Reaction to Supreme Court health care ruling

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WTHR is working to get reaction on the Supreme Court's ruling to uphold most of the Affordable Care Act. More statements will be posted to this story throughout the day as we receive them in the newsroom.

Indianapolis-based insurer WellPoint:

"From the early days of the debate on health care reform, we've stated our desire to build a health care system that provides access to all Americans and ensures high quality, affordable health care."

Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly CEO John Lechleiter:

"Following today's decision by the U-S Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act, Lilly will continue working toward full implementation of the health care law."

John Gregg (D-Indiana gubernatorial candidate):

Daniel Altman, communications director for the Gregg for Governor campaign, released the following statement today in response to the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act:

"As someone who beat cancer and as the father of a son with Type 1 diabetes, John Gregg knows first hand how unexpected healthcare costs affect Hoosier families and our economy. Today's ruling answers questions for the thousands of Hoosiers who are currently covered under this law. Insurance companies cannot cut your insurance because you get sick. They cannot deny your coverage because you have a pre-existing condition. Young adults can stay on their parents' policy while they look for a job. Finally, senior citizens will continue to get a break on their prescription drug costs.

We are currently examining the ruling to determine its effect on Indiana. As Governor, John will bring Indiana patients, physicians, stakeholders and insurance companies together to discuss how to implement this law in the most cost effective and consumer friendly way for Indiana while also focusing on important issues like preventative healthcare and wellness that can lower healthcare costs for all Hoosiers.

For the last dozen years, Congressman Pence has been part of the problem in Washington, siding with big insurance companies over Indiana families. He has voted against guaranteeing Hoosiers access to health insurance, voted against health insurance for sick children, voted against prescription drug coverage for seniors and voted to let insurance companies take away coverage if Hoosiers get sick. Indiana families deserve better."

Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter:

"Today's Supreme Court ruling upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a devastating blow to personal freedom and to the hopes that the abortion provisions of the law would be dismantled by a complete overturning by the Court. It is now clear that a complete repeal of this overreaching law is necessary to protect Americans from subsidizing the business of killing unborn children and to protect the religious freedoms of churches, ministries and businesses that do not wish to provide abortion-causing drugs as part of their health care plans. While we are disappointed by today's ruling, our resolve to work for a complete repeal of this law is strengthened with a new sense of urgency to protect the unborn from this open attack on the sanctity of life."

Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne):

"Today's ruling by the Supreme Court is very disappointing for those of us who value individual liberty and personal freedom. In upholding key aspects of Obamacare, the Supreme Court has endorsed the concept that the federal government has virtually unlimited power over our lives through the use of its tax powers. There is seemingly little, if anything, that could not be mandated by Washington; just call it a tax and it's ok. states' rights have never been more threatened.

The fact that Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the ultra-liberal wing of the Supreme Court is also troubling. One must hope that this does not indicate a shift to the left by Mr. Roberts, but this decision, perhaps the most important judicial ruling in more than 50 years, certainly sides with those who believe there can never be enough government in our lives.

A silver lining in the Court's ruling that should help Indiana's taxpayers is the fact that the Court ruled a state cannot be forced to adopt the expansion of Medicaid that was mandated by Obamacare. This provision was a certain tax increase waiting to happen, skillfully hidden in the language of the law, with the states virtually helpless to stop it. Now, Hoosiers can avoid such a tax increase by the state opting out of Obamacare's Medicaid mandate, which we will certainly do.

Yet significant federal tax increases to pay for this universal health care program are a virtual certainty as well. Time will tell, but one thing is clear: the role of the federal government in our lives has grown significantly today. For those of us who believe that the unrelenting growth of Washington's reach is a bad thing for our nation, today was not a good day."

Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN): 

"The immediate implications for Indiana are a huge increase in health insurance rates, especially for young people, and the need to decide whether to try to construct a so-called "exchange" or let the federal government do so.

The Court's ruling that the federal government has the constitutional power to do what it has done must be respected. But many actions that are constitutional are still unwise. The now undisputed facts that this federal takeover of one-fifth of our economy will worsen deficits, increase the national debt, raise health care costs, and force Americans off insurance coverage they have chosen, still argues for repeal of a dangerously misguided law and its replacement by major reforms based on individual freedom and consumerism."

