ROUNDUP: Reactions to SCOTUS Obamacare Rulings

Obviously, the shock is still being absorbed, and though there are a handful of folks explaining away how 18% of our national economy has been forcibly nationalized while a $1.76 trillion tax increase just became enshrined as law — the reaction from the Old Dominion’s conservatives has been steady and ongoing…

GOP Presidential nominee and former Governor Mitt Romney:

This is the time of choice for the American people. Our mission is clear: If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we’re going to have to replace President Obama. My mission is to make sure we do exactly that. That we return to the American people the privilege they’ve always had to live their lives in the way they feel most appropriate. Where we don’t pass on to coming generations massive deficits and debt, where we don’t have a setting where jobs are lost. If we want good jobs and a bright economic future, for ourselves and for our kids, we must replace Obamacare. That is my mission. That is our work. And I’m asking the people of America to join me. If you don’t want the course that President Obama has put us on, if you want instead a course that the Founders envisioned, then join me in this effort. Help us. Help us defeat Obamacare. Help us defeat the liberal agenda that makes government too big, too intrusive, and is killing jobs across this great country.

Attorney General candidate State Senator Mark Obenshain:

You and I both know that the individual mandate is an unwarranted encroachment upon our liberties. The Obama administration tried to justify this overreach under the Commerce Clause, in an argument which turns the Commerce Clause upside down. If the federal government can require you to purchase something against your will, what can’t it do?

It tentatively appears that the Court instead concluded that the mandate was a tax, despite the Obama administration’s insistence that it wasn’t, and their attempt to draft the bill to avoid it being one. It was a mandate — until being a mandate become too problematic.

Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate Delegate Scott Lingamfelter:

Our top priority right now is to elect Mitt Romney to the White House and to take back the majority in the United States Senate by electing George Allen to represent the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is only then that we will be able to repeal and replace this unprecedented expansion of government power with constitutional reforms based on freedom and free enterprise.

Virginia Delegate David Ramadan:

I am very disappointed in the ruling handed down this morning from the United States Supreme Court on ObamaCare. What the ruling clearly shows is this will be one of the largest tax increases in American history and a tremendous burden on States and our Commonwealth.

Gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli:

This is a dark day for the American people, the Constitution, and the rule of law.  This is a dark day for American liberty.

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.

I am disappointed with the court’s ruling and with the unprecedented attack on American liberty the president and the previous Congress have created with this law.

 Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell:

I was very disappointed to hear of the Supreme Court’s decision today that the individual mandate and the PPACA at large are constitutional,” said Howell. “Republicans in Virginia have been among the most vocal opponents of President Obama’s healthcare law, which will cost an estimated $1.76 trillion over the next ten years, a truly unaffordable cost with the national deficit already precariously high.

Representative Robert Hurt (VA-05):

The President’s health care law represents a fundamental departure from the founding principles of our nation by placing more faith in government than in the American people and by inserting the federal government in between patients and their doctors. It has not only resulted in compromised freedoms, but also has resulted in increased premiums, higher unemployment, and less access to high quality and affordable care.

Attorney General candidate Delegate Rob Bell:

Our founding fathers would be appalled.   This is a terrible disappointment to all of us who believe that the federal government must be restrained by the Constitution, and that Obamacare clearly exceeds these limits.  Unfortunately, a majority on the Court did not accept this argument.  I agree with the conservative dissent, which stated:

“What is absolutely clear, affirmed by the text of the 1789 Constitution, by the Tenth Amendment ratified in 1791, and by innumerable cases of ours in the 220 years since, is that there are structural limits upon federal power—upon what it can prescribe with respect to private conduct, and upon what it can impose upon the sovereign States.”

Today’s decision only underscores the importance of our elections this fall.  A Republican President and a Republican Congress could still repeal Obamacare and replace it with targeted, free-market solutions to the legitimate problems that exist in our health care system.  A Republican President could appoint more Supreme Court Justices who understand the importance of holding the federal government to its Constitutional restraints.

Gubernatorial candidate Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling:

I am very disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of Obamacare.  It was my belief that the President and Congress overstepped their constitutional authority in requiring American citizens to purchase a product like health insurance, and I am disappointed that the Supreme Court reached a different conclusion.  However, the court’s decision does not change the fact that Obamacare is bad policy.  Obamacare is too costly and we cannot afford it.  In addition, Obamacare increases the cost of doing business and makes it harder for American businesses to hire workers.  Finally, Obamacare limits American’s health care choices and intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship.

Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins:

Today’s decision is extremely disappointing, but it is not the end of the story. The American people will have the final say on ObamaCare this November at the ballot box.

And in January, I look forward to standing with President Mitt Romney, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and newly-sworn in Senator George Allen as this law is repealed and replaced with common-sense, market based reform.

Representative Randy Forbes (VA-04):

The Court today shattered the myth that it would stand between the overreaching decision of government and the individual liberty of citizens.  Chief Justice Roberts emphasized that the Court would not protect the American people from the bad political decisions of their elected officials.  The Supreme Court decision today is disappointing, but underscores the importance of electing officials who support individual freedoms and a more limited vision of government. The President’s health care law increases costs for employers, leaving some businessmen with the choice between laying off employees or paying the penalty associated with failure to purchase health insurance. This misguided judgment signals that there are no longer any real limitations on what the government can mandate on the citizens of this nation.

We need to repeal provisions that hurt economic and individual choices and preserve areas of common ground, such as making it easier for individuals, including those with pre-existing conditions and young adults under the age of 26, to obtain and keep health insurance by making it portable across state-lines, and allowing those who like their current coverage to keep it. We need to reform the medical liability tort system to reduce professional liability insurance rates and premiums, and reduce the practice of defensive medicine. In addition, we need to direct resources to medical research and clinical trials, including the use of adult stem cells, which show evidence of providing near-term clinical benefit for human patients.

Conservative HQ chairman Richard Viguerie:

Today, a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court of the United States–the body the Framers of the Constitution created to protect the citizenry from tyranny–has chosen to join infamous courts of the past, such as the Taney Court that made the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision finding that slaves had no rights and the Fuller Court that ruled to institutionalize Jim Crow discrimination in Plessy v. Ferguson in stripping Americans of their freedom.

Those infamous decisions were eventually reversed, as this one should be.

The Supreme Court’s decision is a stark reminder that one presidential appointment to the Supreme Court is all that stood between our freedom and the tyranny that will grow ever greater now that the individual mandate has been upheld.

If there was any reminder needed of what is at stake in this presidential election, the fractured vote upholding the mandate is it.

There are now 130 days until Election Day.  The Supreme Court has spoken, and the real work of protecting America from tyranny is now in the hands of Mitt Romney and the Republican Party.

Representative Bob Goodlatte (VA-06):

We’ve been had. Repeatedly, we were told by President Obama, as he tried to sell his flawed health care proposal to the American people, that the individual insurance mandate was not a tax. Today, however, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that it is a tax and thus a constitutional exercise of legislative power.

While I am disappointed in today’s ruling and believe that it is both a terrible result for the American people and a dangerous precedent for the Court, it doesn’t change the fact that the President’s health care law is bad public policy. It’s too expensive, drives up health care costs, interferes with patient access to quality healthcare, expands government bureaucracy and regulation and is simply unworkable.

Norfolk GOP Chairman Pam Brown:

Today’s decision is an obvious disappointment to those of us who believe in the limiting powers found in the Constitution, and the power of the individual to make their own choices regarding their health care.

Today’s ruling underscores the need for Republicans, conservatives, and independents who still believe in the principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual responsibility to unite behind Mitt Romney, George Allen, Scott Rigell, and Dean Longo. Our nominees fully understand the need to stand strong for these principles, and will work tirelessly to repeal this undue burden on the American people.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell:

Today’s Supreme Court ruling is extremely disappointing for Virginia and for America. The PPACA will create a costly and cumbersome system that will impair our country’s ability to recover from these challenging economic times, infringes on our citizen’s liberties, will harm small businesses, and will impose dramatic unfunded mandates on Virginia and all states. Simply put, this is a blow to freedom. America needs market-based solutions that give patients more choice, not less.

Virginia will evaluate the steps necessary to comply with the law. While we have awaited this decision, planners have been working to identify necessary resources and issues to be addressed to ensure Virginia implements this flawed law in the most effective and least costly and burdensome way possible. In coming months, Virginia’s healthcare leaders will work to develop the best possible system to meet the healthcare needs of our citizens. It remains my hope that we will elect a new President and Senate so that the existing law will be repealed and states will be given the freedom they need to implement healthcare solutions that work best for their citizens. We will evaluate the opinion in detail in the days ahead and determine what policies are proper for the people of Virginia.

Spotsylvania GOP Chairman Steve Thomas:

But America was founded on an ideal. That ideal was liberty, particularly individual liberty.

Today America lost a bit of that liberty. And with it, we lost a bit of what makes us America.

Now, to be clear: I am very disappointed with this ruling and in particular with Justice Roberts, who must have trouble standing up straight without the aid of a discernable spine.

But in a sense, what he said to us was this: Obamacare was a legislative problem, and it must be fixed with a legislative solution.

Virginia Senator Mark Warner:

I am pleased the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of health reform.

I have always felt the Affordable Care Act was weighted more toward the issue of coverage and not enough toward cost containment.

I look forward to now moving forward in a bipartisan way on how we can further bring down the costs of health care.  We must focus the health care system more on outcomes than simply on the volume of services provided.

Representative Scott Rigell (VA-02):

Like the underlying legislation that it addresses, today’s 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is lengthy and complex. I will be reviewing the decision thoroughly so I can fully understand the practical implications of the ruling.

A cursory review, however, makes it clear that much of the PPACA has been ruled constitutional. This is deeply disappointing because it sets a legal precedent that greatly expands government’s ability to “mandate” other aspects of American life. For the first time in our history, Americans will be taxed not for what they purchase, but for what they have not purchased. That is wrong, and in my view, unconstitutional.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA-07):

Despite overwhelming bipartisan support, Virginia has been unable to develop the vast energy resources off our shores because of Washington red tape. Today, the Obama Administration finalized Virginia’s exclusion from their five-year lease plan. This decision is disappointing. I have and will continue to support measures to open our coasts to safe oil and natural gas production and give Virginia its fair share of the revenues. Virginia can and should play a key role in helping to bring down energy costs, spur job growth and make America more secure.

Virginia State Senator Dick Black:

It is easy to see where Obamacare will lead.  Just last Thursday, doctors in the United Kingdom went on strike for higher pension benefits, leaving tens of thousands of patients without healthcare–including planned surgeries. Socialized medicine has never provided the level of care achieved through free-markets and innovation in America.

America risks becoming a European style socialist nation. If President Obama gets four more years, this transition may become irreversible. Policies of the Obama administration have undermined our freedoms and destabilized national security and the economy.

Former U.S. Senate candidate (and Bearing Drift’s very own) Tim Donner:

NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh:

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 ensure Tim Kaine does not make it to the United States Senate.  Virginians deserve a Senator who will listen and stand up for Virginia first and foremost, and not simply do President Obama’s bidding.

More added as they come in….

UPDATE:  Oh, and just if you want to know what’s at stake between George Allen and Tim Kaine this year…

Former Governor George Allen:

While disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision on President Obama’s health care law, I believe it reinforces what is truly at stake during this pivotal election.  This November the American people have an opportunity to choose new leadership in Washington who will listen to their voices and repeal this costly, harmful government health care law.

My opponent believes this health care law is a ‘great achievement,’ but I believe it’s an infringement on individual liberty and free enterprise.  As I have traveled throughout Virginia, I have heard from families, small business owners and seniors seriously concerned about the harmful impact of this health care law and how it is increasing costs, discouraging businesses from hiring, and trespassing on religious freedom.

Former DNC Chairman Tim Kaine:

The Supreme Court just upheld the individual mandate and the Affordable Care Act.

It’s good news. We must continue to stand together and use the momentum from this ruling to get started on the work that remains to be done.

Yeah… tough choice there.

UPDATE x2:  Erick Erickson over at RedState has a different view of the entire ruling, one that seems to be picking up steam among conservative circles:

Having gone through the opinion, I am not going to beat up on John Roberts. I am disappointed, but I want to make a few points. John Roberts is playing at a different game than the rest of us. We’re on poker. He’s on chess.

60% of Americans agree with them on the issue. And guess what? The Democrats have been saying for a while that individual pieces of Obamacare are quite popular. With John Roberts’ opinion, the repeal fight takes place on GOP turf, not Democrat turf. The all or nothing repeal has always been better ground for the GOP and now John Roberts has forced everyone onto that ground.

It seems very, very clear to me in reviewing John Roberts’ decision that he is playing a much longer game than us and can afford to with a life tenure. And he probably just handed Mitt Romney the White House.

To which I respond:

Sorry folks, but “don’t hate the player, hate the game” isn’t exactly a silver lining.  Because at the end of the day, the federal government can now tax anything — including behavior (good or bad).

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