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UPDATE: Supreme Court Upholds "Obamacare": America Wins, Ken Cuccinelli Big-Time LOSER!

by: lowkell

Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 09:47:08 AM EDT


UPDATE 10:17 am: @SCOTUSblog says - "...entire ACA is upheld, with the exception that the federal government's power to terminate states' Medicaid funds..."

UPDATE 10:19 am: SCOTUSblog tweets: "From the Court: The mandate max be regarded as a tax. 'That is sufficient to sustain it.'" Also, "CJ Roberts' fifth #SCOTUS vote saved the #ACA" and "#SCOTUS upholds #ACA individual mandate."

UPDATE 10:24 am: ‏@AmandaMarcotte tweets: "Wait, it's 5-4? That means Kennedy broke to the right and Roberts to the left?" Yep, that seems to be what happened. Craaaaazy, did NOT expect that!

UPDATE 10:27 am: Shoq tweets, "BREAKING: Millions of Americans with serious pre-existing health conditions just exhaled."

UPDATE 10:28 am: According to SCOTUSblog, "The Court holds that the mandate violates the Commerce Clause, but that doesn't matter b/c there are five votes for the mandate to be constitutional under the taxing power." Also, "Justice Ginsburg makes clear that the vote is 5-4 on sustaining the mandate as a form of tax. Her opinion, for herself and Sotomayor, Breyer and Kagan, joins the key section of Roberts opinion on that point. She would go further and uphold the mandate under the Commerce Clause, which Roberts wouldn't. Her opinion on Commerce does not control."

UPDATE 10:29 am: According to SCOTUSblog, "In opening his statement in dissent, Kennedy says: 'In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.'"

UPDATE 10:31 am: ‏@SCOTUSblog tweets "Bottom line from #SCOTUS, Obama Administration wins. Challenge to #ACA fails."

UPDATE 10:33 am: According to SCOTUSblog, "In Plain English: The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn't comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding."

UPDATE 10:39 am: Here is the electronic version  (PDF) of the Supreme Court decision. Read it and weep, Kookinelli!!! LOL

UPDATE 10:43 am: By the way, I need to add that as much as I'm impressed (and pleasantly surprised!) with the overall ruling by the Roberts Court, I strongly disagree with Chief Justice Roberts' reasoning on the Commerce Clause. As do many leading conservative judges and scholars. Yet another reason to reelect President Obama, to hopefully replace a couple of the radical right-wing, confederalist justices (Scalia, in particular) with sane, sober constitutionalists.

UPDATE 10:52 am: Our fanatic, wildly misguided Attorney General calls the Supreme Court ruling "a dark day for the American people, the Constitution, and the rule of law...a dark day for American liberty." As usual, with Ken Kookinelli, take the EXACT OPPOSITE of what he says and it's very close to the truth.

UPDATE 10:55 am: Bob McDonnell says "Today's Supreme Court ruling is extremely disappointing for Virginia and for America." Uh, no.

lowkell :: UPDATE: Supreme Court Upholds "Obamacare": America Wins, Ken Cuccinelli Big-Time LOSER!

That's right, back in 2006 (ancient history, apparently), Willard "Mitt" Romney said:
With regards to the mandate, the individual responsibility program which I proposed, I was very pleased to see that the compromise from the two houses includes the personal responsibility principle, that is essential for bringing health care costs down for everyone, and for getting everybody the health insurance they deserve and need. So I was very pleased with that development.

So, remind me again why 6 years later, Romney and his fellow Teapublican'ts are suddenly against the individual mandate that they came up with, and which has been a cornerstone of their "personal responsibility" view of health care reform for decades?

Also, please feel free to use this as an open thread on the ExxonMobil/Koch Industries Supreme Court's@copy decision on the Affordable Care Act, including the conservative "individual mandate," around 10 am. The big question: will the Supreme Court definitely prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are a bunch of radical right-wing political activists in robes, or will they shock us and actually do their jobs? I'm guessing the former, how about you?

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A victory for making sure every American can see a doctor when he or she is sick (0.00 / 0)
We're a better country today than we were yesterday & makes me proud to be an American. Now about that carbon pollution ...

Read more at TheGreenMiles.com and follow me on Twitter

I'm kinda busy at work right now, but (0.00 / 0)
while I'm happy that the ACA was upheld (though I think the SupCt got to the right result for the wrong reason), I eagerly await more details of what I suspect will be a primal scream from Scalia, if Monday's performance was any indication.