Over the coming months, Indiana will consider these issues:

· Decide if the state will operate a health insurance exchange, leave its operation to the federal government or form a federal-state partnership. Though the governor's term ends in early 2013, a decision must be made by November 16.

Operation of a state-based exchange could cost $50 million to $65 million in the first several years of operation.

Indiana has taken steps to research the potential implications of health insurance exchanges, but absolutely no decision has been made to establish a state-based exchange. Before a decision can be made, the state needs more information about how a federally-based exchange will operate and be funded.

· Premium rates for Indiana's individual insurance market are estimated to increase an average of 75 percent to 95 percent beginning in 2014. For example, according to a report prepared for the state by the actuarial firm Milliman, young healthy males can expect to experience premium increases between 100 percent and 250 percent of their current rate; some women over 55 years old can expect a 100 percent increase in premium rates.

· A Medicaid expansion would put 1 in 4 Hoosiers (approximately 500,000 new enrollees) in Medicaid at a cost of approximately $2 billion over 10 years. The future of the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) is uncertain until the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) responds to the state's HIP waiver request. Any decision to expand Medicaid in 2014 is entirely the province of the next General Assembly and governor.

Susan Brooks (GOP candidate for the 5th Congressional District):

"Like far too many Americans, I am disappointed that the Supreme Court upheld the mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act today," said Susan Brooks.

From its inception, the Act was ill-conceived and rammed through Congress in a heavy-handed process by President Obama and a Democrat-controlled Congress, entirely without consensus and effectively against the will of a majority of the American people. The end result is disastrous for patients, doctors, job creators, state governments and taxpayers. It will fundamentally weaken the most advanced health care system in the world with severe consequences to those who rely on it.

The majority opinion today affirmed the Constitutional right of this President and his Democrat colleagues to expand the size and reach of the federal government to nearly unfathomable levels, reasserting the government's limitless power to tax citizens and businesses to fund a bad idea.

Our founding fathers would be as disappointed as I am. The only alternative for Americans who disagree with this unprecedented expansion of government is supporting Republicans at the ballot box in November who will work hard to repeal it and replace it."

IU Health statement on the Supreme Court's decision regarding the Affordable Care Act:

Long before the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Indiana University Health committed to providing coordinated and high-quality care, service and value to the patients we serve. Today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court changes neither our commitment, nor the course that we have charted.

As a health system that bears a heavy burden of caring for the uninsured and underinsured in the communities we serve, IU Health supports the expansion of access to health insurance to the millions of uninsured Americans. However, IU Health has consistently stated that true reform doesn't simply expand access to a flawed and unsustainable system. Rather, reform must address the root causes of what ails our current healthcare system.

IU Health believes that meaningful healthcare reform must include the following principles:

· Access to healthcare coverage should be greatly expanded

· Reimbursement schemes should reward quality vs. quantity of care provided to patients

· Provider incentives should encourage coordinated care across the healthcare continuum

· Patients should be empowered and incented to take responsibility for their health and healthcare choices.

We encourage our elected leaders to work together to reform our healthcare system so that it can serve generations of Americans to come. We stand ready to do our part - working aggressively to transform the way we deliver the highest quality healthcare while reducing costs.

Richard Mourdock (Indiana state treasurer and US Senate candidate):

Indiana State Treasurer and U.S. Senate Candidate Richard Mourdock reacted to the Supreme Court's decision today on ObamaCare and called for a complete repeal. "I am disappointed in the Court's ruling today that ObamaCare can stand as a massive tax on Americans. ObamaCare will add trillions to our national debt, deter future job growth, and force thousands of individuals out of their existing health care coverage. The choice in the upcoming election couldn't be clearer. "Congressman Joe Donnelly voted to pass ObamaCare and continues to support it. I will vote to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with real reforms that put patients and doctors in charge, create more choices for consumers and actually drive down the cost of health care," stated Treasurer Mourdock.

