Health care: The reactioning

Here’s a collection of Nevada reactions to today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling, upholding most of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval:

“America is a nation of laws, and checks and balances. While I may not agree with the Supreme Court’s decision in this case, I respect the process envisioned by our founding fathers. The implications for Medicaid costs are still unclear, but Nevada will prepare to meet the serious financial implications of this decision. I believe the Congress should act to reform this law and ease the serious burdens it places on the states and the nation’s businesses. The American people remain deeply divided on the wisdom of this law and they are still entitled to see it changed.”

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller:

“Nevada families and businesses are already struggling in this current economic environment, and the President’s job-killing healthcare law is making a difficult situation worse. Congress spent more than a year debating healthcare legislation while Nevadans were losing their jobs and their homes. Obamacare made sweeping changes to Medicare, impacting thousands of Nevada’s seniors, and cut the program by a half trillion dollars.

“This law has now been affirmed as a colossal tax increase on the middle class, and its excessive regulations are stripping businesses of the certainty they need to hire at a time when Nevadans and the rest of the country are desperate for jobs. The President should work with Congress to find real solutions to healthcare reform so the excessive mandates and taxes in this law do not further add to our national debt or continue to stifle economic growth. This onerous law needs to be repealed and replaced with market-based reforms that will provide greater access, affordability, and economic certainty to our nation,” said Senator Dean Heller.

More as they arrive….

Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, candidate for Congress in the 3rd District:

“Now that the Supreme Court has ruled, it’s time that those in Washington moved on from trying to score political points instead of finding solutions. This decision doesn’t change the reality that too many Nevada families and small businesses are struggling to pay for the rising costs of health care.”

“One thing we know for sure, if Washington politicians don’t stop the bickering and finger pointing and focus on what matters – creating jobs and getting our economy back on track – nothing will get done. This shouldn’t be about politics – it should be about getting something done.”

 Danny Tarkanian, candidate for Congress in the 4th District:

“I have consistently stood against Obamacare and remain committed to its full repeal. Rather, we need to press forward with legislation that will extend the same tax incentives that businesses receive for providing health insurance to individuals who purchase their own plans. We need to get serious about tort reform and stabilize Medicare reimbursement rates. We need to make insurance portable and purchasable across state lines.

“When they should be focusing on promoting economic growth and creating jobs, Democrats insist instead on ramming through job-killing policies that increase taxes on Americans, like Obamacare. The American people deserve solutions for the economy and healthcare worthy of the 21st century not the same failed, one-size-fits-all, top-down approaches that Democrats like Steven Horsford adhere to,” Tarkanian concluded.

U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, speaking on the Senate floor this morning after the ruling was announced:

I’m pleased to see the Supreme Court put the rule of law ahead of partisanship, and ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional.

Millions of Americans are already seeing the benefits of this law.

Seniors are saving money on their prescriptions and checkups.

Children can no longer be denied insurance because they have a preexisting condition, a protection that will soon extend to every American.

No longer will American families be a car accident or heart attack away from bankruptcy.

No longer will they live in fear of losing their health insurance because they lose their job.

No longer will tens of millions of Americans rely on emergency room care – or go without care entirely – because they have no insurance at all.

Soon, virtually every man, woman and child in America will have access to health insurance they can afford and the vital care they need.

Passing the Affordable Care Act was the greatest single step in generations toward ensuring access to affordable, quality healthcare for every American – regardless of where they live or how much money they make.

Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress continue to target the rights and benefits guaranteed under this law.

They would like to give the power of life and death back to insurance companies.

But the United States Supreme Court has spoken. This matter is settled.

No one thinks this law is perfect. But Democrats have proven we’re willing to work with Republicans to improve the Affordable Care Act.

Millions of Americans are still struggling to find work. Our first priority must be to improve the economy.

It’s time for Republicans to stop refighting yesterday’s battles.

Now that this matter is settled, I hope we can work together to create jobs and secure this country’s economic future.

State Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, a candidate for Congress in the 4th District:

“I am happy with today’s Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act. This law covers Nevadans with pre-existing conditions, makes sure women don’t pay more than men for care, and allows Nevada seniors to save on prescription drugs. Now I hope the Republican Congress will stop playing political games and start working on getting our economy moving and creating jobs for Nevadans.”

