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Local leaders react to health care ruling


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

“I am sorely disappointed that the court has upheld the individual mandate as a legal tax on the American people. Today’s ruling does not change the fact that there have been enormous problems trying to implement this terribly flawed law and that it must be repealed and replaced with a step-by-step approach that makes health care more accessible, affordable and competitive.”

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Marietta

“I am disappointed in today’s decision. While I believe the individual mandate to directly contradict the Constitution, we must respect the decision of the court. However, this is not the final chapter in the healthcare-reform debate. I will continue to push to repeal the law, and urge Congress and the next administration to work to replace Obamacare. “This law adds new taxes on an already overtaxed population, and adds regulation to an already over-regulated industry. We must address the skyrocketing costs of health care and its impact on individuals, families and small businesses while working together on transparent and measured reforms to ensure that everyone has access to quality and affordable care.”

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Moultrie

“I am pleased with today’s ruling that upholds the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. Although the law has not yet been fully implemented, there are several components that have already greatly benefited our nation. However, in the days to come, it will be imperative for Georgia’s legislative leaders to review the Medicare portion of the ruling to understand how it will impact our state. “This was not an easy decision for the U.S. Supreme Court Justices who spent many hours reviewing the Affordable Care Act and wrestling long and hard for a ruling. I wish to thank them for their commitment to the deliberative process and upholding the rules of the judicial system. “As a nation, we need to move forward after this ruling without looking back. There are still many unresolved issues in need of attention, and we cannot make forward progress if we are hung up on a past judgment that is now closed.”

State Sen. Curt Thompson, D-Tucker

“My battle with Obamacare didn’t start when I was elected as governor of Georgia. I wear with pride my bruises and scars from the fight against its passage in the U.S. House. Today, the highest court in the country let the American people down. “While we recognize this is a huge setback for fiscal sanity and personal liberty, we are not giving up. Georgians and the American people deserve high-quality, sustainable health care. Congress must now work steadfastly on repealing this law and replacing it with reforms that help taxpayers instead of hurt them.”

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal

“I disagree with this decision. Congress explicitly said this was not a tax. I call on Congress to act swiftly, repeal the law and replace it with real reform that respects the Constitution as written.”

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens

LAWRENCEVILLE — Most politicians in Washington had three statements prepared for Thursday, the day marked for the U.S. Supreme Court decision on controversial health care legislation: one if it was repealed, one if it was repealed in part and one if it was upheld.

But U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall said he wasn’t prepared for the decision that came down, which upheld the universal health care mandate as a tax.

“It has really rattled me to have this come down today,” said Woodall, a Republican from Lawrenceville. “It never dawned on me to do a statement for it if was upheld. ... If you believe in individual liberties, this was a bad day in America.”

Reaction to the decision was mostly split along party lines.

“After decades of choosing between buying medications and putting food on the table, after decades of living in fear of bankruptcy caused by an unexpected illness, Americans are entering a new era of reliable access to quality, affordable health care,” U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat who represents part of Gwinnett, said. “President Obama and Congress took the lead and did what no other Congress and Administration has been able to do – put health insurance in reach for the more than 50 million uninsured Americans and make it more affordable for everyone.

“Today, the Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of the law, and upheld these important protections,” Johnson continued. “It is time to move on and focus on strengthening the economy, creating jobs and paying down our debt. This is a great day for looking forward and pulling together for the American people.”

Georgia Democratic Party Chairman Mike Berlon, a lawyer from Gwinnett, said Thursday was “a great day for all Americans.”

Reader poll

Do you agree with the Supreme Court's decision?

  • Yes 24%
  • No 73%
  • I'm unfamiliar with the details 3%

323 total votes.

“The Supreme Court rejected partisan politics and put the welfare of the people first,” Berlon said. “This decision will allow all Americans to be secure in the knowledge that if they get sick, they will have high quality and affordable health care to help them get well. It also means that children and adults will no longer be denied health care due to pre-existing conditions and young adults will be coved under their parents’ health insurance up to age 26.”

In a press release, the state party said the decision “signifies a strong rebuke to Gov. Nathan Deal’s persistent attempts to undermine health care reform,” as Georgia was one of nearly 30 states to file suits against the law.

But even staunch conservatives found some good in the ruling, even though they are not happy that the law stands.

Debbie Dooley, the Dacula woman who is a national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, said the part of the decision concerning Medicaid actually gave the states a victory.

The ruling that the federal government can’t punish states that decide against implement federal provisions could set a precedent for other regulations, like the federal No Child Left Behind Act, she said.

“Everyone’s still analyzing everything, but (if the interpretation stands) tea party activists statewide are going to contact Gov. Deal and his lawmakers to get them to opt out of the Medicaid expansion,” she said. “It could have far-reaching implications.”

While the battle may be over in the courts, foes of the health care law are now looking to November to continue the cause of getting the law off the books.

Woodall honed in on Chief Justice John Roberts’ declaration that the Supreme Court’s job is not to overrule Congress unless there is a compelling reason. Instead, Woodall said, “elections have consequences, it’s up to the American people to make those choices.”

