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What is your reaction to the Supreme Court's ruling on the health-care reform law, and what should happen now?
Rosemary Goudreau
The Supreme Court upheld most of the federal health care law on Thursday, including a controversial requirement that most Americans have insurance, or pay a penalty. What is your reaction to the decision, and what would you like to see happen next?
Fred Costello
Republican State Representative, DeLand
The Supreme Court of the United States has essentially redefined Obamacare from a law that is based upon a personal mandate to purchase a certain product or service (health insurance) to a law that includes a tax on certain citizens who choose not to buy a certain product or service (health insurance).

This allowed the court to avoid ruling Obamacare unconstitutional. The redefining of the personal mandate as a (massive and job killing) tax avoided the need for the court to expand the commerce clause to find Obamacare constitutional. That is good. Instead, the court expanded the federal taxation power. That is bad.

While I would have preferred that the court had found Obamacare unconstitutional, the good news is that, because Obamacare is now defined as a tax, if a a majority of the members of both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate decide they want to eliminate the tax, they can do it by majority vote via the reconciliation process established in the Budget Act of 1974. 

For the record, I support an immediate repeal of Obamacare!

Eleven reasons I oppose Obamacare:
1. I am of the opinion that the federal government has no business being involved in health care. It is not one of the enumerated powers in our Constitution. Health care should be left to the states.
2.  It will be a job killer for businesses that employ more than 50 workers because they will have to provide health insurance for 100 percent of their workers or pay a penalty of up to $2,000 per worker.
3  Because many businesses may decide to pay the penalty and no longer provide health insurance for their employees, there will likely be more people without health insurance.

4. Many workers who no longer have health insurance paid for through their employer will not be able to afford the $5,429 average annual cost of private health insurance and will elect to pay a penalty of up to $695.

5. More workers will be without health insurance and will apply for Medicaid which will increase the number of people receiving Medicaid and thus increase taxpayer cost.

6. It raises the income level to be eligible for Medicaid, which will make millions more eligible for Medicaid, which will increase taxpayer cost.
(Fortunately, the court ruled that states are not required to participate in the new program and that the federal government may not withhold funding for the existing Medicaid program from any states that refuse to participate in the expanded program. If Florida does not opt out of the new program, it is estimated that it will cost taxpayers an additional $1.5 billion a year by 2020.)
7. It will limit choices in health-care insurance and require that all plans include "essential benefits."
8. While health care should preserve the doctor-patient relationship, Obamacare will insert government into the doctor-patient relationship.
9.  It levies new taxes on drug companies and medical devices.
10. It increases the tax on the Medicare payroll tax from 2.9 percent to 3.8 percent for income over $200,000 and applies the Medicare payroll tax to investment income for the first time.

11. It allows taxpayer funding to go to insurance plans that cover abortions, directly contrary to the long-standing Hyde Amendment.
Although all the above concerns are significant, the bottom line is that either we are a country founded upon individual responsibility and equal opportunity for all or upon equal result no matter the effort.

I will fight to protect individual responsibility and equal opportunity for all but will not support the socialist entitlement mentality of equal result no matter the effort.

For the above reasons, and I suspect there are more reasons to oppose Obamacare, I support repeal of Obamacare.
Costello is seeking the Republican nomination for Congress in the 6th Congressional District.
J. Robert McClure
President, CEO James Madison Institute

It’s official — the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court — as a “tax.”

This flawed ruling is a blow to America’s founding principles of individual liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government. So where do we go from here? A battle is lost, but the war is far from over — socialized medicine under any label is not an acceptable option for a freedom-loving people, and a tax can be repealed through the budget process.

A lone bright spot in today’s announcement, JMI’s amicus brief regarding the ACA’s Medicaid mandate appears to have been embraced by the court. In a 7-2 decision, it agreed that Congress cannot violate the states’ 10th Amendment rights by coercing them to expand Medicaid spending.

Yet the cost of health care continues to spiral out of control, and the ACA will add more than $1 trillion to the bottom line – fundamental changes must be made. However, government’s role should be to safeguard public health, not intervene in personal health, and the court’s decision today makes it even more clear that the solutions are not in Washington. Real health-care reform will come at the state level, where these proven laboratories of democracy are already producing positive results, not only in the area of health care but also in welfare and public pension reform.

