Nevada Lawmakers React to 'Affordable Care Act' Decision
The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision today to uphold virtually all of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul means the hotly-debated plan can proceed, and affect the way countless Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care. It's also a campaign-season victory for Obama as the court rejected arguments that Congress went too far in approving the plan.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is once again vowing to repeal President Barack Obama's health care overhaul if he's elected in November. Polling suggests that most Americans oppose the law, but that most people wanted Congress and the president to find a new remedy if it were to be struck down. (AP)
Here are statements regarding the decision from several Nevada politicans:
Republican Governor Brian Sandoval-
"America is a nation of laws, and checks and balances. While I may not agree with the Supreme Court's decision in this case, I respect the process envisioned by our founding fathers. The implications for Medicaid costs are still unclear, but Nevada will prepare to meet the serious financial implications of this decision. I believe the Congress should act to reform this law and ease the serious burdens it places on the states and the nation's businesses. The American people remain deeply divided on the wisdom of this law and they are still entitled to see it changed."
Republican Nevada Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki-
"Today's Supreme Court decision to uphold President Obama's overbearing healthcare law means a future of higher costs and mediocre healthcare for the citizens of Nevada. It means a future where burdensome federal regulations hinder job growth and small businesses. And it means a future where struggling Nevada families will have to pay more in taxes to fund an inefficient system. As Governor Romney has said time and time again, no matter what happens in the Supreme Court, we must dedicate ourselves to repealing this law. He has promised to do just that, starting on day one of his administration. With Governor Romney's leadership, we can replace Obamacare with healthcare solutions that are specifically designed to improve and sustain Nevada's citizens as well as bolster our economy."
Democrat Senator Harry Reid-
I'm pleased to see the Supreme Court put the rule of law ahead of partisanship, and ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional.
Millions of Americans are already seeing the benefits of this law.
Seniors are saving money on their prescriptions and checkups.
Children can no longer be denied insurance because they have a preexisting condition, a protection that will soon extend to every American.
No longer will American families be a car accident or heart attack away from bankruptcy.
No longer will they live in fear of losing their health insurance because they lose their job.
No longer will tens of millions of Americans rely on emergency room care – or go without care entirely – because they have no insurance at all.
Soon, virtually every man, woman and child in America will have access to health insurance they can afford and the vital care they need.
Passing the Affordable Care Act was the greatest single step in generations toward ensuring access to affordable, quality healthcare for every American – regardless of where they live or how much money they make.
Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress continue to target the rights and benefits guaranteed under this law.
They would like to give the power of life and death back to insurance companies.
But the United States Supreme Court has spoken. This matter is settled.
No one thinks this law is perfect. But Democrats have proven we're willing to work with Republicans to improve the Affordable Care Act.
Millions of Americans are still struggling to find work. Our first priority must be to improve the economy.
It's time for Republicans to stop refighting yesterday's battles.
Now that this matter is settled, I hope we can work together to create jobs and secure this country's economic future.
Republican Senator Dean Heller-
"Nevada families and businesses are already struggling in this current economic environment, and the President's job-killing healthcare law is making a difficult situation worse. Congress spent more than a year debating healthcare legislation while Nevadans were losing their jobs and their homes. Obamacare made sweeping changes to Medicare, impacting thousands of Nevada's seniors, and cut the program by a half trillion dollars.
"This law has now been affirmed as a colossal tax increase on the middle class, and its excessive regulations are stripping businesses of the certainty they need to hire at a time when Nevadans and the rest of the country are desperate for jobs. The President should work with Congress to find real solutions to healthcare reform so the excessive mandates and taxes in this law do not further add to our national debt or continue to stifle economic growth. This onerous law needs to be repealed and replaced with market-based reforms that will provide greater access, affordability, and economic certainty to our nation," said Senator Dean Heller.
Republican Congressman Mark Amodei-
"Advocates for Washington-based management of health care and unprecedented tax increases on the middle class won today. However, I will continue to work for patient-centered solutions, reductions in health care costs, and improving health care access for all Nevadans.