Rep. Joe Heck:

“With all due respect to the Supreme Court, just because a law is deemed Constitutional, does not mean it is a good law. This is still the same flawed bill that was forced through Congress on a party line vote in the dead of night with special interest provisions like the ‘Cornhusker Kickback’ and the ‘Louisiana Purchase’. And today we have learned that the law amounts to a huge tax increase on the American people in a struggling economy. We know that a majority of Americans think the law should be repealed and that it will increase health care costs, reduce access to care and add to our deficit.

“Instead of injecting more government into our health care system, our focus should be on patients, especially our seniors who rely on access to quality health care. Our system is working for most Americans and it can work for all Americans through common sense reforms like moving insurance coverage towards an individual-based model, increasing competition by allowing the purchase of insurance across state lines, incentivizing the purchase of insurance through tax credits, and letting people, not the government, decide what services they need and want.

“In the House, I will continue to work with my colleagues to repeal and replace this law with meaningful reforms that put patients at the center of our health care system. I have introduced two pieces of legislation aimed at repealing the onerous red tape on businesses that hinder their ability to grow and hire, eliminating the taxes levied against Nevadans for taking control of their own health care decisions, repairing elements of the law that have merit, replacing the broken pieces of the law with reasonable reforms, and strengthening Medicare. I look forward to advancing these bills in the wake of the court’s decision.

“The Supreme Court had their word on June 28, but the American people will have the final word on November 6.”

Erin Neff, executive director of Progress Now Nevada:

The most conservative Supreme Court in history today upheld the Affordable Care Act as constitutional.

This is a victory for Nevada families. It means lower costs, more coverage and, most importantly, that insurance companies can’t rip us off anymore.

Mitt Romney and Nevada’s congressional Republicans are still calling for repeal because their corporate funders hate this law,” said Erin Neff, executive director of ProgressNow Nevada. “It’s time for Nevada Republicans to stop wasting taxpayer time attacking the law just because it might reduce health insurance profits.”

The court today affirmed that the “individual mandate” is a constitutional free rider that you don’t pay if you already have insurance. The court also agreed that the rest of us shouldn’t have to pay for these free riders.

The Affordable Care Act protects us from free riders, reins in insurance companies and has been declared constitutional.

“It’s time to move forward and implement the law for all Nevadans,” Neff said.

Rep. Mark Amodei:

“Advocates for Washington-based management of health care and unprecedented tax increases on the middle class won today. However, I will continue to work for patient-centered solutions, reductions in health care costs, and improving health care access for all Nevadans.

“I look forward to the opportunity to vote the week of July 9 for full repeal of this harmful government intrusion into health care. Congress created this mess and it’s our responsibility to clean it up. We owe it to the middle class to give them specific, well-thought out options focusing on portability of insurance across state lines and affordability, while not interfering with the patient-doctor relationship.

“This 2,700-page monster offends seniors, veterans, middle class families and employers. I will continue to take every opportunity to repeal and address this mess for Nevadans in a practical way without picking political winners and losers.”

National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Jahan Wilcox:

“The Supreme Court’s decision makes clear that the only way to stop the massive tax increases, government spending, and cuts to Medicare contained in ObamaCare is to keep Senator Dean Heller in the Senate, who will continue his efforts to repeal President Obama and Congresswoman Berkley’s job-killing healthcare law,” National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Jahan Wilcox said today.

Planned Parenthood of Southern Nevada CEO Vicki Cowart:

“This decision will have a profound and concrete impact on millions of people’s lives. Affordable, quality health care will now be available to millions of women who had no coverage or inadequate coverage before. Today, we are closer than ever to realizing the promise of health care for all.  This is a victory for the American people, and we thank President Obama and the members of Congress who passed the Affordable Care Act for their leadership on this issue,” said Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of PPSN.

“At Planned Parenthood, we know how important this law and this decision are for women and families, because we see the need for affordable health care every day. Women who come into Planned Parenthood health centers often struggle to balance paying for birth control and health services with paying for textbooks, groceries, or gas for the car. The Affordable Care Act will make those decisions easier for women across the country,” Cowart said.

