Update: American Conservative Union president Al Cardenas: “Today???s Supreme Court decision on the health care bill was a win for the liberals and a loss for American taxpayers. The Supreme Court called this mandatory insurance a tax, so let???s be clear: it’s one of the largest tax increases in our country’s history. We have only one course available to prevent this disastrous mandate from taking place: big wins in November in Congress and the White House. Conservatives can no longer depend on the Supreme Court to do our work for us, so we need a president and Congress who will repeal this law in the first 100 days of 2013. Indeed, this will be our most significant rallying cry for a November victory. At the end of the day the Supreme Court clarified the mission and made its success that much more important.???
Update: Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY), who is a member of the House Doctors Caucus, and the only female physician voting member of Congress: “Today???s Supreme Court decision does not change the fact that the massive 2010 government health care takeover harms, rather than helps, our patients, doctors, hospitals, and other providers. It imposes nearly $2 trillion worth of bureaucracy and excessive regulation; it has caused health insurance premiums to increase for families struggling to make ends meet; and it raises taxes at a time when we should be lowering them??? Instead, we need to put the patient, not the government, at the center of our health care. We must have a better plan to assure that all Americans have affordable, portable health insurance and consistent access to good care, and to enable every American to benefit from the quality, innovation, and choice that have made our health care the best in the world.”
Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) offers a grim diagnosis: “Today???s decision places a whole new meaning on the phrase ???hope and change,??? because ours is a hope for change. Today America is threatened with a stage three cancer of socialism, and Obamacare is exhibit 1. There are many of us here who have been fighting this for three years and we don???t really want the compassion of the IRS and the efficiency of the post office introduced in our healthcare and we are not going to rest until every single line of this bill is repealed.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) was in a more “forgiving” mood: “???I forgive those who express their ignorance like some of those who do not understand what this opinion means. The Supreme Court, by their opinion today, had considered the fact that the President of the United States had said clearly and repeatedly that the mandate was not a tax. The mandate is not a tax. Everyone who works for this president had promised the Congress this is not a tax. The Supreme Court, by making clear today that it is a tax, has made clear also that everyone who believes the President and those who work for this President are fools.”
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI): “I join the millions of Americans today who are disappointed with this decision. The individual mandate is a massive infringement on our freedom, and it’s bad policy. Today, the President and Congressional Democrats own a huge tax increase on the American public. If this bill would have been described as a tax three years ago, it would have gone down in flames in Congress. The health care law’s taxes and mandates are making it harder to create jobs. Its budgeting gimmicks will bankrupt our country. It’s both failing to curb health care costs and forcing up to 35 million Americans to lose their employer-provided health insurance. The President’s health care law and massive tax increase needs to be repealed in full if we are going to get our economy back on track.”
Update: Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN): “I am deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court???s decision to uphold ObamaCare. This ruling erodes the freedom of every American, opening the door for the federal government to legislate, regulate, and mandate nearly every aspect of our daily lives under the guise of its taxing power. Today???s decision affirms a massive tax increase on Hoosiers and is wholly inconsistent with the principles of personal responsibility and limited government that are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Congress must act immediately to fully repeal ObamaCare and protect Hoosier families, small businesses and family farms from its tax increases and mandates.”
Rep. Steve King (R-IA): “It looks like the Supreme Court may have avoided making a ruling on the Commerce Clause be declaring that it needs to be a tax???. If they can commandeer part of your paycheck they can commandeer all of your paycheck and if they do that freedom is gone in this country. Our recourse, as I see it today, is do what we???ve said all along for the last two years and two or three months and ask for??? one hundred percent repeal of Obamacare, rip it out by the roots and leave no visage of it left behind because Obamacare is a malignant tumor that feeds and metastasizes on American liberty. We cannot become the nation that we are or are to become with Obamacare as a barrier in the way. And who are those barriers? The democrat majority and the United States senate and Harry Reid and Barack Obama himself, we must remove the barriers to American liberty. Now we are going to do it in the United States Congress and we are going to do it in the ballot box.”
Rep. Jeff Landry (R-LA): “???I want you all to know that today is a tragic day for this republic. This ruling basically says that our federal government is no longer limited, and while certain portions of the Constitution they use in order to invalidate the mandate, they basically have said that Congress has no limit through its taxing power. This is the largest tax-increase on the poor and middle class in the history of this country. That is what this law was about. So it was sold to the American people as a mandate, and not a tax, but yet today it is upheld as a tax. So the answer is simply to do what we do with all unconstitutional onerous taxes, and that is to repeal it. So our call on the American people today, to repeal this tax. This tax must be repealed and let us reinstitute the republic that our Founders so gave us two-hundred and thirty some odd years ago.”
Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA): “I am extremely disappointed. Today???s decision is a jarring blow to our 200-year-old tradition of constitutionally limited government and personal liberty. The Supreme Court???s decision doesn???t change the fact that President Obama???s health care law is a terrible policy that will impose new taxes, increase the cost of health care and cost our country jobs. It is now up to Congress to repeal Obamacare and enact common-sense reforms that will expand access to affordable, quality health care.”
Update: Rep. Allen West (R-FL): “The American people have to be very concerned about the growth and the power of the American government as per this decision today. The people will start to wake up and see that this is a very onerous overreach by the federal government.??? He predicted the “ultimate response” would come from the American people on the 6th of November.
