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Thu June 28, 2012
Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act: State Leaders React
US Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul of Kentucky were quick to respond to the Supreme Court ruling upholding President Obama's health care overhaul. Speaking on the Senate floor this morning, republican minority leader McConnell said Congress must act to repeal what called this misguided law.
"Today's decision does nothing to diminish the fact that Obamacare's mandates, tax hikes, and Medicare cuts should be repealed and replaced with common sense reforms that lower costs and that the American people actually want," says McConnell.
Senator McConnell has pledged to make repeal of the health care law the first vote next year if Republicans are elected to the Senate majority in 2013. Senator Rand Paul says he thinks the decision is wrong, and has also pledged to fight the law until it is repealed. He says,
“Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional. While the court may have erroneously come to the conclusion that the law is allowable, it certainly does nothing to make this mandate or government takeover of our health care right.”
Senator Paul has been an outspoken opponent of the legislation since it was first introduced. Congressman Ed Whitfield, a senior members of the House Subcommittee on Health, released the following statement on today’s ruling on the legislation:
“Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that President Obama’s healthcare reform legislation is Constitutional in its approach, it is up to the Congress to repeal it. I voted against this law, I since voted to repeal it, and I voted to prevent funding for its implementation. I will vote again to repeal it.”
Kentucky has laid the groundwork for a statewide insurance exchange, but Governor Beshear has been waiting for the Supreme Court to rule before moving forward on it. About 640,000 Commonwealth residents are uninsured.
In Tennesee, Republican Governor Bill Haslam once again denounced the Affordable Care Act, saying:
"My primary issues with ObamaCare are that it takes away the flexibility for states to encourage healthy behavior, will cost Tennessee hundreds of millions of dollars, and does nothing to solve the crisis of the cost of health care in America."
Tennessee also has pieces of healthcare exchange in place, but residents will have to wait for the legislature to return next January to complete it. Uninsured Tennesseans account for about 15% of the states population, or about 930,000 individuals.