Freedom is about choices and consequences, and this ruling diminishes Americans’ freedom to make choices about their health care. Going forward, we must turn our efforts toward state-led healthcare reform that focuses on providing affordable, quality health care while maintaining individual choice and encouraging personal responsibility for taking better care of our health.

Kevin McCarty

Our office has previously expressed concerns about several provisions of the Affordable Care Act and the potential for detrimental impacts on the availability and affordability of health insurance. Today, the United States Supreme Court’s ruling affirmed the substance of the Affordable Care Act.

With the affirmation of the Affordable Care Act, I remain concerned about the potential for increased health insurance premiums and continued disruption to the stability of the marketplace for many Floridians.

Nevertheless, we will work with the Florida Legislature and Governor Scott to implement the Supreme Court’s decision and develop an implementation strategy that minimizes market disruption and allows Florida’s health insurers and HMOs to continue to provide coverage in our state.

I would like to commend Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi for their diligent efforts on behalf of Florida’s citizens.”

Andrew Nappi

While disappointed, I was not surprised by this decision. We only need to look at Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942) (just one of many) to see the court has no problem creating new definitions of
words like commerce and taxation that would be unrecognizable to the Framers and Ratifiers.

The three branches of the general government have not been shy when it comes to expanding their power beyond the scope of its enumerated authority.

Now the court has ruled that Congress can tax Americans for not acting as they would have them act, the response from the states should be swift and certain. After all, one does not ask their abuser
to "please stop" and leave it up to the abuser to determine if and when to stop the abuse.

That swift and certain response to this latest in a long line of abuses lies in the "rightful remedy" as explained by Madison and Jefferson in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions.

The states should immediately enact a bill of nullification, making the Affordability Act null, void and of no force. It is the states who, in creating the general government, created a limited powers agent,
not a Leviathan that determines its own power.

The several states, as sovereigns, are the rightful deciders of what is constitutional and
what is not, despite Mr. Marshall's assumption of "judicial review" in 1803.

Nullification has been used throughout the nation's history right up until the present day. The New England States nullified Jefferson's Embargo Act in 1810, free states nullified the repugnant federal
Fugitive Slave Acts in the 1850s.

Today, any state with a medical marijuana law has in effect nullified federal marijuana laws. Last
month Pennsylvania nullified the REAL ID Act and on July one it will be unlawful for any officer of the state of Virginia to assist federal agents with arrest and detention of U.S. citizens as
"authorized" under provisions 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.

Depending on the federal government to uphold the constitution is futile and pointless. As its creators, the states must reassert their sovereignty and reclaim those powers reserved to them and to the

The 10th Amendment and the Ninth as well, are not just fillers. They are there for a reason and yesterday's SCOTUS decision illustrates those reasons.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski
Archbishop of Miami

The Supreme Court decision does not address the fundamental flaws in the health care law.

The decision upheld the “individual mandate,” i.e. that individuals can be required to purchase health care. The U.S. bishops had not weighed in on that issue on one side or the other.

For more than 40 years, we consistently advocated for universal health care – but one that kills no one and covers everyone. The Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare by its critics, fails in this regard.

Contrary to long-standing federal policy, it allows for federal funds to pay for elective abortions. It does not have necessary language to protect rights of conscience (hence, the unprecedented violation of religious liberty of the mandate that would force religiously sponsored institutions to purchase a product that violates their conscience); and, it excludes millions of immigrants from participation in the new exchanges created by the law – even if they were to purchase health services with their own money.

The Supreme Court decision in no way eliminates the urgent need to correct these fundamental flaws – for they in reality undermine the Affordable Care Act’s stated goal of promoting access to basic life-affirming health care for everyone, especially for those most in need.

Patrick Geraghty
Chairman, CEO Florida Blue

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In its opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the law. As such, Florida Blue will continue to implement the law’s provisions on a timely basis. Florida Blue will also continue to proactively partner with both the state and federal governments to transform our health care system.

I want to reassure you that Florida Blue continues to support a strong vision for comprehensive health care reform that reduces costs, provides universal access to coverage and improves the overall quality of care.

At Florida Blue, we believe that we must work together in the pursuit of health. Every day, we’re focusing on helping people take more responsibility for their health. Through our Florida Blue Centers, our online tools and our care consultants, we’re helping our members make better health decisions.

