Not unlike the issue of same-sex marriage, President Obama's health care law, upheld this morning by the Supreme Court, puts Tennessee's relatively moderate Democrats on somewhat unsure political footing. Since the repeal of "Obamacare" is likely to become the primary rallying cry for Republicans, if it wasn't already, you're not likely to see red-state Democrats spiking the football, as it were, after the court's decision. (I've been told not to expect anything from the House Democratic leadership, for instance.)
Still, some reaction has been trickling in. Below are statements from the Tennessee Young Democrats and U.S. Reps. Steve Cohen and Jim Cooper:
Tennessee Young Democrats President Sean Braisted:
“The 2010 Affordable Care Act allows for hundreds of thousands of young Americans to stay on their parents' health insurance throughout college and as they start out life on their own. This provision alone has saved thousands of lives of people who previously could not have afforded care for chronic illnesses or emergencies.
“I am extremely pleased with the Supreme Court decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and allow the state and federal governments to move forward with implementing key provisions that will expand access to affordable care for millions of working families across America and in Tennessee.
“Republicans have already shown they are still going to stick their heads in the sand and vote to repeal a law passed by a majority of Congress, signed by the President, and affirmed by a Supreme Court majority led by
the Republican-appointed Chief Justice.
“Americans and Tennesseans deserve better. We need leaders who will work in a bi-partisan fashion to further enhance and expand the Affordable Care Act to drive health care prices even lower and hold large insurance companies accountable, not the political theater being offered by the Republican leadership in Tennessee and in Washington.
U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper:
“Most American lawyers aren’t surprised by today’s Supreme Court decision, nor am I. It turns out that Obamacare, Romneycare and Robertscare are the same thing – and constitutional.”
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen:
“The Supreme Court today rightfully upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and now the historic landmark can take its rightful place with Social Security and Medicare as powerful examples of what we can do as a country to help improve the quality of life for all Americans.
“After a two-year legal battle that divided the country, the Supreme Court has confirmed that the reforms contained within the Affordable Care Act are constitutional and will continue to provide millions of Americans with the health care they need to live healthy, prosperous lives. This Supreme Court ruling is a victory for the American people and ensures that millions of Americans will have access to quality, affordable health care for generations to come.”
UPDATE: TNDP Chairman Chip Forrester just issued this statement:
“The Supreme Court affirmed what a majority of Congress and the President already knew; that the Affordable Care Act is a constitutionally appropriate response to the health care crisis facing Tennessee families. Because of President Obama’s leadership, millions of working families, including a half a million Tennesseans, will have access to doctors and affordable health care.
“The Affordable Care Act is law, and will continue to be the law of the land. We should all come together and work in a bipartisan fashion, as did the Supreme Court, in order to ensure that all Tennesseans can take advantage of the provisions in the law that provide health and financial security, such as:
- Millions of young adults will still be able to stay on their family's plan until they're 26.
- Many seniors will continue to save $600 a year on their prescription drugs.
- Insurance companies no longer have unchecked power to cancel your policy, deny you coverage, or charge
women more than men.
- Soon, no American will ever again be denied care or charged more due to a pre-existing condition, like
cancer or even asthma.
- By August, millions of Americans will receive a rebate because their insurance company spent too much of
their premium on administrative costs or CEO bonuses.
“It is time for the legislature to start focusing on results and not politics. Tennesseans want our elected officials to move past the partisan bickering over health reforms and get to work on creating jobs and growing our economy.