FOX News Screams!!!!!!!!!!! (0.00 / 0)
Declares National Day of Mourning...

"A liberal is someone who believes in life before death." Henry Howell, July 1969

Also (4.00 / 2)
I don't know all the details, but I have to say I am impressed with CJ Roberts.

Again, I think the decision on the Commerce Clause is plainly wrong, but as a political matter, Roberts is showing a ton of political courage here. He will be vilified as a traitor and hated forever by the wing-nuts for this.


I agree with it. (4.00 / 1)
One, the mandate is a tax, so calling it that is fine by me.  Two, as far as a mandate to force you buy a private product, I don't agree with that via the Commerce Clause.  But, as a tax that will be spent as a subsidy for private insurance, that's ok.  

Personally, I would like to see Medicare expanded to everyone, and employer health benefits available either for a private plan or Medicare.  if you become unemployed, then you keep your Medicare and pay in to it from your own funds but it's subsidized, so cheaper than COBRA or getting a whole new plan as an individual, which is crazy expensive.

This is a good day.  


[ Parent ]
The thing (0.00 / 0)
That makes me agree with the mandate under commerce is that some hospitals are obligated to provide care regardless of ability to pay.  I keep seeing arguments about the government having the ability to force you to buy broccoli or TVs, but grocers and Best Buy aren't required to hand over their products if you don't have the money for them, hospitals are.

[ Parent ]
It's irrelevant now, but to be clear... (0.00 / 0)
Before today, under the law as it was, the mandate was clearly constitutional under the commerce clause. Insofar as the commerce clause is concerned, whether a law mandates or prohibits an activity is an utterly irrelevant distinction. The sole question is whether the law affects interstate commerce. If it does, then Congress has plenary power to legislate, which is a fancy way of saying it can do whatever it wants as long as it doesn't violate another part of the Constitution (i.e., violate free speech, religion, assembly, equal protection, due process, etc.).

So, that is why I say the Court reached the right decision for the wrong reason.

And BTW, to answer the ridiculous broccoli argument, i.e., if the government can force you to buy health insurance, it can force you to buy broccoli, the answer is a simple one: Yes, under the Constitution the government can do that. Both laws (before today) would have clearly been Constitutional. Whether such laws are or would be good ideas, or effective laws, is another question -- one for the Congress and President to address, not the Supreme Court.

But as for Constitutionality? It's not even a close question.

Of course, today's decision changed that. It will need a closer reading, but clearly five members of the Court have now ruled that the Commerce Clause does not allow mandates. Whether it will constitute binding precedent, given the holding in the case, is less clear to me.  


[ Parent ]
Republicans are trying to make lemonade out of that lemmon (0.00 / 0)
But IMHO, the idea of a mandate hasn't been touched vis-a-vis Commerce Clause.  I agree that if it affects interstate commerce, then the Federal government can control it.  I do not doubt that.  However, in this specific case, the Federal government was going to impose what amounts to an administrative penalty if you didn't buy a private policy from a private vendor.  That is the sole portion I have a problem with.

Congress clearly has the authority to run health care, under the Commerce Clause.  They don't have the authority to impose an administrative penalty on people who choose not to buy a product.  

It should have always been stated as a tax/penalty, since it will be enforced by the IRS.  I think it was needless wordsmithing and vocabulary gymnastics to avoid calling a tax a tax.  

Like I wrote on another board, if Republicans want to claim a victory in that the Federal government cannot force someone to buy broccoli, but can levy a tax and buy the broccoli for them, then it's a strange victory to claim.  

We pay FICA taxes.  We pay Medicare taxes.  We might pay an ACA tax.  I'm fine with all of that, since Social Security, Medicare and hopefully health care are federal programs partially paid for by the federal government.  To pay for them, taxes are levied.

Lets not be afraid to call a tax a tax, and advocate that the return investment on us paying that tax is worth it.  

Dems have been running from the word "tax" for over 30 years.  It's time to stop and start telling people that everyone benefits from federal programs which those taxes fund.  I don't think your average person is against taxes as much as the idea that they're not getting a return on their money.  Show them the return - in this case, lower health care costs for all, better health care for all, better economic output due to lower costs and better care, etc.


[ Parent ]
Not JSM -- (0.00 / 0)
You state: "Congress clearly has the authority to run health care, under the Commerce Clause.  They don't have the authority to impose an administrative penalty on people who choose not to buy a product."

The Constitution give Congress the power to do what is "necessary and proper," which generally means a plenary power to do whatever it thinks is required as long as it doesn't violate some other part of the Constitution.

What is your Constitutional basis for concluding that Congress doesn't "have the authority to impose an administrative penalty on people who choose not to buy a product?" You offer a conclusion, but do not explain it.

I understand why it feels different to you when Congress mandates an activity, as opposed to prohibiting an activity. Thanks to human nature, we often accept the government telling us what not to do, but seem to bristle when it requires us to do something -- I get that part -- and it is certainly politically advisable for Congress and the president to consider that when enacting a law, but as a constitutional matter there is no distinction.

 


[ Parent ]
How is the penalty for refusing to buy health insurance different from ... (0.00 / 0)
The uninsured driver "fee" charged to automobile owners who refuse to buy liability insurance ? The state law mandates that we buy automobile accident liability insurance, which is an insurance product not unlike a health insurance product - i.e., commerce. If a car owner refuses to buy the liability insurance product (commerce) that auto owner pays an uninsured motorist "fee" that goes into a fund pool that pays the cost of an accident caused by the uninsured motorist. That is commerce in one of its simplest forms. And the uninsured motorist's fee is also a form of taxation that collects the "fee" (tax) to cover the costs associated with refusal of the motorist to purchase the product called liability insurance.

So far as I'm aware, no state or federal court has ever ruled that the uninsured motorist law that mandates insurance and asseses a penalty (fee, tax, whatever you care to call it) is unconstitutional according to any state constitution or the U.S. Constitution.

I agree with Ginzburg's statement that the ACA passes constituional muster on both the commerce and the tax athority of the Congress.

               


[ Parent ]
One big point (0.00 / 0)
If you don't drive, it's an irrelevant mandate, since you don't have to pay the fee if you don't drive.  With this mandate, everyone would be forced to pay regardless if they ever walk into a doctor's office again.  It's a tax.

If you want to call it a tax, then great.  I pay my property taxes, but I've never called the police or fire company, I don't have kids in school, and I rarely go to a county park.  But I gladly pay the tax because it's for the common good and I will use some of those things at some point or another in my life.  

Just like Roe v. Wade, I think they should have argued that on the 1st amendment, since opposition to abortion is mostly a religious belief shared by a specific subset of religions.  Roe v. Wade was won, and it was great, but not calling a spade a spade back when it was working it's way through the courts was maybe the wrong way to do it.

If you ask me, today, Roberts did everyone a favor by calling a spade a spade and saying that Congress can tax you for health care.  It's simple, it's the truth.  


[ Parent ]
Actually (0.00 / 0)
You pay the fee upon registration of your vehicle.  It doesn't matter whether you ever drive the car, as long as you have it registered in Virginia it has to be insured or you pay the fee (or a fine for lying about it.)  

I guess you could think of the mandate the same way then.  If you want to keep your body in the U.S. you have to insure it, otherwise you'll pay the fee.


[ Parent ]
Actually (0.00 / 0)
The fact that it's the IRS that levies the "fee" pretty much sums it up as a tax.

[ Parent ]
It's my opinion guy (0.00 / 0)
I actually agree a bit with the blowhard Scalia here.  If the government determines that broccoli is good for you and everyone needs to eat broccoli, and if I don't go over to Giant and buy some, the IRS will dock my pay a buck a week until I provide proof that I'm buying my broccoli.  It's a "WTF?" if you ask me.  I've always thought the mandate was hinky.  

But, as a tax, I like it.  I'm one of the people who wanted a lot more than what ACA provides, but I think it's a good starting point.    


[ Parent ]
But that is my point exactly (0.00 / 0)
I deal with the broccoli issue in my initial comment, but people keep bringing up this argument.

If the government orders you to buy broccoli, it would indeed be a WTF moment. It would be an idiotic law. For those (and other) reasons, the government would never do it.

But if the Congress passed that law as "necessary and proposer" to its regulation of the interstate broccoli market, it would undoubtedly be Constitutional.

Just because a law is stupid doesn't mean it's not Constitutional.


[ Parent ]
ProgressVA statement: "Virginia families are celebrating this morning" (0.00 / 0)
ProgressVA Statement on Supreme Court Decision to Uphold Affordable Care Act

This morning the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of President Obama's health care reform legislation. ProgressVA released the following statement from Executive Director Anna Scholl:

"Virginia families are celebrating this morning that the Supreme Court followed precedent and upheld the Affordable Care Act. Now that there are no doubts about the constitutionality of the law, Virginia families can rest assured that important rules that put us, not insurance company CEOs, back in charge of our health care decisions are here to stay. Now it's time for Governor McDonnell, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to stop dragging their heels and move forward with implementing the entire Affordable Care Act here in Virginia."



