In many ways, the U.S. Supreme Court shocked the nation when Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal bloc in today’s ruling that largely upholds President Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act. Seal Beach, Rossmoor and Los Alamitos representatives in Congress and the state Legislature were quick to react today. Not surprisingly, they responses were divided along party lines.
U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) called on voters to head to the polls in November to elect a president who will repeal the act.
“Two years ago, President Obama and the Democrats shoved a disastrous health care bill down the throats of the American people creating an even bigger mess of our health care system. The Supreme Court has spoken and left the job of cleaning up that mess to the Congress,” said Rohrabacher. “It’s now time for the American people to speak out and reject the job-killing, massive tax-increasing, government takeover of health care that is ObamaCare by electing a president and representatives willing to fully repeal and replace this monstrosity.”
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) had equally strong feelings about the ruling.
“We will continue to fight Republican efforts to repeal these important health benefits while we work to make sure every American has access to quality, affordable health care,” she vowed.
“The decision is great news for the millions of Californians who have already seen the benefits of this law – including the 6 million who now have access to free preventive health services, 355,000 young adults who now have coverage on their parents’ health plans and 320,000 seniors who have received help in paying for their prescription drugs,” she said in a written statement. “Now Americans will have the certainty of knowing they won’t be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Women won’t be charged a higher premium because of their gender. And families struggling with serious illnesses will not face lifetime limits on coverage.”
For his part, Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) announced plans to chip away at the act legislatively.
"Today’s disappointing ruling means it is now on Congress to reform the most egregious aspects of this law. In its current form the president’s health care law is bad news for patients, doctors and small businesses. This law fails to deliver the reforms needed to fix the health care system, while creating a massive new entitlement program. The $2 trillion price tag (and rising) is 'paid for' by taxpayers (who will see more than half a trillion in new taxes) and seniors (who will see $500 billion in cuts from Medicare), as well as by adding to the deficit,” said Royce. “The president’s health care bill, one of the most intrusive bills this nation has ever seen, was a huge step toward a Washington-controlled health care system that rations care, limits choice, and reduces quality, innovation and competition.”
Local representatives at the state level focused on the ruling’s impact on California.
State Sen. Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach), vice chairman of the Senate Health Committee, cautioned that the state must focus on fiscal responsibility in implementing the act.
“The court has ruled, so our duty now is to implement the ACA responsibly and cautiously. I look forward to working with my colleagues to do just that. Anything we do must be examined through the prism of affordability – which could be a challenge in this legislature. My concern is that the court’s ruling will be seen as a green light by some to expand beyond what the federal law requires. California can’t afford to do that. Just yesterday the Democrats moved 880,000 poor children currently enrolled in the popular and successful Healthy Families Program (HFP) into the problem plagued Medi-Cal program to 'save money.' There is no pot of gold at the end of this rainbow and there are many challenges facing the state that need to be addressed as well as health care.”
Assemblyman Jim Silva (R-Huntington Beach), a member of the Assembly Committee on Health, expressed his disappointment in the ruling.
“I am extremely disappointed in the court’s ruling,” said Silva. “This decision and the reasoning behind it leave Congress with virtually limitless authority to tax any action or inaction a person chooses to take. This is a direct assault on freedom.”