WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential hopefuls on Thursday denounced a Supreme Court decision that upheld subsidies provided by the Affordable Care Act. The decision neutralizes what was likely the last serious effort to cripple the law through the courts and represents a major victory for President Barack Obama.
A decision against the health care law would have put the Republicans eyeing the presidency in a bind by forcing them to spell out what they proposed to do for millions of Americans without crucial subsidies. Now, however, they can continue to rail against the law rhetorically, promising to deal with the matter once they are in the White House. The fate of the law now depends on whether one of the following Republicans makes it there:
Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.)
I disagree with the Court’s ruling and believe they have once again erred in trying to correct the mistakes made by President Obama and Congress in forcing Obamacare on the American people."
“Despite the Court’s decision, ObamaCare is still a bad law that is having a negative impact on our country and on millions of Americans. I remain committed to repealing this bad law and replacing it with my consumer-centered plan that puts patients and families back in control of their health care decisions. We need Consumer Care, not ObamaCare.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
I am disappointed by today’s Supreme Court ruling in the King v. Burwell case. But this decision is not the end of the fight against Obamacare.
This fatally-flawed law imposes job-killing mandates, causes spending in Washington to skyrocket by $1.7 trillion, raises taxes by $1 trillion and drives up health care costs. Instead of fixing our health care system, it made the problems worse.
As President of the United States, I would make fixing our broken health care system one of my top priorities. I will work with Congress to repeal and replace this flawed law with conservative reforms that empower consumers with more choices and control over their health care decisions.
Here is what I believe: We need to put patients in charge of their own decisions and health care reform should actually lower costs. Entrepreneurs should be freed to lower costs and improve access to care – just like American ingenuity does in other sectors of the economy.
Americans deserve leadership that can actually fix our broken health care system, and they are certainly not getting it now from Washington, DC.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry
The Obama Administration has ignored the text of the Affordable Care Act time and again, and today’s ruling allows them to continue to disregard the letter of the law. While I disagree with the ruling, it was never up to the Supreme Court to save us from Obamacare. We need leadership in the White House that recognizes the folly of having to pass a bill to know what’s in it. We need leadership that understands a heavy-handed, one-size-fits-all policy does nothing to help health outcomes for Americans.
With individual premiums up more than 50 percent and nearly 5 million people losing their health plans, Americans deserve better than what we’re getting with Obamacare. It’s time we repealed Obamacare and replaced it with truly affordable, patient centered-health care reform, and I look forward to laying out my ideas on this issue.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
Today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the administration’s implementation of ObamaCare means Republicans in the House and Senate must redouble their efforts to repeal and replace this destructive and costly law. From the beginning, it was clear that ObamaCare would fail the American people and this has proven to be true across the country and in Wisconsin. Workers have lost hours because of new costs faced by their employers, people have lost their insurance and cannot afford the dramatic premium and fee increases, and many can no longer see their preferred doctors. Now, instead of just finger-pointing from the president for why his law is failing, we need real leadership in Washington, and Congress needs to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.)
This decision turns both the rule of law and common sense on its head. Obamacare raises taxes, harms patients and doctors, and is the wrong fix for America's health care system.
As President, I would make it my mission to repeal it, and propose real solutions for our healthcare system.
As a physician, I know Americans need a healthcare system that reconnects patients, families, and doctors, rather than growing government bureaucracy.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
Today, the Supreme Court had its say; soon, the American people will have theirs.
President Obama would like this to be the end of the debate on Obamacare, but it isn’t. The debate will continue because the law has failed to accomplish its prime objective: Containing health care costs.
Republicans must outline a clear and coherent vision for health care to win the trust of the American people to repeal Obamacare. And right now, I am the only candidate to put forward a comprehensive plan.
Now that the Supreme Court has ruled, the debate will grow. Conservatives must be fearless in demanding that our leaders in Washington repeal and replace Obamacare with a plan that will lower health care costs and restore freedom.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.)
This case was brought before the Supreme Court because President Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress rammed through their hastily and deeply flawed legislation to create Obamacare, apparently without even proofreading their own bill. The result has been a disaster from day one. Today’s decision only reinforces why we need a president who will bring about real reform that repeals Obamacare and replaces it with a plan that expands consumer choice, increases coverage, delivers better value for the dollar, and gives states more control, without stifling job creation. As president, this is the kind of reform I would put in place.
It is outrageous that the Supreme Court once again rewrote ObamaCare to save this deeply flawed law despite the plain text and in the face of overwhelming evidence that the law is not working for the majority of Americans.
ObamaCare has not lived up to what we were promised. Instead of more affordable care, premiums are rising. Instead of allowing those with insurance to stay on the plans they knew and liked, millions of people have been compelled to buy health plans that they didn't want. Many have been forced to move to Medicaid and yet more doctors are refusing to take Medicaid patients under this law. We were promised improved access and higher-quality care, but the complexity of ObamaCare is preventing the very competition that would allow more and better options for patients. Instead, hospitals, drug companies, and insurance companies are all consolidating. Instead of reducing the need for emergency care, we’re seeing more ER visits. There are a whole set of problems we’ve created and it has become clear that this law isn’t working.
The lasting solution here is what we've been saying all along. We need to repeal ObamaCare. It hasn't worked. We need to do the one thing we've never tried in our healthcare system—real competition. We know that competition provides lower prices and higher quality. But instead of a free market, healthcare so far has been a regulated oligopoly. We used to regulate insurance companies in all 50 states and now, we’ve nationalized that process. All Americans agreed with President Obama's goals of quality, affordable care, but that is not what we got. And competition doesn’t mean eliminating care for those with preexisting conditions. States should administer high-risk pools for those who have real needs. We’ve seen this in action – New Hampshire was able to administer high-risk pools effectively before Obamacare.
Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas)
Today’s decision in King v. Burwell is judicial activism, plain and simple. For the second time in just a few years, a handful of unelected judges has rewritten the text of Obamacare in order to impose this failed law on millions of Americans. The first time, the Court ignored federal law and magically transformed a statutory ‘penalty’ into a ‘tax.’ Today, these robed Houdinis transmogrified a ‘federal exchange’ into an exchange ‘established by the State'.... After today’s ruling, Obamacare will now be responsible for imposing illegal taxes on more than 11 million individuals and for burdening hundreds of thousands of businesses with illegal penalties on their workers, killing jobs, and further slowing economic growth. President Obama’s health care law remains deeply unpopular and is harming countless Americans by increasing costs and worsening the quality of care. I remain fully committed to the repeal of Obamacare—every single word of it. And, in 2017, we will do exactly that.
This story will be updated.