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Rep. Jim Moran: Now we need to fight Republican attempts to repeal ACA (0.00 / 0)
Moran Statement on Supreme Court Ruling to Uphold Affordable Care Act

Washington, DC - Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, released the following statement after the Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act as constitutional.

"Today the Supreme Court reaffirmed what Democrats and President Obama have known for two years; the Affordable Care Act stands on firm constitutional grounds.

"People across the country are already benefiting from reforms in the Affordable Care Act, including 6.6 million young people who can stay on their parents' insurance, 105 million Americans who no longer have a lifetime limit on their coverage, and 5.3 million seniors in the 'donut hole' who have saved $3.7 billion on their prescription drugs.

"Though today's ruling provides assurance as the Administration phases in life-saving reforms including a ban on insurance companies denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions, Republicans in Congress will undoubtedly continue their efforts to dismantle critical provisions of the Affordable Care Act. We must continue fighting these efforts in the House of Representatives to repeal ACA.

"Passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2009 represented a giant leap forward to not only make our health care system work better for Americans of any age, race, gender, or income level, but to rescue our economy from the suffocating grip of spiraling health care costs. We spend nearly 18 percent of our entire economy on health care - twice what every other industrialized nation pays. The Affordable Care Act will reduce our deficit while improving access to, and the quality of, care for all Americans.

"Washington has been struggling to deliver meaningful health care reform for more than six decades. Today's ruling means the United States can finally see its way closer to delivering on that promise for all Americans."



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John Douglass statement (0.00 / 0)
Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the people's will to reform our health insurance system, if elected, I will work in Congress to continue improving the the current law to help companies and people gain access to affordable, quality care. That's what forming a more perfect union is all about - economic growth that comes from helping Virginia families.


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Full statement by Ken Kookinelli (0.00 / 0)
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli released the following initial statement on the U.S. Supreme Courts decision Thursday to uphold President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act:

"This is a dark day for the American people, the Constitution, and the rule of law.  This is a dark day for American liberty.

"This decision goes against the very principle that America has a federal government of limited powers; a principle that the Founding Fathers clearly wrote into the Constitution, the supreme law of the land.  The Constitution was meant to restrict the power of government precisely for the purpose of protecting your liberty and mine from the overreaching hand of the federal government.

"This unprecedented decision says that Congress has the authority to force citizens to buy private goods or face fines - a power it has never had in American history, and a power King George III and Parliament didn't have over us when we were mere subjects of Great Britain.  Since the federal government itself could never articulate to the court a constitutional limit to this power, Congress has gained an unlimited power to force citizens to buy anything.

"I am disappointed with the court's ruling and with the unprecedented attack on American liberty the president and the previous Congress have created with this law.

"We are currently reading the decision and I will have more comment at the news conference at noon."



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You know (0.00 / 0)
Republicans really need to bone up on the Civil War to find out the definitive answer on federalism vs. state's rights.

[ Parent ]
On second thought... (0.00 / 0)


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[ Parent ]
Full statement by George Felix Allen (0.00 / 0)
"While disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision on President Obama's health care law, I believe it reinforces what is truly at stake during this pivotal election.  This November the American people have an opportunity to choose new leadership in Washington who will listen to their voices and repeal this costly, harmful government health care law.

"My opponent believes this health care law is a 'great achievement,' but I believe it's an infringement on individual liberty and free enterprise.  As I have traveled throughout Virginia, I have heard from families, small business owners and seniors seriously concerned about the harmful impact of this health care law and how it is increasing costs, discouraging businesses from hiring, and trespassing on religious freedom.

"I want to be the deciding vote to repeal this health care law. Virginians and Americans would be better served by reforms that deliver on the promise of reducing costs, increasing access to quality care, and put people - not government - in control of their health care. We need health care reforms that provide Americans with affordable, portable, and personal market-based health care solutions including Health Savings Accounts. I also support allowing small businesses to join together across State lines in larger risk pools for lower insurance costs and more competition and greater choice.  And the States should be allowed the flexibility to manage Medicaid more smartly and efficiently

"Virginia has proven that historic reforms can be achieved if leaders are willing to work together.  As Governor, I worked with a Democrat-controlled legislature to pass major reforms including welfare reform, abolition of parole and Standards of Learning - now Washington needs the leadership and political will to achieve real health care reform."



