Why don’t I just throw up some reactions from political leaders and stakeholders here.
First of all, on the Republican side. They are ready to vote in Congress to repeal the entire law as soon as the week of July 9:
House Republicans will respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding President Barack Obama’s health care law by trying to repeal it after Congress returns from its July Fourth recess, aides said.
The House will vote to repeal the health care law — again — the week of July 9, the office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said. But it will amount to little: Democrats didn’t want to repeal it when its constitutionality was still in question.
What you won’t hear about: “repeal and replace.” The House GOP is out for blood and nothing else.
This will become a rallying cry on the right through to the election, that the Court couldn’t get rid of Obamacare but they will. And it will cause a lot of mouth-frothing. But it certainly means nothing over the next year. I think the electoral impact is negligible as well; it’s not like people fired up against the health care law weren’t going to vote before the Court ruled.
The Democratic message can be best distilled in a speech on the floor of the Senate from Harry Reid:
I’m pleased to see the Supreme Court put the rule of law ahead of partisanship, and ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional [...]
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 [...]
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.
Republican nominee Mitt Romney and the President plan to give statements later today.
Nobody is likely to give a statement on the broader implications of what ends up being a pretty conservative (small c) ruling from Chief Justice John Roberts. This is Lyle Denniston from the SCOTUSBlog liveblog:
“The rejection of the Commerce Clause and Nec. and Proper Clause should be understood as a major blow to Congress’s authority to pass social welfare laws. Using the tax code — especially in the current political environment — to promote social welfare is going to be a very chancy proposition.”
It should be said that many experts pushed back on that (here’s an example). Maybe health care is a unique case. But this sure looks like a limitation on the spending power. And in the immediate term, it’s not clear what this means for Medicaid. It seems like it gives Tea Party governors a pretext to resist federal program partnerships. When Medicaid was first announced, it was hospitals that browbeat the recalcitrant states into participating. We’ll see if they have the same power today.
…Mitt Romney is speaking: “What the Supreme Court didn’t do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day as president.” There’s no way for him to do that, but OK.
Other reactions on the flip.
Chuck Schumer: “This decision preserves not only the health care law, but also the Supreme Court’s position as an institution above politics. Just as Speaker Boehner vowed not to spike the football if the law was overturned, Republicans should not carry on out of pique now that the law has been upheld. Democrats remain willing to cooperate on potential improvements to the law, but now that all three branches of government have ratified this law, the time for quarreling over its validity is over. Congress must now return its full-time focus to the issue that matters most to the public, and that is jobs.”
Kirsten Gillibrand: “I am pleased the Supreme Court reaffirmed the hard fought progress that was made to ensure that no one can be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing condition, young adults will be covered, prescription drug costs for seniors will be reduced, preventive care including life-saving mammograms will be accessible and that insurance companies can’t cancel their coverage when you get sick. It is time to get beyond scoring political points and get back to finding common core values and passing legislation that will help grow our economy and get more people back to work.”
Nancy Pelosi: “In passing health reform, we made history for our nation and progress for the American people. We completed the unfinished business of our society and strengthened the character of our country. We ensured health care would be a right for all, not a privilege for the few. Today, the Supreme Court affirmed our progress and protected that right, securing a future of health and economic security for the middle class and for every American.”
National Nurses United:
The Supreme Court decision should not be seen as the end of the efforts by health care activists for a permanent fix to our broken healthcare system, according to the nation’s largest union and professional association of registered nurses today.
To achieve that end, the 175,000-member National Nurses United pledged to step up a campaign for a reform that is not based on extending the grip of a failed private insurance system, but “on a universal program based on patient need, not on profits or ability to pay. That’s Medicare for all,” said NNU Co-President Jean Ross, RN. “It is not time to stop, but a reminder to begin that effort anew.”
Reps. Raul Grijalva and Keith Ellison of the Progressive Caucus: “This ruling is a significant victory for the American people. After a two-year legal battle, the Supreme Court confirmed today that the Affordable Care Act will continue to provide millions of Americans with health coverage. The health care reform act provides that children will not be denied coverage due to a preexisting condition, young adults will be able to stay on their family health plan, and that Americans can keep their health care insurance if they get a major illness. The Affordable Care Act will now take its rightful place with Social Security and Medicare as powerful examples of what we can do together to improve the lives of every American.”