Because of the ruling, the congressman reaffirmed the vow he took when running for election two years ago: to do everything in his power to work to repeal the law. He also renewed his commitment to the FairTax proposal he has continued for his predecessor, since he believes the power of taxation ruling means now Congress is free “to use taxes to manipulate behavior.”

Woodall’s proposal, popular in his 7th Congressional District, would do away with the federal income tax and other taxes and replace them with a national sales tax.

“I’ve always said the FairTax is not about taxes. It’s about individual liberty,” he said.

Comments

Bev4FairTax 2 years, 3 months ago

Why use an army to subjugate a people when the government can use the IRS for the same purpose? The power to tax has always been a tool of kings and dictators who left their subjects no choice in whether or not to participate in payment. Our forefathers left homelands because of this tyranny. The 16th Amendment had to be passed in order to legalize the income tax - a tax abhorrent to the Constitutional signers. Karl Marx recognized the power of the progressive income tax as a tool for the destruction of capitalilsm. It was the second of ten conditions needed for Communism to replace Capitalism:"2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. " (http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch02.htm). Today, the Supreme Court upheld the Health Care Law using the power of Congress to tax as the foundation of their decision. The IRS will be the enforcer of that law.

Rep. Woodall is correct in supporting HR25/S13. The FairTax Bill which would end the income tax and dismantle the IRS. This tax reform bill has 69 cosponsors in the House and 8 cosponsors in the Senate. Had the FairTax been in place, the US Government would not be able to use the IRS to beat the American people into submission. Learn about the FairTax at www.fairtax.org or www.fairtaxnation.com

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citized 2 years, 3 months ago

I wish you didn't have insurance paid by me. Try living without any coverage. OH YEA THATS RIGHT..."IT'LL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME"

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NewsReader 2 years, 3 months ago

What is that supposed to mean?

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jjbod1 2 years, 3 months ago

I cant wait until all these new laws go in effect. For when it does, all the idiots who think this is going to be a good thing, will be the first to get smacked in the face with reality, and then i am going to sit back and laugh as they all start complaining how this is what we wanted or thought it was going to be. I can do this, because at least i know what is coming, and none of it is going to be good.

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Sandykin 2 years, 3 months ago

No more choosing between medicine or food on the table? Who are they trying to kid? Anyone who is self employed can tell you private insurance has skyrocketed out of reach for many who's only option is private insurance. The cost of Obamacare is an almost doubling of insurance premiums and since you can no longer have large sum deductibles like $10,000 or more, there is no way to make it less expensive.

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NewsReader 2 years, 3 months ago

Anything Hank Johnson says certainly isn't going to be much!

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toby 2 years, 3 months ago

Are you saying that floating islands don't exist? Why haven't the islands on Lanier tipped over yet? Maybe because islands float better on salt water? Hank will know the answer. I await is response.

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NewsReader 2 years, 3 months ago

LOL, absolutely floating islands exist! This was Hank Johnson's major concern on Guam was it not? The sad part is, he represents a group of sub-morons in his district that put this fool into office. It really does speak volumes for the people who vote. Elections have consequences and Obamacare is a prime example of the people getting exactly what they deserve.

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agneskravitz 2 years, 3 months ago

Congressman Woodall says he is "rattled". Well good you hypocrite! You work for the GOVERNMENT. You keep your GOVERNMENT healthcare because its FREE! Remember? You don't have to worry about getting coverage, you have it, and you have choices of coverage. You don't have to worry about the rug being pulled out from under you. You don't have to worry about that happening to a wife or kids even if you had them!

Go get yourself a job in the PRIVATE sector please.

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R 2 years, 3 months ago

Yeah its easy to do because "the PRIVATE sector is fine" and there are SO many available since 2009 or so ...

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Jan 2 years, 3 months ago

The discussion proves one thing: The Republicans have sold their concept of "Health care law was by Democrats, therefore it is bad" We have Romney saying he will throw it out and replace it with something better but note he never says why its bad or what his plan is. Face the facts, Romney's plan that he passed as Governor is the same plan. Surely he can't make the claim that the entire plan is wrong when it has the same elements as his. Only a fool throws out the baby with the bath water. If he feels like parts are wrong, he should only address the parts that can be improved and retain the good. Those of you that think it is so horrible, please tell me which parts are so horrendous. So far I have only heard the forced to buy part to so "We don't pay for others health care"

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jack 2 years, 3 months ago

Jan- The Court's decision allows states, with no penalty, to opt out of the Medicaid expansion provided for by the ACA. Previously, states would have been at risk of losing Federal Medicaid funding if they did not implement this expansion. This could significantly reduce the number of Americans able to gain coverage, particularly among those with lower incomes. The states that do implement the increase could quite possibly see an influx of folks from other states seeking coverage, which would further strain their budgets. One unintended consequence of today's ruling.