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Science Denying Neanderthal Morgan Griffith "extremely disappointed" (0.00 / 0)
His statement is here. Note that basically every word he says is a lie, distortion, or Faux "News"-style talking point. This guy needs to be voted out ASAP!
I'm extremely disappointed by this decision. This law and the process in which it was drafted represent abject failures for our health care system and our country. It is no secret that our economy is chained down by this law. I was hoping that the Supreme Court would take the decisive first step to unshackle the country, but sadly they did not. Instead, nearly every person in the country will now face a new 'tax' if they don't want to comply with this law.

In line with the dissenting justices, I still think that this law is an unprecedented overreach of federal power. This overreach jeopardizes the stature of our health care system, places an extraordinary burden on our businesses and job creators, and leaves treatment in a state of limbo thanks to the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).

Two years ago, our health care system was infinitely changed. The legislative process to bring forth that change was atrocious. The final bill was disastrous. And today's verdict is depressing. I will continue advocating for commonsense policies until America finally achieves real health care reform. Now the only path to stop Obamacare is at the ballot box. The rule of law and our Republic suffered a huge blow today, but our spirit is not crushed and we the people will ultimately overcome it.



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Eric Can'tor weighs in (0.00 / 0)
and says, hysterically (of course):
The Supreme Court's decision to uphold ObamaCare is a crushing blow to patients throughout the country. ObamaCare has failed to keep the President's basic promise of allowing those who like their health care to keep it, while increasing costs and reducing access to quality care for patients. In this tough economy, jobs and economic growth are on the minds of most Americans, but ObamaCare has increased uncertainty for small businessmen and women and forced them to put their hiring decisions on hold.

During the week of July 9th, the House will once again repeal ObamaCare, clearing the way for patient-centered reforms that lower costs and increase choice. We support an approach that offers simpler, more affordable and more accessible health care that allows people to keep the health care that they like.

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.



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Commonwealth Institute: "Today's decision is a victory for Virginians." (0.00 / 0)
Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act  

Statement from The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis

RICHMOND, VA - -"Today's decision is a victory for Virginians. The Affordable Care Act will protect Virginians from insurance companies' most egregious practices, provide affordable health insurance coverage for hundreds of thousands of Virginians, and begin to bring rising health care costs under control. Virginia policymakers should move quickly to fully implement the Affordable Care Act in Virginia," says John McInerney, Health Policy Director for the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis.

There is little time to waste. Virginia must prepare to launch a new, state-level marketplace where small businesses and individuals can buy quality and affordable health insurance, called an exchange.  The state must gain federal approval for its exchange by January 2013.  The state must also prepare to enroll hundreds of thousands of newly eligible Virginians in Medicaid beginning in January 2014.  

The good news is that Virginia is well-positioned to meet these challenges. The Virginia Health Reform Initiative issued recommendations last year on how Virginia can best establish and run its exchange and the state has begun work on the information technology systems improvements necessary to support Medicaid's expansion.

Now, the General Assembly and the Governor must work constructively together to authorize this new marketplace to ensure that quality, affordable health insurance is available to more small businesses and families in our state.  

This will require only modest state resources. Millions of dollars in federal funding will pay for state implementation of the exchange.  The federal government will fully fund the Medicaid expansion for the first three years, and will continue to pay the vast majority of its costs in the years that follow.  

In addition, health reform has already helped thousands of Virginia consumers:

63,000 young adults have gained health insurance by staying on their parents plan up to age 26.

Virginia's seniors have saved an average of $600 per beneficiary on Medicare prescription drugs.

Community Health Centers in Virginia have received an additional $48 million in federal funding to treat many people without insurance and people with Medicaid.
Virginians no longer have to worry that their insurance company will cut off their benefits through practices known as "lifetime limits" and "recissions" if they need expensive medical care.

When the new health care law is fully in place in 2014:  
450,000 or more individuals and small business workers in Virginia will begin enrolling in private health insurance through a new health insurance marketplace called the Exchange.  

An additional 400,000 or more low-income Virginians will begin to sign up for Medicaid, which will cover all adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $26,000 for a family of three.  

Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage to any Virginian based on a "pre-existing condition" like cancer or diabetes.  (Right now, that part of the Affordable Care Act applies only to children.)  



