Reaction has been pouring in on the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding President Obama's health care overhaul. The following statements were issued by Republican Congressman Walter Jones, Democrat Congressman G.K. Butterfield, Republican U.S. Senator Richard Burr, and Democrat Senator Kay Hagan.
Republican Congressman Walter Jones:
"Today U.S. Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) expressed extreme disappointment with the Supreme Court's decision to uphold Obamacare. The 5-4 decision maintains the controversial individual mandate, making it lawful to tax an individual who does not buy health insurance. The House of Representatives is scheduled to consider legislation to repeal Obamacare during the week of July 9th. Congressman Jones has voted against Obamacare and supported every effort to repeal it in whole or in part, and he will continue to do so.
"This is a sad day for liberty in America. Today a slim majority of the Supreme Court decreed that the federal government can use the power of taxation to force Americans to do whatever it wants. That is outrageous," said Jones. "In fact, in his majority opinion Chief Justice John Roberts went so far as to state that the federal government also had the power to tax 'every taxpayer who owns a house without energy efficient windows.' This should be a wake-up call for Americans. Their freedoms are rapidly being stripped away by an increasingly socialist government. We are headed down a dangerous path, and the only hope for reversing this course is through the ballot box in November."
Democrat Congressman G.K. Butterfield:
"Today's Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and the individual mandate is a tremendous victory for our nation. Every modern U.S. President has acknowledged the urgency of healthcare reform, but President Obama and Congressional Democrats successfully answered the call with the passage of this law.
"As a result, 40 million Americans can enjoy without uncertainty access to affordable healthcare. The law protects several underserved communities--from seniors and children to women and small business owners. But it also benefits all Americans by providing access to free preventative services, expanded prescription drug coverage, and allowing young adults to remain on their parent's insurance until the age of 26--just to name a few guaranteed benefits under ACA.
"The political theatre Republicans orchestrated around healthcare must now come to an end. Congress debated. The Court has decided. It is time to move forward.
"I now call on my Republican colleagues to abandon their resolve to repeal ACA, and to work responsibly with Democrats to help implement this critically important measure."
Republican Senator Richard Burr:
"The Court has now fulfilled its obligation as final arbiter of the constitutionality of the President's health care law, and I thank them for their service. While the Court has been reviewing this law for months, American families and businesses have been reviewing it for years, and they have rendered their verdict as well. People on both sides of the health care debate will spend the days and weeks to come discussing the impact of today's ruling, but a few things remain clear: our health care system is broken, costs remain unchecked, and outcomes are not improving. I remain committed to addressing these concerns and fulfilling our obligation to the American people to lower health care costs, expand coverage and choice, and build on the innovation that sets America apart from the rest of the world."
Democrat Senator Kay Hagan:
"I am pleased that the Supreme Court has brought finality to this divisive debate. I believe that we must now come together - Democrats and Republicans - to ensure the law is implemented in a way that brings quality, affordable health care to North Carolina's families.
"We must continue working on solutions to problems North Carolina's families face. We must take action to help small businesses that need access to credit, to pass the highway bill that will provide 41,000 jobs in North Carolina and to ensure that our military servicemembers and veterans have the care and resources they need and deserve.
"It is time to put this debate behind us and return our focus to the number-one issue that the country wants us to address: jobs."