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA): “President Obama???s tax and spend policies are driving our nation into historically high debt, historically high unemployment, and now an historic government takeover of one-sixth of the U.S. economy. Despite the president???s repeated assurances to the American people that his signature health care law would not be a tax, it survived a U.S. Supreme Court challenge because it was interpreted as such. The American people were woefully misled by this president, and I share the outrage of the majority of Americans who want this law repealed… When President Obama ran for office in 2008, he said he would work to’???fundamentally transform’ the United States of America. Today???s decision puts him well on his way to doing so, unless he???s stopped this November.”
Update: Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) reacts: “I hope people back home fully understand what this means, and here???s what this means: It is now unlawful for you not to buy health insurance, and if you do not buy it, you have an IRS problem. If you do not buy health insurance, the IRS is going to be on your back and chasing you. They???re going to take away your refund, they???re going to increase your fees, they???re going to come after you.”
Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC): “The Supreme Court may have failed to stop this government takeover of health care, but the American people will not. Since the day this law was rammed through Congress, the American people have demanded repeal, and today???s ruling doesn???t make Obamacare any less dangerous to our nation???s health. Freedom-loving Americans are disappointed, but we cannot be discouraged. The President???s health care law must be fully repealed as all of its promises have proven false. We were told it was not a tax hike, but this ruling confirms it is an unprecedented and enormous tax on the poor and middle class Americans. President Obama needs to explain why he is enacting this middle class tax hike over the objections of the American people during the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression.”
Update: House Speaker John Boehner has announced a July 11 vote for the repeal of ObamaCare, “clearing the way for patient-centered reforms that lower costs and increase choice.”
Update: The Republican National Committee has launched a website dedicated to ObamaCare repeal, called The People vs. ObamaCare. The launch includes a video response to today’s Supreme Court ruling:
The first reaction I saw came from Sarah Palin, via Twitter: ???Obama lied to the American people. Again. He said it wasn???t a tax. Obama lies, freedom dies.???
Rep. Michele Bachmann, who said she would be present in the courtroom when the decision was announced, was quick to Tweet as well: ???SCOTUS announced Obamacare substantially upheld. Disappointing, but we move forward and we WILL repeal it.???
Statement from the office of House Speaker John Boehner: ???The president???s health care law is hurting our economy by driving up health costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire. Today???s ruling underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety. What Americans want is a common-sense, step-by-step approach to health care reform that will protect Americans??? access to the care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a lower cost. Republicans stand ready to work with a president who will listen to the people and will not repeat the mistakes that gave our country Obamacare.???
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) was blunt: ???When they look back on the American system of once-limited government, June 28, 2012 will stand as a definitive date in the advance of government tyranny. Today, a slim majority of the Supreme Court turned our Constitution on its head, and ruled that the federal government, in effect, can force upon the American people anything it damn well pleases ??? as long as it is called a tax. Unlimited federal power, combined with judicial activism, has crafted a new regime that has destroyed our Founders??? vision.???
Huelskamp continued: ???Not only are individual liberties destroyed as a result of Obamacare, but taxpayers are on the hook for a non-workable, ineffective, and outrageously expensive health care program. Obamacare will drive America into bankruptcy, as the law is already radically exceeding original cost estimates. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that millions of Americans will likely lose their health insurance plan as employers are driven out of business or are unable to meet massive new mandates and costs of Washington.??? Incidentally, the one part of Obamacare that was limited by the court was the Medicaid expansion, which means yet another funding mechanism for a bloated, insolvent bill that has already lost several of its fiscal appendages just got lopped off. Yay!
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a key figure in the legal challenges against Obamacare, called today ???a dark day for the American people, the Constitution, and the rule of law.???
Cuccinelli continued, ???This decision goes against the very principle that America has a federal government of limited powers; a principle that the Founding Fathers clearly wrote into the Constitution, the supreme law of the land. The Constitution was meant to restrict the power of government precisely for the purpose of protecting your liberty and mine from the overreaching hand of the federal government. This unprecedented decision says that Congress has the authority to force citizens to buy private goods or face fines – a power it has never had in American history, and a power King George III and Parliament didn’t have over us when we were mere subjects of Great Britain. Since the federal government itself could never articulate to the court a constitutional limit to this power, Congress has gained an unlimited power to force citizens to buy anything.???
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), who sits on the Judiciary Committee and was formerly a justice on the Texas Supreme Court, said he was ???disappointed in the outcome,??? but added, ???The Supreme Court made clear today that the American people will be the ultimate judge of ObamaCare. As Republicans, we will redouble our efforts to repeal this job-killing law. We must replace it with reforms that expand access and enhance care without adding trillions of dollars to the national debt and inserting Washington bureaucrats between Americans and their doctors.???
Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party Patriots, the nation???s largest Tea Party organization, described today???s decision as ???a slap in the face to the majority of the American people who want ObamaCare fully repealed??? The Supreme Court ruled against the American people today. The American people overwhelmingly oppose Obamacare. Now more than ever it is time for the American people to band together and take our government back. Americans agree with what Justice Kennedy said in the dissenting opinion that ???the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.??? We are putting all politicians on notice that we will not rest until this law is overturned it???s in entirety.???
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) issued a particularly tough statement: ???Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ???constitutional??? does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional. While the court may have erroneously come to the conclusion that the law is allowable, it certainly does nothing to make this mandate or government takeover of our health care right. ObamaCare is wrong for Americans. It will destroy our health care system. This now means we fight every hour, every day until November to elect a new President and a new Senate to repeal ObamaCare.???
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has announced that he will hold a press conference this afternoon to announce his reaction to the decision.