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Sen. Mark Herring: Disappointed but not surprised by Cuccinelli's "over-the-top response" (0.00 / 0)
HERRING STATEMENT ON AFFORDABLE CARE ACT RULING

Leesburg - State Senator Mark Herring (D - Loudoun & Fairfax) released this statement following the ruling of the United States Supreme Court affirming the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

"The Affordable Care Act was designed to expand access to quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.  Millions of Americans will no longer need to live in fear that insurance companies will deny them coverage if they have a pre-existing condition. Young people can stay on their parent's insurance plans until age 26 and seniors will receive free preventative healthcare benefits.

I am disappointed but not surprised by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's over-the-top response claiming that this is a dark day for America.  He has wasted Virginia resources advancing a political agenda that the Chief Justice John Roberts and the Supreme Court has rejected. For Ken it is a dark day, but for Virginia families that can now rest easy knowing that the healthcare coverage they so desperately need won't be taken away, it is a good day indeed.

While this isn't a perfect plan, I applaud Chief Justice Roberts and the Supreme Court for affirming the constitutionality of President Obama's signature legislative achievement: healthcare reform. As a member of Virginia's Health Reform Initiative, and a member of the Senate Commerce and Labor Subcommittee on Health Exchanges, I look forward to working with the Governor, the Attorney General and my colleagues in the General Assembly to implement this law in the best possible way so that our citizens will receive the maximum benefit of healthcare reform."



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Fairfax Dems Chair: "We commend the Supreme Court" (0.00 / 0)
"We commend the Supreme Court for rising above partisan argument and making a finding under the rule of law," commented Cesar del Aguila, chair of the Fairfax Democrats.  "This Act gives the American people the security of knowing that they have access to affordable, quality care that they might not otherwise have."

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Perriello deserves credit (4.00 / 1)
for voting for the Affordable Care Act what seems now to be long, long ago.  It was, IMO, the main reason he lost his re-election bid in 2010.  He helped change the landscape for those of us with pre-existing conditions who couldn't get health insurance. So, I'd like to thank Tom again for that vote!

And though I never thought I'd say it, I have to recognize Chief Justice John Roberts for his willingness to do what is right: follow the rule of law, and not what the political.  He'll pay dearly for this among the Republicans and tea partiers.  


Perriello (0.00 / 0)
Agreed. Tom deserves kudos. He has always impressed me as a person of great character. I look forward to seeing him returning to public services again.  

"A liberal is someone who believes in life before death." Henry Howell, July 1969

[ Parent ]
Tom Perriello sent out this email (0.00 / 0)
Friends,

It has been awhile since I have written to you, but today's victory deserves a moment of reflection and I wanted to thank all those who made it possible.

Today's victory at the Supreme Court belongs to all of us.

The dream of universal, affordable health care has cleared its final hurdle, and every one of you owns a piece of that history. Today the American people won, and the US Constitution once again survived the attacks of Confederationists.

Because of you, 30 million Americans will have access to health insurance and lower premiums.

Because of you, small businesses and individuals will be able to get the same low rates as bigger companies.

Because of you, we renewed the promise of Medicare for our seniors, and helped make preventative care free and prescription drugs affordable.

Because of you, young people trying to enter the workforce or pick up a degree can stay on their parents insurance.

Because of you, being a woman is no longer considered a pre-existing condition. They cannot be charged as much as 45% more for the same insurance, and plans must cover contraception and pre and postnatal care.

Because of you, we have given power back to patients and doctors -- instead of health insurance companies -- to make your health care decisions.

Because of you, I got the chance to be one of the deciding votes to pass this historic legislation.

As you may know, I am still fighting for affordable health care, energy independence, and economic fairness, now as President of Center for American Progress Action. We are fighting every day for an economy that works for all Americans, and not just the few, for a democracy that represents all Americans and not just the few. I am going to keep bringing the lessons I learned from the people of Central and Southside Virginia into the great challenges our nation faces today. You can keep following my work day-to-day and give me feedback on Twitter as we fight to revive the American Dream for a new generation.

Because of you, millions of Americans will wake up tomorrow with the shroud of uncertainty lifted. Only with your support could a democratically elected Congress and president come forward to solve one of the greatest challenges of our time. And a deeply conservative Supreme Court Justice put defending the Constitution ahead of partisan gain.

Take a moment to enjoy today's news. This is why we fought so hard. Together.

Yours in the fight for fairness,

Tom

He gives all of us credit, that's the kind of guy he is.  But he's the one who had to cast the vote.


