Reactions to the healthcare decision, from around New Mexico
Posted at: 06/28/2012 11:22 AM
| Updated at: 06/28/2012 3:42 PM
By: KOB.com staff
Reactions are coming in to the Supreme Court's decision Thursday to uphold President Obama's Affordable Care Act. Here is a sampling:
Congressman Steve Pearce, R-NM:
“I have long believed that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2011 was an unconstitutional overreach by the President. ObamaCare is a violation of our individual rights and an expansion of federal government power our nation’s founders would have found unfathomable. “The Supreme Court, which has the responsibility of interpreting the law, found this overreach acceptable as a tax. While I do not agree, I respect its authority to make this interpretation. “Since day one, the Obama Administration has denied that his law was a tax on the American people. Yet, the Obama Administration will claim victory, when all this law does is assess a greater financial burden on hardworking American families and small business owners. “ObamaCare puts government bureaucrats between patients and their doctors, hurts small businesses and creates trillions in new government spending that will add a huge new weight to our already overloaded deficit. “We need to get back to work on repealing this ‘tax’ and reforming our healthcare system. These reforms must be focused on protecting patient access to the care they need from the doctor they choose.”
U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman, D-NM:
“I think this is a very good ruling for New Mexico. For New Mexicans who have insurance, this law will help keep health care costs from spiraling out of control because there will be more Americans in the insurance pool. And for New Mexicans who do not have insurance, this law offers affordable coverage to them,” Bingaman said. “This law presents us with a great opportunity to strengthen the health delivery system in our state, and in doing so create good jobs in the medical profession,” he said. “I hope New Mexico moves quickly to prepare for the law’s full implementation in 2014, so that New Mexicans can take every advantage of it.”
New Mexico Voices for Children Executive Director Veronica C. Garcia:
“We are pleased that the Affordable Care Act has been upheld in its entirety. New Mexico’s children and families will continue to benefit from the ACA. “Several provisions that have gone into effect over the past two years have already improved access to health care for New Mexico’s children. Pre-existing conditions like asthma or diabetes can no longer make a child ineligible for coverage; young adults are now able to stay on their parent’s insurance plans until they are 26; and 75,000 children have benefitted from expanded access to preventive health care. “The ACA is also good for New Mexico’s economy—creating hundreds of millions of dollars of economic activity and creating tens of thousands of jobs in the health care sector and beyond in the next several years. New revenues to the state will more than offset what New Mexico will invest to expand our Medicaid program. “The Court’s decision means that New Mexico must move forward in creating the Exchange that will assist individuals, families, and businesses in finding health plans that are right for them. We look forward to working with the Governor, the Legislature, health care providers, and other stakeholders to make access to health care a reality for every child and family.”
U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-NM:
"When Congress and President Obama first took up this issue, we knew it wouldn't be easy. The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is the best possible outcome for the American people. Today, quality, affordable health care is a major step closer to becoming a reality for millions of Americans who live one accident or diagnosis away from losing everything. For these families, health care is an economic matter with the very real consequences of life, death and bankruptcy. As a nation, and across New Mexico, we cannot afford to go back to just a short time ago when insurance coverage for all was further from reach, when children with cancer could be denied coverage, and when unemployed, recent college graduates would be kicked off their parents' insurance by age 22. "We can still improve upon the law we've put into place, but today, New Mexico has already received more than $200 million in grants and loans to establish an insurance exchange, strengthen community health centers, train new health professionals and so much more. Since passing the law, more than 26,000 young adults under 26-years-old in our state have been allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance plans. Almost 20,000 New Mexico seniors on Medicare received a rebate to help cover prescription costs when they hit the donut hole in 2010. And 285,000 New Mexicans with private health insurance no longer have to pay a deductible or copayment for preventive care like physicals, cancer screenings and vaccinations. More is yet to come. "Today's decision marks another turning point in our country's approach to health care equality. Now’s the time to put aside partisanship and work together to make our health care policy even stronger."
Congressional candidate Janice Arnold-Jones, R-NM:
"I am disappointed the Supreme Court did not rule in favor of completely overturning the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The politicians assured us that ObamaCare was not a tax. President Obama assured us the Individual Mandate was not a tax. The Supreme Court plainly ruled that the individual mandate IS a TAX. Over 46% of Americans pay no taxes. This means the 1.7 Trillion in costs will be paid for on the backs of the middle class. States can opt out of ObamaCare Medicaid and this jeopardizes health care coverage for the poor. This historic policy blunder limits the choices of the American consumer, penalizes small business and those who work and continues this administration’s massive government overreach and leaching of our freedom. In the middle of this controversy, the debt and deficit crisis remains unaddressed and this country continues to operate without a budget. All of this KILLS JOBS. Excessive over taxation, fees and regulations added to trillions of dollars in spending is not a solution. We want our citizens to be at the center of their own health care answers. When did this “one-size-fits-all” government policy ever meet individual needs and choices? The call is for real leadership and common sense immediately. When I am elected to Congress, I will work to repeal this bad law and replace it with a health care plan that places the American consumer at the center their own health care decisions."
U.S Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Martin Heinrich, D-NM:
“The Supreme Court has spoken, declaring the Affordable Care Act constitutional. This decision means New Mexicans will continue to benefit from expanded access to quality, affordable health care. “Now it’s time to move on to the major economic problems facing our country. Our focus needs to be on creating jobs and getting our economy back on track. The finger-pointing needs to end and Washington needs to get its priorities straight by cutting waste and ending the Bush tax breaks for millionaires and companies that outsource jobs, so we can focus on job creation and strengthening Social Security and Medicare."
U.S. Senate Candidate Heather Wilson, R-NM
“The health care act is the very symbol of what’s wrong with Washington: It grows the size of government, kills jobs, raises taxes and makes Washington more involved in our lives,” Heather Wilson said. “The court has said that Congress has the power to tax and spend; the people have the power to change the Congress so that we can create jobs and grow our economy in freedom. The right thing to do is repeal and replace the health care act. After today’s decision, the only way to do that is to elect more independent leaders we can trust who will do whatever it takes to make Washington work and get things done for New Mexico.”
Congressman Ben Ray Luján, D-NM:
“For too long, families and small businesses in New Mexico have seen their health care costs skyrocket as they continue to pay more and receive less. The ranks of the uninsured grew while insurance companies continued to deny or drop coverage for those who needed it most. That is why President Obama and Democrats in Congress took action to pass health insurance reform that ends the insurance companies’ worst abuses, expands coverage, and takes steps to bring down costs for hard-working New Mexicans. “Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the law is an important victory for the people of New Mexico. Young adults will be able to remain on their parents’ insurance plan, those with pre-existing conditions will be assured that they will have health insurance, and seniors will continue to pay less for prescription drugs and receive free preventive care. “It is now abundantly clear that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and that the people of New Mexico will continue to benefit from its many important provisions.”
Congressional candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-NM:
“This is a victory for New Mexico families because insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to people with asthma, cancer or heart disease, or force women to pay more for health care,” Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “This is a good first step toward reforming our broken health care system. “However, there is still work to be done. When I get to Congress I will work to require health insurance companies to put patients before profits. We must control health care costs, improve quality and train more health care workers.”