Running Down The Varied State Reaction To The Health Law Decision
State leaders reacted to the Supreme Court health law decision in varied ways: Some hailed the decision as a victory for everyday Americans while others warned the decision will harm citizens. Still others, however, including Va. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, saw a mixed bag.
The Associated Press: Coverage For Most People, A Scramble For States
The Supreme Court settled the legal argument over health care Thursday. Now people in the United States will find out if President Barack Obama's overhaul can work as advertised to provide coverage to millions of uninsured while also keeping costs in check. If it works, the U.S. will move closer to other economically advanced countries that for years have guaranteed health insurance to their citizens. If the plan falters, expect endless political wrangling over the nation's problems with high medical costs, widespread waste and millions of uninsured people (Alonso-Zaldivar, 6/29).
Los Angeles Times: Supreme Court's Health Care Ruling: The Outlook For California
Amid the cheering in many quarters over the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the federal health care law, a sobering fact remains: California's ailing health care system won't be easy to fix. Millions of Californians will still lack insurance even after a massive coverage expansion. Medical costs and premiums are expected to keep rising, at least in the short run. And many of those who do gain coverage could have a tough time finding a doctor to treat them (Terhune, 6/29).
KQED: Local Republican Leader Weighs In: The Discussion Is About Taxes Now
Duf Sundheim was the chair of the California Republic Party from 2003-2007 and remains active in the party. He lives in Los Altos Hills, CA. KQED's Stephanie Martin spoke to him today about his reaction to the Supreme Court decision (Dornhelm, 6/28).
KQED: Health Decision Will Have Big Impact On California's Ethnic Communities
Health disparities in the state are stark. "Diabetes affects 13 percent of Native Americans in the state, 11 percent of Latinos, 10 percent of African Americans," says Ellen Wu, the executive director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN). "That's compared to five percent of the white population." Wu says there's a gap in access to care too. That's why the Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act is such a watershed moment for her (Dornhelm, 6/28).
The Washington Post: Gov. McDonnell Calls Supreme Court Health-Care Decision 'A Bad Ruling For The American People'
While Republican leaders in Richmond universally decried the ruling, their next step was less clear. McDonnell said he would meet with his staff to determine how or even if Virginia would move forward to create a health insurance exchange. McDonnell said that a state-based marketplace for insurance policies is a bad idea, but that a federally created one would be worse (Vozzella, 6/28).
The Washington Post: Ken Cuccinelli, On Second Thought, Likes Supreme Court Health-Care Decision
The reason? His first impression was based on the basic upshot of the ruling: The court had upheld "Obamacare." His second was based on a closer look at the ruling, which he found upheld individual liberty and curbed federal power even as it left the law in place (Vozzella, 6/28).
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Cuccinelli Cites Loss On Policy, Win On Commerce Clause
The way Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli sees it, opponents of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul lost the policy battle but won the constitutional war. "On the health care policy side today, our side mostly lost," Cuccinelli said of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to largely uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But Cuccinelli claimed victory in the court's ruling that Congress does not have the power to use the commerce clause of the Constitution to compel Americans to buy a product -- in this case, health insurance -- but must do so by using its taxing authority (Nolan, 6/29).
Chicago Sun-Times: Quinn 'Thrilled' Over Obamacare Decisions
"This is a great day for health care in America and a great day for health care in Illinois -- we should never, ever forget this day," Gov. Pat Quinn said Thursday at the new Lurie Children’s Museum in Streeterville. "The highest court in our land has said the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land." Quinn said he would resume working with the legislature to create a health-insurance exchange through which the uninsured and small businesses will be able to purchase private coverage. In Illinois, 1,914,000 residents are uninsured, or about 15 percent. Illinois has received three federal grants to study and start building its health insurance exchange, but the initiative stalled in the Legislature last spring amid uncertainty over which way the nation’s high court would rule, a delay that heightens the likelihood of missing a key federal deadline (Pallasch and McKinney, 6/28).
Baltimore Sun: Health Care Ruling A Win For Obama, Md. Democrats
The decision also gave a lift to Maryland Democrats, particularly Gov. Martin O'Malley, who has positioned the state as a leader in implementing the law. Yet political experts said the ruling would likely have little impact on state contests this year, including the high-profile House race in Western Maryland. Rep. Andy Harris, the lone doctor in Maryland's congressional delegation, predicted that public opinion would be no more favorable for the law just because the Supreme Court upheld its legality. "The court didn't rule on the policy issues; they just ruled on whether this passed constitutional muster," said Harris, a Baltimore County Republican who made opposition to the health care law a pillar of his 2010 election. "I wouldn't be surprised if public opinion actually became more negative" (Fritze, 6/28).
Baltimore Sun: Health Reform Moves Ahead In Maryland, Nationally
Maryland had banked heavily on the law's withstanding judicial scrutiny, moving ahead of other states in creating an exchange where individuals and small businesses could buy coverage, and expanding its Medicaid rolls. The state's leaders said the high court's decision gives them the authority and funding to finally implement provisions of the law, which mostly takes effect in 2014. In the first year, they estimate that one-third of 750,000 uninsured residents will gain coverage (Cohn and Walker, 6/28).
Arizona Republic: What Will Be The Impact On Health Care For Arizonans?
Arizona economists, health-care industry officials, insurers and others will be weighing in on the Supreme Court upholding the key provisions of President Obama's health care law. [Provided are] some of their comments (Wiles, 6/28).
Boston Globe: Mass Residents React To Ruling With Relief
Andrew Dreyfus, chief executive of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, experienced a similar moment of exultation. "It feels like a clear validation of the framework we developed in 2006," said Dreyfus, who worked for passage of the 2006 law as director of the insurer's foundation. ... The decision to uphold the central, and most controversial, provision of the federal law — the requirement that most individuals buy health coverage or pay a tax penalty — matters little to Massachusetts, since the state already has a similar mandate that has reduced the number of uninsured to about 2 percent. But a repeal of other portions of the law could have had a significant financial impact. While the court weakened the law’s huge Medicaid expansion, ruling that states cannot be required to participate, Massachusetts already has expanded coverage to the extent required by the law. As a result, the federal government will send nearly $2 billion to Massachusetts over six years, starting in 2014, to pay for Medicaid coverage for childless adults (Kowalczyk, Conaboy and Lazar, 6/29).