[ Parent ]
"Together we can" was the theme Corey Riley used when he ran for the ... (0.00 / 0)
Gainesville District Supervisor seat against the entrenched incumbent Stirrup. Four years later, Stirrup decided not to run for re-election on the flawed assumption that he'd easily win the GOP nomination for the new 13th Senate district and win the general election in a cakewalk, only to discover that a super-wing nut from Loudoun County (Dick Black) had support Stirrup could not muster. It's unfortunate that the "good Corey's" timing was one PWC BOCS election cycle too early, but Corey Riley's campaign theme will be a theme we will quote for decades: "Together we can", and Tom P. so aptly reminds us we all accomplished this seemingly impossible goal "TOGETHER". Together we can and together we did.

Together, we do the difficult quickly and easily; the impossible sometimes takes a little longer.

                          T.C.                      


[ Parent ]
Rep. Gerry Connolly: John Roberts protected "some vestige of integrity for the Court " (0.00 / 0)
Statement of Congressman Gerry Connolly
on Supreme Court Upholding Affordable Care Act

The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate is a victory for all 311 million Americans.

The Court's decision means 1.3 million Virginians with pre-existing health conditions, 140,000 of them in the 11th Congressional District, will never again risk denial of health insurance coverage.  It means that more than one-quarter million small businesses across the nation, and nearly 600 such businesses in the 11th District, will receive tax credits to cover 35 percent of the cost of purchasing insurance for their employees.

The ruling means more than 837,000 Virginians receiving Medicare - seniors and the disabled - including 56,000 of them in the 11th District, will receive free preventative services including colonoscopies and mammograms.  It means nearly 3 million Virginians, more than 330,000 in the 11th District, with cancer or other chronic conditions will never again have to worry about arbitrary annual or lifetime limits on coverage.  And it means that young adults will be able to remain on their parents' health insurance policies until age 26.

I applaud Chief Justice Roberts for protecting some vestige of integrity for the Court by writing the majority opinion.  He broke with his ideological brethren on the Court, ignored the partisan rancor, upheld the Constitution, and cast the historic deciding vote to preserve quality health care for current and future generations of Americans.  Chief Justice Roberts has guaranteed his place in history books as a jurist who, in this instance, put the law above politics.

With today's decision, we can move forward to rein in a health care costs that were on a non-sustainable trajectory.
However, I am troubled by the Court's decision to weaken the Medicaid expansion provisions.  It could set a dangerous precedent with respect to the ability of the federal government to use leverage in all kinds of endeavors, including education, transportation, and the environment.

And I am concerned that the Court fractured for the first time on what had been for more than 150 years a clear consensus on the broad powers granted Congress in the Commerce Clause.  This could profoundly alter the balance among branches of government, the relationship between the federal government and the states, and the Constitutional prerogative of Congress enshrined in the Constitution.

But these are issues to be fought some day in the future.  For today, we can take comfort in the Court's willingness to protect the American public's access to quality health care.



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2nd CD Dem candidate Paul Hirschbiel statement (0.00 / 0)
Now that the court has ruled, it's time that we turn our focus to the future.  Too many Virginia families are still struggling to get affordable quality health care and too many American small businesses are being held back by the high cost. We deserve leaders who will work across the aisle to build on reforms that have been made and improve them to ensure health care is more affordable for the middle class and small businesses.


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Bill Bolling statement (0.00 / 0)
I am very disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the constitutionality of Obamacare.  It was my belief that the President and Congress overstepped their constitutional authority in requiring American citizens to purchase a product like health insurance, and I am disappointed that the Supreme Court reached a different conclusion.  However, the court's decision does not change the fact that Obamacare is bad policy.  Obamacare is too costly and we cannot afford it.  In addition, Obamacare increases the cost of doing business and makes it harder for American businesses to hire workers.  Finally, Obamacare limits American's health care choices and intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship.

Now, it is up to the American people to stop Obamacare.  We can do that in November by electing Mitt Romney President of the United States, electing George Allen to the United States Senate, and reelecting our Republican majority in the House of Representatives.  President Romney and a Republican Congress will act to repeal Obamacare and replace it with more responsible, market based health care reforms."



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Rep. Bobby Scott statement: "a win for Americans across the country" (0.00 / 0)
I am pleased that today's U.S. Supreme Court decision leaves intact nearly all of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, most importantly the "individual mandate."  This law is a milestone towards expanding affordable health coverage to all Americans, regardless of age, income, or preexisting condition.  Young Americans can continue to stay on their parent's polices until they are twenty-six, seniors will not be pushed back into the 'donut-hole', and health insurance companies will not be able to put a lifetime limit on your health coverage.

