Affordable Care Act Stands
Texans respond to Supreme Court ruling
By Richard Whittaker,
12:31PM, Thu. Jun. 28, 2012
The Republican Party dragged the Affordable Care Act to the US Supreme Court, sure that the conservative-leaning would throw it out. And now they are slackjawed as the highest court in the land supported Obamacare in a five-four decision.
The Texas Democratic Party was, unsurprisingly, jubilant. Citing the 7.5 million Texans who no longer face lifetime limits, the 221,100 Texas seniors no longer struggling with copays, and the 420,300 children with pre-existing conditions that can no longer be denied coverage (plus the 248,700 small businesses in Texas now eligible for a tax credit), the party wrote:
“Today’s Supreme Court decision is a victory for Texans. The health care law is the only lifeline for many Texans and Americans who had nowhere to turn when they got sick. Women can celebrate that their gender is no longer considered a pre-existing condition. Texans can have the peace of mind that they won’t be shoved off their policies when they need it most.
"Republicans like Rick Perry railed against the health care law but never offered a plan that would help save lives. Instead Texas Republicans put government between a woman and her doctor and ended preventive care for thousands of Texas women.
"It’s time for Republicans to drop their frivolous lawsuits and move forward to implement the law in a way that will benefit most Texans.”
Rep. Dawnna Dukes was one of the first Austin Democrats to issue a statement on the ruling this morning
"The Supreme Court has done the right thing in ensuring that all Texans have access to the health care coverage they need and deserve. This is a victory for all Americans. Unfortunately, in Texas, we experience the highest percentage of residents without health insurance coverage at 24.6%. The Affordable Care Act will prevent children from being denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, lower drug costs for seniors and allow students and young adults to stay on their parents’ plan."
Dukes also sent this direct message to Texas' statewide leadership.
"Now that the Affordable Care Act has been deemed Constitutional, it's time for Governor Rick Perry to put in motion plans to make certain that Texas is in full compliance with the law. There is no reason to further delay fulfilling all the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including establishing a health insurance exchange and expanding the Medicaid program to give over six million Texans without insurance healthcare coverage at affordable prices."
Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, knows something about being the subject of GOP ire, and he had this to say:
“This is a significant victory for every family and small business denied insurance or overcharged or mistreated by an insurer. And it is a victory for seniors who gain better Medicare coverage. Now we must continue our struggle to overcome the naysayers and obstructionists to assure each family has access to a family doctor.”
Over in San Antonio, ranking Texas Senate Democrat Sen. Leticia Van de Putte wrote:
"I'm extremely pleased that the Affordable Care Act, which has already benefited so many Texans, will continue to bring care to people who otherwise would not have health insurance," said Sen. Van de Putte. "Today, 32 million have the promise of healthcare, including 9 million Latinos and 6 million Texans.
"As a pharmacist, I swear an oath that reads, I will consider the welfare of humanity and relief of human suffering my primary concerns. I am so proud that President Obama and the federal government will do so as well."
But what sayeth the anti-Fed grandstander-in-chief himself
presidential hopeful Gov. Rick Perry? How does he respond, considering that the pivotal swing vote – Chief Justice John Roberts – was appointed to the bench by Perry's old boss, President George W. Bush?
"This ruling will be a stomach punch to the American economy. It is a shocking disappointment to freedom-loving Americans desperate to get our country back on track. Obamacare is bad for the economy, bad for health care, bad for freedom. Americans have made clear their overwhelming opposition to its convoluted, burdensome and overreaching mandates."
"Freedom was frontally attacked by passage of this monstrosity – and the Court utterly failed in its duty to uphold the Constitutional limits placed on Washington. Now that the Supreme Court has abandoned us, we citizens must take action at every level of government and demand real reform, done with respect for our Constitution and our liberty."
Speaker Joe Straus strikes a similar, if slightly less rabid, tone:
"The battle to overturn the burdens this law places on American citizens by our elected leaders in Washington is not done. I will continue to urge the Texas Congressional delegation to dismantle this legislation and find real solutions to improve our health care system so Texans can have access to quality, affordable care. The Texas House will do its part during the next session by attempting to limit any negative impact the law might have on our state.”
And now, here's some statements from the stamping-their-feet-in-anger wing of the GOP: First up, Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, who seems to have passed out on his caps lock key when he tweeted:
ROBERTS SHOCKS & ANGERS CONSERVATIVES BY JOINING LIBERALS IN A 5-4 DECISION UPHOLDING OBAMACARE MANDATE BY CALLING IT A TAX
Next up, Club for Growth favorite and US Senate wannabe Ted Cruz:
"This is a sad day for liberty. The Supreme Court has abdicated its responsibility to safeguard the Constitution, and it has rewritten Obamacare in an ill-advised attempt to save it.
"Today's decision underscores what we have been saying all along: the solution to Obamacare will come from the people. All across America, citizens are rising up to take back our country, to defend liberty, and to roll back the out-of-control federal government."
It seems that he's not the only GOP candidate trying to run on this ruling: Waco Congressional hopeful Felicia Harris kicked off a fundraising letter to supporters like this:
"While the Supreme Court ruling today is still being reviewed, one thing is abundantly clear – Obamacare will live on until we elect enough conservatives in Congress to rip this insane, socialist law apart piece by piece."
And that's where this stands now: That the GOP thinks that repeal of the ACA is their winning ticket in the November election. But considering it is virtually note-for-note the measures passed in Massachusetts under Mitt Romney (a fact noted by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the majority decision) then it makes it even harder for their party's presidential nominee to run from his past.