Congress reacts to health care ruling

J. Scott Applewhite/AP
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: "In passing health reform, we made history for our nation and progress for the American people.  We completed the unfinished business of our society and strengthened the character of our country.  We ensured health care would be a right for all, not a privilege for the few.  Today, the Supreme Court affirmed our progress and protected that right, securing a future of health and economic security for the middle class and for every American."

House Speaker John Boehner: "The president's health care law is hurting our economy by driving up health costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire.  Today's ruling underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety.  What Americans want is a common-sense, step-by-step approach to health care reform that will protect Americans' access to the care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a lower cost.  Republicans stand ready to work with a president who will listen to the people and will not repeat the mistakes that gave our country ObamaCare."

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor: "The Court's decision brings into focus the choice the American people have about the direction of our country. The President and his party believe in massive government intrusions that increase costs and take decisions away from patients. In contrast, Republicans believe in patient-centered, affordable care where health care decisions are made by patients, their families and their doctors, not by the federal government."

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer:"Our highest court has weighed in, and its decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a victory for all Americans who have ever worried about being able to access or afford the care they need.  Democrats are proud to have worked hard to pass this landmark legislation in 2010 and of our efforts to make sure it is implemented in a way that continues to yield new benefits for patients, employers, and care providers."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: "I'm happy, I'm pleased to see the Supreme Court put the rule of law ahead of partisanship."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: "Today's decision makes one thing clear: Congress must act to repeal this misguided law...The bill was sold to the American people on a deception."

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., a key architect of the law: "This is a win for millions of American families, small businesses, and seniors who are getting more affordable health care, tax cuts, and protections from insurance company abuses thanks to this law.  Now it's time to put politics aside. We need to move forward and find ways to work together to put America back on track."

House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price: "Today's ruling by the Supreme Court has set a dangerous precedent by allowing this administration to continue pursuing its unbridled effort to erode personal freedom and undo the principles upon which this country was founded... President Obama's health care law trumps personal health care choices in exchange for a more powerful Washington.  It will force American citizens to endure diminished quality of care, increased insurance costs, health care rationing and excessive taxation brought on by an overzealous Washington bureaucracy.  We have no choice but to exercise every possible legislative option to repeal this disastrous law, and the American people should know that House Republicans will continue to advocate on their behalf to restore personal control over health care decisions."

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio: "While the Court has deemed the law constitutional as a tax on the American people, it is still flawed policy that is unaffordable for our families, our small businesses, and our government.  The President's one-size-fits-all health care spending law is the centerpiece of a failed agenda that has increased economic uncertainty, stalled job creation, and deepened the spending hole that Washington has dug."

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.: "Today's decision creates a clear path forward. We must now focus on how to best deliver affordable, high-quality health care for every American."

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.: "This decision preserves not only the health care law, but also the Supreme Court's position as an institution above politics. Just as Speaker Boehner vowed not to spike the football if the law was overturned, Republicans should not carry on out of pique now that the law has been upheld. Democrats remain willing to cooperate on potential improvements to the law, but now that all three branches of government have ratified this law, the time for quarreling over its validity is over. Congress must now return its full-time focus to the issue that matters most to the public, and that is jobs."

Rep. Ben Quayle, R-Ariz.: "Unfortunately, the Supreme Court's decision will not put a stop to the gross abuse of federal power that we have seen so often from the Obama Administration, but we must not give up in our efforts to protect our constitutional rights from government overreach...This decision by no means spells defeat."

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah: "Today's decision makes it all the more important--and likely--that the Affordable Care Act will be repealed after the elections this November.  It is essential that members of Congress, as the people's elected representatives, act to protect individual liberty.  When we look back at today's decision in the coming months and years, I believe it may ultimately be regarded not as a victory for the Affordable Care Act but instead as a recognition and validation of federalism, limited government, and the freedoms protected by our constitutional structure."

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.: "Unlike the president I believe that the Supreme Court has spoken and now they've said they're deferring to Congress and Congress needs to deal with whether personal freedom is going to include a mandate to do things. And whether by congressional action we can take back that mandate which we think is un-American."

Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif.: "Today's ruling makes clear what many of us have said all along - the flawed healthcare law represents one of the largest tax increases in American history. As our economy continues to struggle, we need to be reducing the tax burden on small businesses and working families, not increasing it."
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