Mourdock then voiced his support for the following market-oriented reforms to health care:

• Make health care expenses and health insurance 100% tax deductible • Create more choices through market reforms, including the ability to purchase insurance across state lines • Aggressive medical malpractice and legal reform • Preserve and protect Medicare through patient-doctor choice, not government cuts that deny seniors services

ObamaCare's negative effects on Hoosiers and Indiana jobs

• An unelected board of 15 bureaucrats having the ability to deny health care to senior citizens • Cuts Medicare by $500 billion dollars to pay for the government's takeover of private health care • Job-killing medical device tax that threatens a $10 billion Hoosier industry and 20,000 Indiana jobs • Violates religious conscience: 43 Catholic organizations - including the University of Notre Dame - have sued the U.S. Dept. of HHS over mandates regarding contraception that conflict with the moral teachings of those organizations. • Hurts small business growth by arbitrarily deciding how tax credits are awarded and penalties assessed when owners provide health care to their employees.

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN):

Senator Lugar expressed disappointment today in the Supreme Court decision to uphold ObamaCare. "I continue to support full repeal of the massively expensive ObamaCare law," Lugar said.

Lugar voted against the Affordable Care Act at every step of its legislative consideration. He has repeatedly cited concern with ObamaCare's trillions of dollars of new spending, billions in new taxes, and failure to control the rapid increase in health care costs threatening American families and businesses. In his initial statement on the bill in July 2009, Lugar made the point that "a majority of the Members of Congress share President Obama's humane goal that millions more Americans might enjoy health insurance coverage and that medical care for all Americans might be substantially improved…but that President Obama and the Congress must recognize that the overwhelming demand of most Americans is that presidential and congressional leadership should focus each day on restoration of jobs." This statement is as true today as when delivered.

"The reality is ObamaCare has presented additional burdens to small businesses and levies new taxes that will hit American families and job creators in the years to come. The law also fails to keep the President's promise to let Americans keep the coverage they already have and enjoy," Lugar said. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that 3 to 5 million Americans, and perhaps many more, will lose their employer-sponsored coverage as a result of ObamaCare.

Lugar continues to recommend the following action plan for Congress:

· Repeal ObamaCare;

· Work with federal agencies to minimize the disruption of health care services as ObamaCare implementation ceases and specific regulations are rescinded; and

· Begin congressional hearings on replacement alternatives with a particular focus on incremental reforms that will minimize insurance market volatility and limit the lasting negative impact of ObamaCare on patients, health care providers, taxpayers, and state and federal budgets. Hearings could also point toward any specific provisions where a broad bipartisan level of support might indicate the wisdom on continuation.

Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN08):

"I am disappointed but respectful of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold this near government takeover of our health care system that negatively impacts one sixth of our nation's economy. Further, the Supreme Court confirming the Obama administration's argument that the individual mandate is a tax violates the promise President Obama made to the American people. Obamacare is a massive tax increase on the middle class both directly and indirectly through higher taxes on employers.

Obamacare is bad for all Hoosiers and will continue to be a major impediment to job creation and getting people back to work. Along with a sluggish economy, these are the major issues affecting our country. I will continue to work to repeal this law in its entirety and implement market-based solutions that focus on lowering costs while maintaining access to the highest quality of care."

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN06 and Indiana gubernatorial candidate):

U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement today in reaction to the Supreme Court's ruling in National Federation of Independent Business v. Kathleen Sebelius to uphold the Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare:

"I am deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision to uphold ObamaCare. This ruling erodes the freedom of every American, opening the door for the federal government to legislate, regulate, and mandate nearly every aspect of our daily lives under the guise of its taxing power. Today's decision affirms a massive tax increase on Hoosiers and is wholly inconsistent with the principles of personal responsibility and limited government that are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Congress must act immediately to fully repeal ObamaCare and protect Hoosier families, small businesses and family farms from its tax increases and mandates.

If ObamaCare is not repealed in full, Hoosiers will face higher health care costs and increased taxes. It is estimated that the ObamaCare tax on medical devices will cost Indiana more than 2,000 jobs in the medical device sector. While the changes in the punitive measures included in ObamaCare appear to give Indiana more options, that is small compensation for higher taxes and a government mandate that reduces the freedom of every Hoosier.