Nevada State Medical Association President Dr. Florence Jameson:

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA) passed in 2010 is Constitutional. Unfortunately, major health care problems are not resolved by this law. The Congress and the President must continue to work to find an acceptable way to sustain Medicare for seniors and persons with disabilities and the Medicaid program for indigent and chronically ill children and seniors. Governor Bryan Sandoval and the Nevada legislature will have to determine the impact on Nevada Medicaid of the Supreme Court’s decision, but it doesn’t make the funding of the Medicaid program easier. It means that they must address again the often unfair way that health insurance coverage fails patients when they have the greatest need for medical care.

The hundreds of pages of PPACA regulations added to the thousands of pages of the law itself still leave many Nevadans uninsured and the underfunded State Medicaid program expecting a 60-70% increase in 2014. While physicians, hospitals and most health care providers are straining to comply with significant changes to the way they are required to practice, Medicare, the largest health care coverage system in the world, continues to flounder as physicians face a 32% reduction on payments for services to Medicare patients in January. In January, there will be 348,168 Nevadans on Medicare and 99,063 Nevadans on Tricare who face the consequences of the 32% cut in payments for their care. Nevada will lose an estimated $200 million for the care of senior and disabled patients in 2013. Every Nevada physician would expect to lose at least $33,000. Many of the 24,000 employees of physician practices may add to the State’s unemployment rate.

The act on which the Supreme Court has ruled is only part of the major reforms to the health care system that Nevada physicians face. The Nevada State Medical Association is participating with and supports the State’s efforts to implement the law through the creation of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, the new Health Information Exchange Board, and the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board’s Health Care Sector Council. Nevada physicians will continue to provide Nevadans the best quality care possible as we adopt these significant changes to the health care system.”

And Rep. Shelley Berkley, now running for U.S. Senate against Heller:

“Today, Justices appointed by Presidents of both parties upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This ruling reaffirms the independence of our judiciary system.

“It is now time for both parties to come together to try and make this law work for the people of Nevada, not continue with partisan games. Most importantly, both parties should now move on and focus on what matters most – getting our economy back on track by creating good-paying jobs for Nevada’s middle-class.

“Although this law isn’t perfect, it does take important steps to rein in insurance company abuses. No longer will a kid be denied coverage based on pre-existing conditions. No longer will there be caps on lifetime coverage. And seniors will now have access to affordable prescription drugs by closing Medicare’s doughnut hole.

“Let’s hope today’s ruling is the end of a chapter in our country where vitriolic partisanship reigned. Now that an independent judiciary has made it’s decision, let’s move on to focus on the needs of the middle-class: getting our economy back on track by creating jobs for Nevada.”

Michael Ginsburg, Southern Nevada Director for the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada:

“This law expands coverage to more than 30 million people and eliminates the worst insurance company abuses such as premium price-gouging, discrimination and denial of care for the sick in order to increase corporate profits. This decision makes clear that implementation of the law must move forward at the state and federal level without further delays from partisan political interference — including governors and elected officials.

The constitutional debate is over. It is time to get to work so that Americans can finally get the quality, affordable health care we need.”

Nevada Democratic Party Chairwoman Roberta Lange:

“Today’s decision offers relief to Nevadans with preexisting conditions, young people who can stay on their parents’ healthcare plans until they are 26 and seniors who rely on lower prescription drug costs.  However, despite the Supreme Court settling this issue, Mitt Romney is still promising to fight old political battles of the past that would roll back protections from some of the worst abuses by the private insurance industry. It’s time to move forward, end the partisan games and get back to work creating good paying middle-class jobs that stay here in Nevada.”

Joseph Becker, chief legal officer and director of the Nevada Policy Research Institute’s Center for Justice and Constitutional Litigation:

Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act can be constitutionally spared but only if characterized as a “federal tax” results in a practical and significant blow to individual liberty. On a more positive note, the Court did hold that the individual mandate was outside the federal government’s powers under both the “Commerce Clause” and the “Necessary and Proper” clause, indicating there remain at least some limits to federal regulatory powers.

