UPDATE: 1:15PM PST
In Massachusetts where Mitt Romney as governor helped to insitute comprehensive health care similar to the ACA, today's decision by the Supreme Court was celebrated, which is ironic because this morning Romney said if elected president he will repeal ACA.
Staff at the Massachusetts Health Connector, the agency which built the state’s online health insurance exchange, gathered in a conference room this morning to watch for news of the court decision. When it broke, Executive Director Glen Shor, said he and others there felt “immense pride," reported by boston.com.
“You can understand how people around the room felt that their work had been validated,” he said.
Shor’s office has been working to change the structure of the Connector market to make it compliant with the federal law. The state must offer partial subsidies to a new group of people, those who earn between 300 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Others will be moved from the Connector market into Medicaid coverage. And small businesses will be eligible for higher tax credits.
The state also is working to create a website where people can input their personal and financial information and automatically find out whether they qualify for subsidized coverage.
On efforts to control health costs in the state, Shor said, the Legislature and the Patrick administration will continue “full steam ahead.”
“I think the decision is sort of wind in our sails in Massachusetts, but I think we were already quite committed to cost containment,” he said.
UPDATE: 10:45AM PST.
Proponents of the Affordable Care Act continue to weigh in on the Supreme Court's decision.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California invoked Ted Kennedy who was a life long advocate for health care. He helped push through the law when she was House speaker. "Now he can rest in peace," Pelosi told reporters, echoing an earlier phone call she made to Kennedy's widow, according CNN.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama's former White House chief of staff, called it a "historic day."
"The president had the courage to bend the needle of history and did something presidents have tried to do for 60 years," Emanuel said of broadening health care accessibility.
In his opinion, Roberts appeared to note the political divisions of the health care law, writing that "we do not consider whether the act embodies sound policies."
"That judgment is entrusted to the nation's elected leaders," the opinion said. "We ask only whether Congress has the power under the Constitution to enact the challenged provisions."
UPDATE: 6-28-12 10AM PST
Assistant majority leader Dick Durbin released this statement today about what the Supreme Court decision means to Americans.
“In one of the most closely followed decisions in its history, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that President Obama’s Affordable Care Act was clearly constitutional.”
“This decision means that we can move forward to address the unsustainable increase in health care costs and expand the protection of health insurance coverage to over 30 million Americans – including millions in Illinois.”
“Those who opposed any change in the law and dismissed the constitutionality of this measure were rejected by the actions of Congress and the opinion of the Chief Justice.”
“It is also noteworthy that after two controversial, activist decisions in Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, the Chief Justice, in both the Arizona immigration law and the Affordable Care Act cases, appears to be working to reestablish the political neutrality of this court. That is a positive development.”
The Affordable Care Act has impacted the lives of millions of families across Illinois. From helping seniors save on their prescription drug costs, to young adults being able to stay on their parents’ insurance, to making preventive services like cancer screenings more accessible, the law addressed some of the most glaring gaps in America’s health care system. Our health care system and our economy are better off today as a direct result of this important law.
UPDATE: The President will be speaking from the Whitehouse at 12:15 EST. Watch live coverage at
UPDATE: Democratic and Republican responses:
Democratic and Republican responses:
Senator Tom Harkin D-Iowa said today’s decision confirms that health care is a right, not a privilege. Senator Barbara Milkulski, a tireless advocate for women’s health, spoke emphatically “This is what democracy looks like.” This decision breaks the strangle hold the insurance companies have on Americans. It’s a victory for women, and “being a woman is not a pre-existing condition.”
The Republican response predictably underscored the urgency of repealing the law in its entirety," Boehner said in a statement just minutes after the court released its ruling. Boehner's Republican-led House will likely vote to repeal the measure, but Obama's fellow Democrats in the Senate are certain to block it.
The individual mandate has survived revew by the U.S. Supreme Court - the Affordable Care Act is constitutional.
Today the fate of 50 million people without health insurance was decided. Hundreds waited outside the Supreme Court today in Washington with signs supporting Obamacare while other crowds voicing their dissent. The individual mandate has been upheld to the cheers of crowds outside the Supreme Court.
The law in its entirety including the indivdual mandate portion of the law has been declared constitutional as Chief Justice Roberts joined the liberal justices in the 5-4 decision. Reports are lauding Chief Justice Roberts as saving the Affordable Care Act. Joining Roberts in upholding the law were Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomajor and Elena Kagan. Dissenting were Antonin Scalia,, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito.
Groups out side chanted, “The repeal went down,” as a celebatory atmosphere spread among supporters of the Affordable Care Act.
The Medicaid provision is limited but not invalidated. The expansion of Medicaid will cover millions of additional lower-income people. As part of the change, the Congress increased aid to the states but also said that their existing Medicaid financing would be at risk if the states did not accept their obligations.
President Obama is expected to make a speech within an hour from the White House.
Updates to follow as more is available throughout the day.
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