This national debate is far from over. Indiana and other states need the freedom and flexibility to develop health care solutions that best meet the needs of our citizens, without interference from Washington. We must face our challenges in health care with the belief in more freedom, not more government.

The Supreme Court may have had its say on the last Thursday in June, but the American people will have their say on the first Tuesday in November."

House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis):

"This is certainly not the direction I had hoped the Supreme Court would take on this most critical issue. Most Americans, and an overwhelming majority of Hoosiers, do not support this overreaching, overwhelming federally mandated approach to the nation's healthcare challenges.

To say that it will have a negative impact on Indiana small businesses, Hoosier families and our state's currently exceptional fiscal position may qualify as the understatement of the year.

While we cannot accurately estimate the fiscal impact on Indiana today, it is clear that Washington D.C. is completely out of touch with Hoosiers. Indiana will now be placed in the position of helping to foot the bill for burdensome D.C. mandates that our citizens oppose."

Indiana Chamber of Commerce: 

Indiana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kevin Brinegar reacts to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act, announced today:

"Conventional wisdom and national polls showed many Americans favored repeal of the measure, so we are surprised by the Court's decision.

"Our concern is the impact the health care law – now that it's going forward – will have on Hoosier businesses and their workers. Mandating coverage for pre-existing conditions and extending coverage for dependent children to age 26 will cause increases in health care costs; there is no way around it.

"That will force many employers to make the difficult decision to stop offering coverage and push employees into the federal plan. It puts the nation on the road to universal health care."

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN04):

U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita today made the following statement after the Supreme Court issued a ruling upholding most of the 2010 health care law, known as "Obamacare." A video clip of Rokita's response to the ruling is below:

"The more that Hoosiers have found out about Obamacare, the more they've disliked it. When the law was just a bill, its supporters promised that it would lower our deficit. We soon found out that promise was false. The president promised that everyone who was happy with their current health plan would be able to keep it. That was also a false promise.

Obamacare is still an unprecedented government intrusion into the lives of every American. Deciding what kind of health care is best for us is between us and our doctors – not Washington bureaucrats.

In spite of today's highly disappointing ruling, we'll continue our work to enact reforms – such as my Medicaid reform bill, the State Health Flexibility Act – that will allow our health care system to deliver better, more consumer-driven, and more innovative care. And we'll continue fighting to fully repeal Obamacare," said Rokita.

In January 2011, Rokita voted for a full repeal of Obamacare, which passed the House of Representatives 245-189.

Earlier this year, Rokita introduced the State Health Flexibility Act, which would combine federal funding to the states for the Medicaid and CHIP (the Children's Health Insurance Program) programs into a single block grant that allows states to design their programs according to the needs and priorities of their own citizens. This approach would unleash innovation at the state level and save up to $2 trillion over 10 years – without cutting a penny from current funding levels. Elements of the bill were included in the House-passed FY2013 budget.

Click here to view a video recording of Rokita's comments in response to the ruling.

Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN07):

Congressman Carson released today the following statement regarding the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act:

"The Affordable Care Act decision is not about a political party; it is about progress for the American people. It is an extraordinary victory for our seniors, for Americans with preexisting conditions, and for young people with insurance coverage through their parents.

I proudly voted in 2010 to pass the Affordable Care Act and give Americans access to quality, affordable health care services. Since that time, 54 million Americans in private plans have received free preventive health services such as cancer screenings and diabetes prevention. Insurance companies have provided coverage to 17 million children with pre-existing conditions. Those same companies will return excess profits to consumers and provide an estimated 12.8 million Americans with a total of $1.1 billion in rebates this summer.

Medicare beneficiaries in Indiana who struggle to cover the gap between the costs of their prescriptions and out of pocket expenses have already saved over $93 million, an average of $648 per beneficiary in 2011. More than 6 million young adults nationwide have been able to obtain health insurance through their parents' plans-with over 60 thousand young Hoosiers gaining coverage. And, despite repeated attempts by Republicans to repeal it, the Prevention and Public Health Fund has already brought over $16 million to Indiana for cancer screenings, diabetes prevention and other community health services.

I look forward to the continued implementation of this legislation and to securing a healthier future for Hoosier families."