainly a significant decision with a great deal of meaning for the population Parkland serves. It is now up to the Administration and Congress to determine how we move forward with full implementation of the act. We intend to work with our local Congressional delegation, as we have all along, offering our views on how best to serve both the indigent and insured communities of this area. With respect to Parkland specifically, we are continuing to work toward completion of the New Parkland Hospital, set to open in 2015.”
Bill Hammond, President and CEO of the Texas Association of Business said:
“It is disappointing that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, especially as it pertains to the individual mandate. The business community has always been very concerned about the cost of the law, the economic effect it will have on the country when fully implemented, and the effect on employees trying to navigate a complicated and confusing system. Unless Congress takes action to replace this plan with something that is more workable, we will see many jobs lost and many businesses that offer insurance to their employees now will drop that coverage. Congress shouldn’t be allowed to dictate the day to day lives of Americans and of business, and that’s what this ruling allows. There is still time for Congress to fix this before full implementation in 2014, and we will be working hard to make sure that happens.”
Arlene Wohlgemuth, Director of the Center for Health Care Policy for the Texas Public Policy Foundation said:
“The Supreme Court got one big thing right: the individual mandate is a de facto tax on every single American. The problem is that it’s a uniquely destructive tax for American households, American businesses, and the American economy. The extraordinary growth of federal power and the degradation of the American economy go hand in hand. Congress now needs to act quickly to repeal this law and take a new approach to health care reform. But this time, we need to fix health care the right way – with patient-centered reforms that emphasize the patient-doctor relationship and allow them to make more effective and economical health care choices with less interference from insurance companies or government.”
Texas AFL-CIO President Becky Moeller issued the following statement:
“Working families in Texas have cause for historic celebration today. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act provides new validation to a century-long movement to provide affordable access to decent health care for all Americans. The Affordable Care Act is by no means perfect, but it is a good-faith, compromise effort to address an explosion in health care costs that threatened to place basic health care needs out of the reach of ordinary workers. In Texas, the law has helped young workers struggling to find their place in our economy and retirees who might otherwise not be able to afford preventive care. It has improved or saved the lives of more than 4,000 Texans who otherwise would have run afoul of ‘pre-existing condition’ clauses preventing them from obtaining insurance. The political spin off today’s ruling is doing justice to whirling dervishes, but we prefer to focus on the historic nature of the Supreme Court’s decision. The individual mandate is a bipartisan idea, first proposed by Republicans. Democratic and Republican presidents starting with Teddy Roosevelt have attacked the problem of lack of access to health care. Legal experts will dissect the path to this decision for years to come. There can be no doubt that for millions of Texans, today’s decision opens a new era and marks a heightened recognition that when it comes to health care, we are all in this together.”
Additional reaction from local elected officials and others is expected throughout Thursday.