If the taxing power of the federal government includes the power to impose a tax higher than the cost of purchasing the government-ordained good, however, when faced with the choice of a $5,000 tax or a $4,000 insurance policy, most would, as a practical matter, opt for the latter — a huge loss of liberty as a practical matter.

Our nation’s founders intended the constitution to greatly restrict the power of the federal government, but unfortunately, this ruling further expands federal authority. Not even King George believed he had the authority to compel colonists to buy the tea tossed overboard in Boston Harbor, yet we now have an expansion of federal authority which, through the force of taxation, mandates as a practical matter that citizens must buy private-sector goods.

As illuminated by Justice Scalia in the dissent, the Court went to great lengths to find any justification to uphold the individual mandate, even to the extent of reclassifying as a tax what had been established as a “penalty” for failure to purchase the government’s preferred product.

Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald:

“Today all Nevadans should be disappointed that ObamaCare was given a new lease on life by the United States Supreme Court”, said Nevada State Republican Party Chairman Michael J. McDonald.

“ObamaCare was bad policy when the Democrat led Congress passed it, and it is bad policy today. This represents the largest tax increase ever on the middle class, while at the same time jeopardizes Nevada’s healthcare resources that are already stretched thin.”

McDonald cited the recent Democrat polling numbers in the state that showed only 34% of Nevadans thought that the Supreme Court should rule ObamaCare constitutional. McDonald also says that he has had numerous conversations with doctors over the last year, and they fear the implementation of ObamaCare will have a devastating effect on the number of medical professionals that will stay in the profession.

“We need Republicans elected to Congress, and Mitt Romney as our next President or Nevadans are going to see Canadian style health care rationing, fewer choices, and higher taxes”, said Chairman McDonald, and adds, “It’s clear how Nevadans feel about ObamaCare and that should send a clear message to every candidate running for office this November.”

Former Congresswoman Dina Titus, now running again for Congress in the 1st District:

“Today is a great day for children who can stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until they are 26, and people with preexisting conditions who had previously been discriminated against by private insurance companies.  I was proud to vote for this legislation that ended the worst abuses of the insurance industry.  While today is an important milestone in ensuring affordable, quality healthcare for Nevadans, we still have a lot more work to do in making healthcare more affordable for Nevada families.  What we can’t do is what Mitt Romney, Dean Heller, and Joe Heck want to do, which is to end Medicare by turning it over to profit-first private insurance companies.  In Congress, I will fight with President Obama and Shelley Berkley to create jobs and protect Nevada seniors from Washington Republicans trying to pull the rug out from under them.”

And reaction from around the galaxy, including planets in the Outer Rim:



16 Responses to “Health care: The reactioning”

  1. ColinFromLasVegas says:

    I am simply amazed at the reaction of our ultra-conservative nutball politicians here in Nevada.

    Now, the highest court in the land has ruled on the Affordable Care Act, but what do they do?

    They go further to the right and STILL fight what they call “Obamacare.”

    I hope people see that Governor Sandoval, now that the ruling has come out, should be taking steps to make sure the Affordable Care Act is implemented properly in Nevada, giving coverage to as much people as possible and being helpful to set up health care exchanges and other things to improve it, but what does he do? HE STILL FIGHTS IT LIKE A TOTAL FUCKING IDIOT! Makes him sound big, but what does that do for Nevadans? NOT A DAMN THING.

    Get onboard, just like the other States are doing, Governor Sandoval. DO something for your State. Rather than complain about it and watch all the others surpass us setting up the Affordable Care Act. Do you fucking want to keep us dead last not only in education, but now health care too?

    Well, here’s to the neo-conservative nutball politicians here in Nevada. Here. Let me spike the football. Not on the ground. I’m going to spike it right off the top of Governor Sandoval’s, Senator Heller’s and Representative Heck’s bulbous unthinking heads in victory. REPEATEDLY. Maybe that will knock some sense into them and get them on track to help Nevada, and not double down and continue to play stupid fucking purely party politics games…all in order to pander to their rich mining/casino benefactors.

    People see what you nutballs are doing. They are listening too. Guaranteed you are digging your own political graves. I know I am. I got my votes all lined up. And it’s gonna spell complete tragedy for the entire Tea/Republican Party in Nevada.

