Jul 29, 2014

UPDATED: Local Pols Speak on Supreme Court Ruling

Elected officials weigh in on the high court's decision on the Affordable Care Act.

UPDATED: Local Pols Speak on Supreme Court Ruling UPDATED: Local Pols Speak on Supreme Court Ruling UPDATED: Local Pols Speak on Supreme Court Ruling UPDATED: Local Pols Speak on Supreme Court Ruling UPDATED: Local Pols Speak on Supreme Court Ruling UPDATED: Local Pols Speak on Supreme Court Ruling UPDATED: Local Pols Speak on Supreme Court Ruling UPDATED: Local Pols Speak on Supreme Court Ruling

Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling finding that President Barack Obama’s healthcare plan - the Affordable Care Act - is legal and leading to a number of statements from elected officials and candidates about the decision. Below are several of those statements.

• U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (Democrat):
“I am pleased the Supreme Court reaffirmed the hard fought progress that was made to ensure that no one can be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing condition, young adults will be covered, prescription drug costs for seniors will be reduced, preventive care including life-saving mammograms will be accessible and that insurance companies can’t cancel their coverage when you get sick. It is time to get beyond scoring political points and get back to finding common core values and passing legislation that will help grow our economy and get more people back to work.”

• Rep. Tim Bishop (D, 1st District)
"Today's Supreme Court decision compels us to finally put aside the political wrangling over the Affordable Care Act and move forward to fully implement reforms that will control costs while improving quality of care. This ruling confirms that, as a result of the Health Reform Law, all Americans will have access to secure and affordable coverage regardless of pre-existing health conditions, age, gender or employment status. I call on my colleagues to work in a bipartisan manner to address the challenges facing our economy and abandon the symbolic effort to repeal a law that was fully debated in Congress and has been deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court."

• Randy Altschuler, Republican candidate, 1st Congressional District
“I strongly disagree with the court’s ruling today. President Obama and incumbent Washington politician Tim Bishop must be held accountable this November for forcing Suffolk County’s working families, small businesses and seniors on a fixed income to shoulder the $500 billion in tax increases and $500 billion in Medicare cuts in this law that will further cripple our economy and slow job creation. Now, more than ever, if you want to change Congress you need to start by changing your Congressman."

• Rep Steve Israel (D, 2nd District)
“Today’s ruling isn’t a political victory for Democrats, it’s a victory for America’s middle class and seniors, and now House Republicans need to drop their partisan obstruction and move on.  Insurance companies are not back in control of a patient’s care. Insurance companies can’t again deny coverage to people with asthma, cancer or heart disease, or block women from getting cancer screenings. Republicans have wasted the last 18 months on a misguided, partisan crusade to put insurance companies back in charge of health care, instead of getting the economy back on track and strengthening the middle class.”

• Stephen Labate, Republican candidate, 2nd Congressional District
"The American people were clearly misled by President Obama and Congressman Steve Israel by insisting the individual mandate was not a tax. The Supreme Court saw through this and upheld the individual mandate for what it really was a tax. Elections have consequences and today we witnessed the disastrous outcome of electing officials who are willing to be so blatantly untruthful to the American people."

• Rep. Peter King, (R, 3rd District)
“I oppose today’s ruling, which upheld a sweeping government takeover of our health care sector. I believe the strongest response is to repeal Obamacare and implement incremental reforms, such as ensuring coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions, allowing portability of insurance from one job to another and allowing small businesses to band together to buy insurance. Most importantly, we must work towards reducing insurance premiums and co-pays, which this law does not do. I will continue to fight to repeal this law and to enact measures that empower patients while simultaneously reducing costs.”

• Thomas DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller (Democrat)
“The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is a victory for New Yorkers and all Americans. The law has significant fiscal implications for our state, providing more than $1 billion annually in new Medicaid assistance and delivering affordable health coverage for New Yorkers. While we have not yet solved the challenge of balancing health care access and cost, today's decision moves us one step closer to reforming our nation's costly health care system.”

Editor’s Note: Patch will update as more statements come in throughout the day.

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