Republicans vow to repeal 'Obamacare'

Politicians and candidates on both sides weigh in on constitutional issue, costs and fairness
2012-06-29T00:00:00Z 2012-06-29T09:44:12Z Republicans vow to repeal 'Obamacare' Arizona Daily Star
June 29, 2012 12:00 am

U.S. SENATORS

• Jon Kyl (R) - "For over two years, the president's health law has remained highly unpopular with the American people - particularly the mandate to purchase health insurance and other tax hikes. Because the Supreme Court did not strike down the most onerous provisions, it appears that the American people themselves will have to overturn the law by the choices they make in November's election. Forcing people to buy something and penalizing those who do not with a 'tax' leaves citizens in the same position as if the mandate were justified under the commerce clause."

• John McCain (R) - "Today's decision by the Supreme Court is disappointing. Obamacare is unpopular with the American people because it puts Washington in control of our health-care choices and does nothing to address the real problems in our system - most importantly the rapidly rising and unsustainable costs. … Obamacare does the opposite, driving up the cost of health care and, as a result, impedes the economic recovery this country so badly needs."

U.S. Senate candidates

• Wil Cardon (R) - "Constitutional or not, Obamacare is dead wrong and absolutely must be repealed. We need Washington outsiders who understand that this massive tax hike and expansion of government is the opposite of what we need - market-based health-care reform that lowers costs, improves quality of care and protects Americans' freedom to choose."

• Richard Carmona (D) - "Both Democrats and Republicans got it wrong. The fact is, we don't have a health-care system, we have a sick care system. More than 75 percent of the $2.8 trillion we now spend in health-care costs annually go towards treating chronic diseases, much of which are preventable. The Affordable Care Act does contain laudable first steps that help address health disparities and the access inequities of the current system, but it also has major flaws."

• Bryan Hackbarth (R) - "I guess that our constitutional rights don't matter any more. Where does it say 'We the Government' in the Constitution? It's 'We the People' and this court is out of touch with the Constitution."

• Jeff Flake (R) - "Today's ruling makes it clear that the burden now falls squarely on Congress to act. I opposed Obamacare in 2009 because a government-run health care system would lead to unmanageable costs at a time when the country can least afford it. I still oppose Obamacare today, and until Congress is able to fully repeal it, I will work to defund it and prevent its further implementation. We need to replace it with effective, market-based health-care reforms that increase competition, lowers costs, and raise the level of care for everyone."

• Clair Van Steenwyk (R) - "Once again our Supreme Court has found a way around our beloved Constitution by citing a tax law. We must restore our Constitution and begin to unwind our federal government while we still have the freedom to do so."

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 1

• Ann Kirkpatrick (D) - "This ruling is a win for the hard-working families in our district - along with millions of Americans - who agree we should protect children with pre-existing conditions, help seniors who face soaring prescription costs and preserve tax cuts for small-business owners who want to provide employee health coverage. ... This law is not perfect - it can be improved. But as we go forward and look for common ground, let's hold to this core principle: People should have access to affordable health care."

• Wenona Benally Baldenegro (D) - "Today's U.S. Supreme Court decision … brings welcoming relief to millions of uninsured Americans. Today's decision is a step forward in expanding access to health care, reducing health-care costs, and eliminating health care disparities."

• Patrick Gatti (R) - "This just enforces the fact that when Romney is elected in November, we will all have to get behind him in getting the bill repealed."

• Jonathan Paton (R) - "Today's Supreme Court decision doesn't change the fact that Obamacare is a bad law that hurts Arizona seniors and families. Obamacare raises taxes, cuts Medicare and assaults individual freedom. I am committed to repealing Obamacare before it destroys more jobs and further harms our economy."

• Doug Wade (R) - "We need to repeal Obamacare and then get back to free-market solutions for health care, while still finding innovative ways to take care of the poor and the needy. Obamacare will further sidetrack any economic recovery."

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 2

• Ron Barber (D) - "Although the court upheld major portions of the act, it is far from perfect. The Affordable Care Act included several important reforms - banning insurance companies from rejecting coverage for sick people with pre-existing conditions, ending discrimination against women, removing the cap on medical expenses and closing the doughnut hole that cost seniors so much money for medication. It also helps improve the solvency of Medicare's trust fund and reduces costs for seniors' preventive care. In Congress, we must reduce the skyrocketing cost of care, which is damaging our economy and making it unaffordable for many Americans and small businesses."

