As the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act came down Thursday morning, politicians in Illinois and across America began to release their responses. Below are some of their statements, culled from Twitter, email and phone interviews conducted by WBEZ.
"I gave (President Barack Obama) my advice. I told him many times, I said the political cost of doing this, and thank God, for the rest of the country, he didn't listen to me." -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
"We're going to do whatever we can to do to repeal this law, because as Governor Romney said, this law is terrible for America."
“I want to start over. I want to get rid of the whole thing. And then I want Republicans and Democrats to sit down and work on the things we all agree on, which are tort reform, expanding health savings accounts, letting Americans cross state lines to buy insurance. Look, Obamacare goes in the exact opposite direction.” -- Representative Joe Walsh (R-IL-8th)
“Today is a historic day when the Supreme Court declared that the Affordable Care Act and the health security it brings is the law of the land. With President Obama’s leadership, Congress enacted the most significant law in half a century. The law ends insurance industry abuses in the health system, improves Medicare and Medicaid for seniors and the disabled, and covers millions of uninsured Americans. Today, Republicans need to finally put to rest the relentless, partisan attacks against a landmark law that is already working to provide affordable, high-quality care....Today is a day for celebration. Tomorrow we will get back to work ensuring that every American can take advantage of the benefits of Obamacare and have access to affordable, comprehensive and high quality health care. ” -- Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
"While I respect the Court’s decision, the health care law threatens our economic recovery by raising taxes, imposing new regulations and creating a drag on the economy. Congress should repeal the health care law and replace it with common sense, centrist reforms that give Americans the right to buy insurance across state lines and expand coverage without raising taxes, while blocking the government from coming between patients and their doctors." -- Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL)
"I am pleased to see that the Supreme Court has validated the important benefits of this law and look forward to its full implementation #hcr" (Twitter)
“Today the United States Supreme Court told the American People that they do indeed have a right to quality health care. I am pleased that the most important part of the Affordable Care Act, the individual mandate that makes the entire program possible, has been ruled constitutional.
Now the fight begins to make sure that these benefits are not taken away. Please know that I will continue to fight in behalf of the residents of the First Congressional District and our nation." -- Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL)
“Unfortunately, the court’s ruling will have tragic consequences that will spread well beyond the issue of mandatory insurance and health care services. It will drive up health care costs and put yet another financial burden on our already struggling small businesses. We in Illinois will be exploring avenues available for implementing this sweeping law and still providing the greatest options and lowest cost for our families and businesses.” -- State Senator Bill Brady (R-IL)
“This decision means that we can move forward to address the unsustainable increase in health care costs and expand the protection of health insurance coverage to over 30 million Americans – including millions in Illinois.”
“Those who opposed any change in the law and dismissed the constitutionality of this measure were rejected by the actions of Congress and the opinion of the Chief Justice.”
“It is also noteworthy that after two controversial, activist decisions in Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, the Chief Justice, in both the Arizona immigration law and the Affordable Care Act cases, appears to be working to reestablish the political neutrality of this court. That is a positive development.” -- Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)
"Constitutionality should not be mistaken for good public policy. Although the Supreme Court today ruled that ObamaCare is constitutional, that does not change the fact that it will drive up the cost of health care, add to our already exploding debt and hurt job creation, including within our vibrant medical device manufacturing sector.
"Standing outside the Supreme Court in our Nation's Capitol today as the ruling was handed down I was reminded of the passion this legislation has ignited among an overwhelming and consistent majority of Hoosiers who have rejected ObamaCare from the very start.
"The stakes are too high. Our economy, our future, depends on us electing Mitt Romney this November." -- Indiana Republican Party State Chairman Eric Holcomb
“While this ruling speaks to the constitutionality of the ACA, the real question is whether the 2010 law makes for good public policy. The American people missed a golden opportunity with health care reform when Congress rushed it through on a partisan basis. I believe that properly confronting the big issues and challenges in this country requires input from both sides and bipartisan support. There are positive provisions in the ACA that should remain as law, but there is more we can do to increase quality and access to care, while reining in skyrocketing costs to the health care system. As health care reform continues to take shape, I am committed to working in a bipartisan way to find positive solutions to the rising costs of health care.” -- Representative Robert Dold (R-IL)
“I applaud today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act.
“In accordance with this historic ruling, the Cook County Health and Hospitals System will continue to seek a 1115 Medicaid Waiver from the work Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This waiver, if approved by the federal government, would permit CCHHS to receive federal reimbursement for the costs of treatment provided to the tens of thousands of our patients who currently have no medical coverage but will gain access to Medicaid on January 1, 2014.
“CCHHS is the foundation of the safety-net health network in northeastern Illinois. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court will allow our system to proactively prepare for Affordable Care Act implementation in 2014.” -- Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle
"There's still so much more that needs to be done but for most families this insures that them the rug is not going to be pulled out from underneath them." -- Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL)
“With or without the unpopular health mandate, the cost of care continues to rise, and it’s up to Republicans and Democrats alike to work across the aisle on solutions. I’m disappointed that the Court did not put a stop to the government overreach. But Washington still has a responsibility to fix polices that are raising costs, hurting job creation, siphoning millions from Medicare, and placing an added layer of bureaucracy between patients and their doctors.
“Under the Administration’s law, too many families will lose the plans they have, and small businesses are afraid to hire new employees. We should go back to work on effective, bipartisan reforms that Democrat leaders ignored, like Association Health Plans for small businesses, allowing consumers to buy insurance across state lines, and medical malpractice reform. At the same time, we can and should maintain coverage for pre-existing conditions and young adults under 26.” -- Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL)