The U.S. Supreme Court’s latest decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, bolstered the views of the region’s Democrats who support it, but didn’t change the minds of Republicans who oppose it.
Here’s a survey of their reactions.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called it an important step forward: “It affirms what Congress intended when we fought to get the Affordable Care Act passed — that everyone should be able to get affordable health care coverage, no matter what state we live in… “I hope that with today’s decision, those who have insisted on putting politics first when it comes to health care will put partisanship asside and work with Democrats to move our health care system forward, not backward, for the families we serve.”
Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, said he was stunned by the decision to expand the power of the executive branch: “Not only does this decision prop up a failed policy, it enshrines the principle that the president can trump Congress…The challenge now before Congress is to unequivocally repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered, market-based care.”
Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., said the law has helped more than 730,000 in Washington find affordable care, including 300,000 who were uninsured. “I hope that this clear and convincing decision will help put an end to the relentless and misguided efforts to repeal the act. It’s working. It’s constitutional.
Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, said he was disappointed but not particularly surprised, and called the law “a disaster”: “Since it is obvious that Obamacare is going to need at least substantial change, and more appropriately, full replacement, we will continue to pursue that over the next 574 days.”
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, D, called it a “common sense” reading of congressional intent: “Because Washington state established its own insurance exchange, it would not have been directly affected by an adverse decision. Throwing millions of people across the country out of the act’s system of subsidies, however, would have created what many have called a ‘death spiral’ and undermined the entire health insurance marketplace, ultimately disrupting Washington’s healthcare program.”
Brian Sepp, president of the Washington State Medical Association, said court was preserving insurance coverage for millions. “This ruling is a win for all patients, allowing everyone the opportunity to develop long-term stable relationships with physicians to ensure they get the care they need, when they need it, in the appropriate setting.”
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