• Matt Heinz (D) - "While I applaud the Supreme Court's ruling on the individual mandate and other critical provisions of the Affordable Care Act, I am concerned that the decision regarding Medicaid expansion allows states to ignore millions of our lowest-income families. ... There is more work to be done. Under the current Arizona Medicaid program, many of Arizona's most vulnerable populations will continue to be left without coverage."

• Mark Koskiniemi (R) - "While the Supreme Court let stand the Affordable Care Act as the law of the land, it tore off the veil to reveal what the act truly is - a completely partisan tax increase. In addition, the court sent two important messages: 1) the decision of whether or not the act is the best way to tackle this problem rests with the people, and 2) the administration cannot punish states that decide not to participate in the expanded Medicaid provisions of the act. The act guarantees two things; an expanded bureaucracy and increased taxes."

• Martha McSally (R) - "Like many Americans, I am shocked that the Supreme Court totally upheld Obamacare's mandate as a tax. Called the Affordable Care Act, it is anything but affordable for American citizens and businesses. We now need to work to repeal this 2,700-page law that was crammed through Congress without reading and seriously focus on federal, state, local and private initiatives that will bring the cost of health care down to make it affordable and available for everyone."

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 3

• Raúl Grijalva (D) - "Today is a historic win for Arizonans and an affirmation of the Constitution. Our health-care system has been too complicated, too unfair and too expensive for decades, and today is a historic landmark on our way to the modern health care system we deserve."

• Amanda Aguirre (D) - "Until we can reduce the cost of health care, especially basic and preventative care, our system is broken and will continue to be a major burden on our families and the economy. The Affordable Care Act is a small step toward addressing some of the issues with the current insurance system."

• Manny Arreguin (D) - "Today, the American people won a victory that will make health care more accessible. Our challenge now is to move forward and heal the divide this debate and partisan politics has created throughout our nation."

• Gabriela Saucedo Mercer (R) - She didn't respond but posted on Facebook, "Obamacare upheld: Now up to Congress to repeal this TAX monster. I will FIGHT for REPEAL."

• Jaime Vasquez (R) - "This battle is lost, but the war is not over. It's the people that will ultimately decide whether Obamacare, Obama and his Islam Brotherhood cronies are kicked out of our White House. Until then, we must educate those among us that do not see what the real implications are and the negative effects on our entire lives and the lives of our children."

OTHERS

• Gov. Jan Brewer (R) - "Today's decision … flies in the face of what most Americans know to be true: Obamacare is an overreaching and unaffordable assault on states' rights and individual liberty. … The ramifications are sure to be vast, including a new tax on middle-class Americans and the erosion of individual liberty as Americans begin to see their health insurance choices dictated by an overbearing federal government.

"Everyone recognizes that the American health-care system is not perfect. Costs are too high and accessibility remains a hurdle for many Americans. But the answer to rising health care costs is not - and will never be - Big Government."

• Arizona Senate President Steve Pierce (R) - "Today's decision comes as both a tremendous disappointment and dangerous precedent for years to come. Forcing Americans to buy a private product or service of the government's choosing, under threat of financial penalty, opens the door for unchecked federal power for future generations. … Federal mandates that a citizen purchase a certain kind of car or consume healthier foods are no longer as far-fetched as they once seemed.

The so-called Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, will have devastating effects on Arizona once it is fully implemented."

• Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin (R) - "As former Chief Justice John Marshall once said, 'the power to tax involves the power to destroy.' If that is the case, President Obama will go down as having led the most economically destructive administration in American history."

• Assistant House Minority Leader Steve Farley (D) - "A health-care system that allows insurance companies to cherry-pick who will receive coverage and who will be left to fend for themselves is a system that fails all Arizonans. The Supreme Court's decision shows us that we are ready, now more than ever, for reform."

• Doug Hart, president of the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans - "Today is a historic day for Americans of all ages, an affirmation of a law that helps children, workers and retirees obtain affordable health care. Americans can now live more secure, knowing that their health and well-being are no longer tied to the whims and greed of the big insurance companies."

• Steve Krueger, national director of Catholic Democrats - "Today is a great day for the American people, particularly working-class families and people living in poverty. It is a day when we have seen the conscience of our nation and the cause of social justice triumph over ideology, the timid and the peddlers of fear."

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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