Additionally, we’re partnering with providers and members to create and use new delivery models like Accountable Care Organizations and Patient-Centered Medical Homes (which place an emphasis on a patient’s individual medical needs). It’s all part of our commitment to make health care more affordable, increase access to quality services and empower consumers with tools and information to manage their health wisely.

We believe in Florida. Our deep roots here go back nearly 70 years, and it’s in our DNA to help Florida’s communities stay healthy. In the days ahead, we will be conducting a thorough analysis of the decision in order understand its impact and the changes we must make to better serve you.

Howard Simon
Executive Director, ACLU of Florida

The ACLU of Florida welcomes today’s decision, which recognizes that Congress has the constitutional authority to fix a health care system that does not work for millions of Americans.

The individual mandate was designed to address a current health care system that disproportionately disadvantages minorities and women. The decision is especially welcome news for disadvantaged minorities, who are more likely to be uninsured, and for women, who are more likely to suffer gaps and discrimination in their health care coverage.

We hope and trust that the states will recognize that those with the least income often suffer the gravest health problems and will therefore accept the additional funds that the federal government is offering under the new law to expand Medicaid coverage.

However, this was a mixed ruling, and whatever one thinks about the individual mandate as a policy matter, we are concerned that the ruling on the Commerce Clause could potentially call into question other federal statutes that also rest on the Commerce Clause power.

The American Civil Liberties Union, along with the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Hunan Rights filed an amicus brief in the health care and had an interest in the outcome for two principal reasons.

The ACLU’s amicus brief can be found at http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/11-398_tsac_naacp_legal_defense__educational_fund_inc_aclu_and_leadership_conference.pdf


Will Weatherford

“I appreciate the court’s ruling on the Medicaid expansion mandate. States will now be able to choose whether to expand their Medicaid programs. A state which cannot afford or chooses not to expand its Medicaid program will not risk losing its entire, existing program.

“However, the decision that the other provisions of the law are constitutional is disappointing. While I respect the decision of this co-equal branch of government, I believe the act fundamentally and improperly changes the relationship between the federal government and the people.

“This act was intended to increase access to care and drive down costs, but will likely do neither.  It burdens Florida’s businesses which are struggling to grow. Individuals and families are deprived of both their money and their liberty because the law forces them to use their hard-earned dollars to purchase an insurance policy chosen by the federal government.

“I commend the efforts by Attorney General Pam Bonding former Attorney General Bill McCollum in pursuing this worthy litigation. We in the House will work with the Senate and the Governor to make the many difficult decisions necessitated by this legislation. It is my hope that Congress revisits the law, and repeals or amends it to truly achieve better health care access and reduced costs for all Americans.”


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FloridaVoices User Comments

Both "Conservatives" and "Democrats" have at one point, along party lines, argued for the substantial legislative portions of this ruling. Those arguing against it today are not doing so based off their own ideologies, instead, I believe they are merely reiterating polarizing party rhetoric. It is decisions such as this, from a right-leaning SCJ, that prove to the constituency that the Supreme Court can make decisions from an objective standpoint and correctly determine the constitutionality of a policy. While personally I may not agree with every minute piece of the legislation, it has helped to restore my faith in the democratic process and am excited to see how it helps to evolve a failing american healthcare structure.

Unlike Ryan, I am not encouraged about the legislative process, not as long as the filibuster is used to nullify the will of the people expressed in elections. I am, however, impressed with Justice Roberts' willingness to cross partisan lines; that is a refreshing change from the history of this court and a hopeful sign for the future. As for health care, our system is consistently ranked low in the list of nations (37th by the World Health Organization) with lack of access being one of the main reasons. We rank below 48 nations in infant mortality rate and below 51 nations in maternal mortality rate. The U.S. is 50th in life expectancy. The current health care system is clearly not working for all. I find fault with some aspects of the Affordable Care Act, but it is a start on getting all Americans covered so that those of us who pay for health insurance do not have to pay for those who do not. Nothing is free -- somebody pays for it. The GOP has a right to complain, but they also have an obligation to offer a serious alternative other than the status quo. So far, they haven't. The percentage of GDP spent on health care in the US is about 20, as still growing. If not this, what?


by Dr. Radut.