    You better wake up and start working with the Affordable Care Act. To make it better. Get out of this continual attack, attack, attack, tora, tora, tora, banzai, banzai, BANZAI crap that gets us no fucking where.

    Wake up. But I doubt the entire Tea/Republican Party, which keeps shoving themselves to the far right, can EVER do that.

  2. Steve says:

    The court did its job and I accept that.
    The ACA was written within the boundaries of the Constitution.

    Does this mean this law will remain unchanged?

    The answer to that is clear from the actions Massachusetts has had to take in their law.

    That answer is No this law will have to adapt to economic realities just like the one in MA has had to.
    Good or bad, the ACA is fully entrenched now and we will all see what the outcomes are in about 2 years when it takes full effect.

    You got the goodies now but the costs are waiting in the wings and we do not really know what those are going to be.

  3. Jerry Sturdivant says:

    Yea, the CBO says we should receive a savings of about $1 trillion dollars in the first decade. When the full benefits and savings of Obamacare are realized, we’ll see the Republicans stop calling it Obamacare and back to ACA.

  4. Steve says:

    You blacklisted me???

  5. Steve says:

    Evertime I try to post the following in one block I am blacklisted!

  6. Jim Patton says:

    Why was I blacklisted

  7. Steve says:

    OK lets paraphrase.

    Nope still blacklisted. Makes no sense I can post this.

  8. Steve says:

    Yep problem with the capcha again blacklisting random posts.

  9. Steve says:

    Apparently under this ruling all us individuals can now be taxed if we do not purchase anything the Congress decides they want us to purchase. Bottom line, buy product X or pay a tax.

    Smells like RC Farms on a humid August afternoon at the gate on Ann Road.

  10. Wow. Five comments on this post from people who claim I “blacklisted” them from posting comments. That’s got to be a record amount of complaining from folks who are supposedly blacklisted.

    Listen, people: I do not blacklist real people from commenting. If I see that a comment needs moderation, I always — always — approve it. When people have had problems commenting in the past, I have asked our IT people to look into it. The only comments I have ever deleted from this or any other blog are commercial spam, and those of you who are regulars here know that.

    So, instead of hyperventilating in the comments about how you can’t comment, why not just make the more reasonable assumption that technical problems of which I am unaware caused your issue? (I don’t run the software that powers the blog; my company does, so sometimes these things are out of my direct control.)

    But when that happens, instead of posting comments about how you can’t post comments, please just email me personally — — so I can look into it. As I said, I want comments, I encourage debate and I will do my very best to troubleshoot any technical issue that gets in the way of that.

  11. Steve says:

    Justice Roberts was instrumental in determining the “penalty” is actually a tax.
    Wasn’t the administration arguing that under the law a tax cannot be challenged until it has been collected?
    Now that it IS a tax, could 2014 be the start of a whole new round of battles?

  12. Actually, there was more than a little discussion about that in the ruling. I think the door may be open to challenging the actual implementation of the tax/penalty/whatever once it begins to be assessed, although he obviously believed he could decide the framework of the law today. But yes, I would not be surprised to see a new line of attack in a couple years. I will be having Nevada’s attorney on the case, Mark Hutchison, on PoliticsNOW on Sunday, so I’ll make a point to ask him that question.

  13. Jerry Sturdivant says:

    A rose by another name. Do you call it a tax when you and your employer are required to pay your Social Security payment (containing SSI)? Is your Medicare payment a tax? Get over it; be responsible (like the Republicans keep saying); you will pay for your medical. You’re already paying local taxes and some of that money goes to UMC to pay what the deadbeats don’t pay. It’s law; it’s the right thing; MoveOn.

  14. Steve says:

    “And he ensured that if President Obama wants to rescue his health care law from the threat of repeal, he will have to defend it as a tax.”

    Last line of the article.
    Got that link from Steves twitter feed Jerry.

  15. Jerry Sturdivant says:

    It’s not a tax. It’s a fine paid under the tax code.

  16. Steve says:

    Tell it to Justice Roberts. Its a tax or its not a law.

    . (as in PERIOD)