The Supreme Court has upheld the individual insurance requirement at the heart of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
The court on Thursday handed Obama a campaign-season victory in rejecting arguments that Congress went too far in requiring most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare:
“What’s important to remember is that what the Court rules on is whether something is constitutional or not, not whether it’s a good idea. And while the Court has said that the law is constitutional, it remains a bad idea for our economy, and I hope that in the fall we will have a majority here that will not just repeal this law, but replace it with real solutions that will insure more people and cost a lot less money."
Gov. Rick Scott called the decision "disappointing."
"The tax question was repeatedly refuted by members of Congress who helped pass this health care takeover. The Justices have declared that the central provision of ObamaCare is a judicially mandated tax. A new tax pure and simple. This is just another burden the federal government has put on American families and small businesses," Scott said in a statement released Thursday afternoon. "With the national economy struggling to recover, now is not the time to implement a massive social program that injects nothing but uncertainty and doubt into our economic system. By doing so, they have put up yet another major roadblock to efforts to get people back to work and forced the government into the important relationship between patients and their doctors. I stand with Justice Kennedy that the entire act should have been held invalid."
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida, released a statement saying she plans to continue to work to repeal the health care measure.
"While I strongly disagree with the court’s judgment, today’s decision exemplifies why we are a system of checks and balances. Our work is not finished, however," she said. "The court’s ruling underscores the critical role Congress must play by repealing ObamaCare. America’s healthcare system should empower individuals and families instead of Washington bureaucrats. This ruling imposes a new huge tax on America’s already struggling families and this is unacceptable to those of us who believe that our money should stay in our pockets and not sent to Washington. I have already voted 30 times in Congress to defund, fully repeal or do away with parts of ObamaCare and I will vote that way again in the House on Wednesday, July 11th."
U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Florida, called the decision "a huge tax increase on the American people." He, too, said he would work to repeal the health care law.
"The President’s healthcare bill, which was written behind closed doors, dramatically increases taxes, fees, and the cost of healthcare for all Americans," Diaz-Balart said in his statement. "Obamacare was supposed to lower the price of healthcare. Instead, it has done the exact opposite -- the price of healthcare has skyrocketed. With the individual mandate, President Obama is slamming the American people with a burdensome new tax. It has also been a major factor in the sluggish growth of our economy and anemic job creation."
Another Republican congressman from Florida, David Rivera, also said the measure should be repealed.
"The job-killing health care law places a heavy burden on job creators and American families. The law imposes new taxes on the American people, wildly grows federal spending and impedes hiring -- things we can ill-afford as our national debt nears $16 trillion and the unemployment rate has been at eight percent or more for 40 consecutive months," he said in a statement released Thursday afternoon. "This irresponsible bill imposes onerous costs and regulations on small businesses, guts benefits for seniors and the disabled and leaves future generations holding the bag."
In response to the decision to uphold Obamacare, the Republican National Committee launched "PeopleVObamaCare.com," a website that "provides information for the American people so they can continue to fight for free market health care solutions that will decrease costs and increase care."
Meanwhile, South Florida Democratic lawmakers expressed approval of the Supreme Court's decision.
"As a breast cancer survivor and one of 129 million Americans with a pre-existing condition, I am overjoyed that the Supreme Court upheld the right of every American to have access to quality, affordable health care insurance," said U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in a statement Thursday. "The Affordable Care Act has made it possible for Americans to be proactive about their wellness by taking advantage of important preventive services like birth control, mammograms, and colonoscopies free of co-pays and deductibles. It is wonderful news that the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of this landmark law, and I reaffirm my commitment to working to find innovative solutions that keep us on track toward full implementation of the Affordable Care Act so we can ensure affordable, accessible, quality health care for all Americans."
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, said the law is "needed."
"A lot of us feel the health-care law wasn't perfect. But it was needed. Our system was broken and we had to do something. Insurance companies were refusing to cover people or dropping those who got sick. So, we passed legislation to prevent insurers from running roughshod over people. And today, the Supreme Court upheld most of these reforms. Now, I think it's time we finish the job of fixing our economy and creating more jobs," Nelson's statement said.
U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, released a statement saying the Court's ruling "is a real victory for the American people."
"This decision upholds the principle that all Americans should have access to affordable, quality health care," he said. "I have always advocated for access to universal health care with a public option. With the Affordable Care Act, we have taken a huge step towards putting patients and their doctors, rather than big insurance companies, in charge of an individual’s health care decisions. While I am pleased that this important legislation was upheld by the Supreme Court, there is still work to be done. I hope that my Republican colleagues will now do their part and end their partisan attacks by putting the interests of Americans' health care needs first."
U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Florida, also called the decision "a huge victory for the people of District 17 and al across the country."
"Because of this ruling, everyone in South Florida will benefit from critical patient protections, $1 trillion in savings over the next two decades, better coverage for families -- including preventive care to keep people healthy -- and greater accountability for the insurance industry."
Another Democrat, U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, said the Affordable Care Act's beginning phases have already "yielded tremendous benefits to Floridians and Americans nationwide."
"With the law upheld, it is time we get to work implementing all of its provisions and finally expand coverage to 30 million uninsured Americans and reduce health care costs for all of our businesses, workers, families and seniors," Deutch's statement said. "In Florida especially, it is time for Governor Rick Scott to stop pretending the Affordable Care Act does not exist, and finally begin helping Floridians access the many critical benefits provided by this law.”