This is a win for Americans across the country.  While the debate over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act has been divisive, as we begin seeing more of the provisions come into effect, more Americans will realize how important this law is and how it helps them, their families, and their neighbors.

Due to the Affordable Care Act, 7,200 young adults in my district now have health insurance.  In addition, 6,000 seniors in my district are currently receiving prescription drug discounts worth a total of $3.5 million, an average discount of $580 per senior.  The law banned insurance companies from establishing lifetime coverage limits for 200,000 residents.  These are all forward-thinking and necessary reforms.  The United States currently spends more money on health care than any industrialized nation; it is imperative that we continue to improve the quality of the health care that we provide in this country.

The legal challenges have focused primarily on the "individual mandate" provision.   During the past 2 years, I have maintained that this "mandate" is in fact simply a tax measure.   This is the same differential that occurs when someone receives a tax credit for having a solar panel - those with a solar panel get a tax credit and pay slightly lower taxes than those without.  This is not a "mandate" to get a solar panel.  The so-called "individual mandate" is the equivalent of not receiving a tax credit for having insurance.  If you carry insurance, you will pay less in taxes.  If you don't have insurance, your tax liability will slightly increase.  Today, the Supreme Court, using the same logic, ruled that this tax measure is constitutional.  If, on the other hand, the Court had ruled it unconstitutional, the same logic would have put Social Security and Medicare in jeopardy.  

I will continue to fight efforts to repeal this legislation, which provides access to affordable health coverage not only to those in Virginia's 3rd Congressional District, but to all Americans.



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Mark Warner statement (0.00 / 0)
I am pleased the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of health reform.

I have always felt the Affordable Care Act was weighted more toward the issue of coverage and not enough toward cost containment.

I look forward to now moving forward in a bipartisan way on how we can further bring down the costs of health care.  We must focus the health care system more on outcomes than simply on the volume of services provided.



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Why doesn't Warner just admit he's a DINO ?! (4.00 / 1)
If he thinks the ACA is weighted too much toatd "the issue of coverage", he should give up his taxpayer-funded government health care beneifts and sign a pledge he will never accept Medicare,then refuse to pay the Medicare tax and see if the IRS will confiscate his income. This DINO is looking more and more vulnerable to being primaried out of ofice and has surely losy what little support he had for another run for the presidency in 2016. If Warner actually had a healthy care cost reduction plan, or even a basic idea, he would have already presented it to the Senate committee by now.

He is just using this great and surprising win for the American people in general and for Obama in particular to make the case (should I say it ?) for Romney to consider him as his VP running mate. Just joking on that last comment, and that is an example of very sick humor. At least Warner has now has zero chance of winning the Dem. nomination for Gov. in 2013, not that I think he would run and give up his position of power in the Senate.

It will be very interesting to see the next poll relating to Warner's popularity in Virginia. I'm betting it will drop a few points, maybe a lot of points among strong-D voters.


[ Parent ]
Video: Bob Goodlatte Says Keep Wasting Time Obsessively Trying to Repeal Health Care (0.00 / 0)

This is about as misguided and laughable as you can get. As always, instead of working with President Obama to invest our nation's future, help get us out of the economic mess that was largely the result of Republican Party policies, and get the deficit under control (again, mostly caused by Republican tax-cut-for-rich-people-and-spend-like-mad policies), Republican'ts like Bob BADlatte are wasting everyone's time and taxpayer money with witchhunts against Eric Holder, and a Captain Ahab-level obsession with repealing "Obamacare," which is almost identical to "Romneycare" and to their own 1993 alternative to "Hillarycare." Are these people nuts, stupid, evil, or all of the above? You decide.

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Video: Mark Warner Says It's "Game Over," Time to Move On to Getting Stuff Done (0.00 / 0)

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The purpose of Blue Virginia is to cover Virginia politics from a progressive and Democratic perspective. This is a group blog and a community blog. We invite everyone to comment here, but please be aware that profanity, personal attacks, bigotry, insults, rudeness, frequent unsupported or off-point statements, "trolling" (NOTE: that includes outright lies, whether about climate science, or what other people said, or whatever), and "troll ratings abuse" (e.g., "troll" rating someone simply because you disagree with their argument) are not permitted and, if continued, will lead to banning. For more on trolling, see the Daily Kos FAQs. Also note that diaries may be deleted if they do not contain at least 2 solid paragraphs of original text; if not, please use the comments section of a relevant diary. For more on writing diaries, click here. Thanks, and enjoy!

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