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Jan 2 years, 3 months ago

Yes and no. It is definitely possible that such a migration may occur but those eligible have not opted to move for work so are unlikely to move in significant numbers for health care. This should encourage Republicans to start the ball rolling in the house to better fund the medicaid extensions instead of wasting time in passing a bill to discard the entire health care bill which they know has no chance of getting through the Senate. I do not like unfunded mandates, such as the prescription drug plan passed under Bush, let's be consistent and strive for a balanced approach, including cutting tax loopholes and other handouts to industry. Lets put back in place a minimum alternative tax and, since they "...are people my friend" have it apply to corporations.

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jack 2 years, 3 months ago

Jan- The Medicaid expansion is being funded (supposedly) by the new taxes in the act. The shortfall is going to come from the states that opt out.

But you were asking about which other parts of the bill were so "horrendous". As a retiree, are you paying 25% of the cost of any medications you take? If not, you will. Do you require (hopefully not) any medical devices? Add another 2.3% tax on those. If my employer wishes to give me an insurance plan worth more than $10,200, then I am taxed 40% for that, even if I'm making a minimum salary. Add in the payroll tax and investment tax increases under this plan, and you have one massive tax increase on the American people.

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palooza 2 years, 3 months ago

Johnson is funny talking about paying down the debt. Germany, a socialist economy that is cited by liberals as a model for universal health care, has a 14.9 per cent tax on gross income to pay for it. This is on top of all other income taxes. Adding 14.9% on top of all our other taxes probably does not sound bad to the 49% of working people that pay no taxes, but it sounds like ALOT to those of us that do pay. I am working hard to become a receiver of government largess instead of a taxpayer! Working underground for cash is the only way to avoid being a sucker - or emigrating!

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toby 2 years, 3 months ago

Be careful. The IRS can trace your eamil and come find you.

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BuzzG 2 years, 3 months ago

The socialists in Washington have their foot in the door. We had better learn to live with less heathcare and more bureaucracy because that is just what we are going to get Obama has already beefed up the IRS and increased spending on his enforcement campaign. He will use the IRS to subjugate the American people and make us bend to his socialist will. America used to be known as the land of the free and the home of the brave. We are no longer free, and we certainly haven;t shown any bravery for some time.

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Oliver 2 years, 3 months ago

And I, for one, welcome our new heath-care overlords.

I'm sure this will be another finely-run government bureaucracy. I'm sure with all that money sloshing around, the highly ethical government employees will produce many more examples of high standards of ethics and decision making. I look forward to the day when the federal government, all in the interest of reducing health-care costs, begins to tell me what I can and can't eat, as well as how much of it I can eat. I look forward to them mandating exercise. I also cheer the forth-coming panels, mistakenly call death-panels by some, which will be making all my health-care decisions for me and will decide for me when it no longer makes economic sense for me to continue receiving health-care.

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Jan 2 years, 3 months ago

Your insurance companies are using their own panels now to limit your choices for health care. You have more health care choices from the health care plan run by the government. I'm sure you have heard of it, Medicare. Note that most of the money sloshing around is from conservative super packs run by those like the Koch brothers.

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Oliver 2 years, 3 months ago

Your inaccurate statement is a half-truth at best. While insurance companies might make decisions regarding coverage they will provide based on a policy purchased by insured, at the insured's choice, this small, anecdotal scenario you paint, in no way encompasses all of the health-care decisions made on a daily basis. There are many instances of people exercising their choice (you are pro-choice aren't you???) without the influence insurance companies. Try doing that under Obama-care.

p.s. is a super pack something akin to a wolf pack except it's run by the Koch brothers rather than a PAC run by George Soros???

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agneskravitz 2 years, 3 months ago

Bologna Oliver, "purchased at the insured's choice". No way. I didn't choose our insurance company, my hubby's employer did. And the employer changes it every year. We already have death panels. They are called insurance companies.

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agneskravitz 2 years, 3 months ago

Your statement is not even a half truth. The insurance company provides a policy of the insured's choice? What planet to you live on, what are you smoking. We had ONE choice, the one my spouse's company picked. The insurance companies are this country's death panels.

Under Obama care, with the health care exchanges I WILL get to pick my insurance company.

And Oliver, Please ask Congressman Woodall, why HE still uses his gov't healthcare?

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roblotjr 2 years, 3 months ago

Good bye republican hopes for November. Good bye any substantial economic recovery. Good bye America as our forefathers wanted it. Hello four more years of democratic devastation. When Obama and his sheep get done it will be too late. Mark my words. The corner has been turned and the so called supreme court

supreme court> supreme courtsupreme court

went the wrong way. I no longer have any respect whatsoever for any branch of the federal government. All of them sit high on the hog and could care less that our great nation is going into the hole in so many ways. They all have plenty of money to survive. supreme court

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rco1847 2 years, 3 months ago

Once again in Gwinnett Redneck County all we hear from is Republicans. We had 3 of those resign=in-disgrace from our commission recently - one indicted and one pled guilty. This was nothing but a money grab by Big Insurance. Does anyone really believe that Big Insurance fought this because they care about us? Really? Really?

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