"I look forward to the opportunity to vote the week of July 9 for full repeal of this harmful government intrusion into health care. Congress created this mess and it's our responsibility to clean it up. We owe it to the middle class to give them specific, well-thought out options focusing on portability of insurance across state lines and affordability, while not interfering with the patient-doctor relationship.
"This 2,700-page monster offends seniors, veterans, middle class families and employers. I will continue to take every opportunity to repeal and address this mess for Nevadans in a practical way without picking political winners and losers."
Nevada Assembly Speaker John Oceguera-
"Now that the Supreme Court has ruled, it's time that those in Washington moved on from trying to score political points instead of finding solutions. This decision doesn't change the reality that too many Nevada families and small businesses are struggling to pay for the rising costs of health care."
"One thing we know for sure, if Washington politicians don't stop the bickering and finger pointing and focus on what matters – creating jobs and getting our economy back on track – nothing will get done. This shouldn't be about politics – it should be about getting something done."
State Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford-
"I am happy with today's Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act. This law covers Nevadans with pre-existing conditions, makes sure women don't pay more than men for care, and allows Nevada seniors to save on prescription drugs. Now I hope the Republican Congress will stop playing political games and start working on getting our economy moving and creating jobs for Nevadans."
Nevada State Medical Association President Florence N. Jameson, M.D.-
"Today, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (PPACA) passed in 2010 is Constitutional. Unfortunately, major health care problems are not resolved by this law. The Congress and the President must continue to work to find an acceptable way to sustain Medicare for seniors and persons with disabilities and the Medicaid program for indigent and chronically ill children and seniors. Governor Bryan Sandoval and the Nevada legislature will have to determine the impact on Nevada Medicaid of the Supreme Court's decision, but it doesn't make the funding of the Medicaid program easier. It means that they must address again the often unfair way that health insurance coverage fails patients when they have the greatest need for medical care.
The hundreds of pages of PPACA regulations added to the thousands of pages of the law itself still leave many Nevadans uninsured and the underfunded State Medicaid program expecting a 60-70% increase in 2014. While physicians, hospitals and most health care providers are straining to comply with significant changes to the way they are required to practice, Medicare, the largest health care coverage system in the world, continues to flounder as physicians face a 32% reduction on payments for services to Medicare patients in January. In January, there will be 348,168 Nevadans on Medicare and 99,063 Nevadans on Tricare who face the consequences of the 32% cut in payments for their care. Nevada will lose an estimated $200 million for the care of senior and disabled patients in 2013. Every Nevada physician would expect to lose at least $33,000. Many of the 24,000 employees of physician practices may add to the State's unemployment rate.
The act on which the Supreme Court has ruled is only part of the major reforms to the health care system that Nevada physicians face. The Nevada State Medical Association is participating with and supports the State's efforts to implement the law through the creation of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, the new Health Information Exchange Board, and the Governor's Workforce Investment Board's Health Care Sector Council. Nevada physicians will continue to provide Nevadans the best quality care possible as we adopt these significant changes to the health care system."
National Federation of Independent Business-
"While we are certainly disappointed, NFIB respects the decision to uphold the individual mandate by the Supreme Court. Clearly this mandate has now become a tax on all Americans and a broken campaign promise from President Obama not to raise taxes," said Dan Danner, President and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business. "We are concerned about the precedent that this will set in Congress' ability to mandate other aspects of our lives, but we will move forward from today to continue to fight, harder than ever, for real health-care reform for our membership.
"Under PPACA, small-business owners are going to face an onslaught of taxes and mandates, resulting in job loss and closed businesses. We will continue to fight for the repeal of PPACA in the halls of Congress; only with PPACA's full repeal will Congress have the ability to go back to the drawing board to craft real reform that makes reducing costs a number one priority. The power and control of health-care decisions should be in the hands of the consumer, not the government."
"This day will go down in history as the day when Americans lost a part of their freedom – the freedom to choose what to buy with their own money." said Karen Harned, Executive Director of NFIB's Small Business Legal Center.
(The National Federation of Independent Business was named plaintiff in today's landmark decision in NFIB v. Sebelius.)
Tuesday, June 18 2013 12:40 AM EDT2013-06-18 04:40:59 GMT
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