The North Bend Eagle


Nebraska officials react to Supreme Court decision on health care law

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld most of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, releasing its ruling June 28. Below is the statements by some of Nebraska's top elected officials on the ruling:

Governor Dave Heineman
Released 6/28/12

As a result of today’s Supreme Court ruling, it is now more important than ever that Mitt Romney be elected President of the United States. Obamacare will continue to dramatically increase the cost of health care.

President Obama should have focused on controlling health care costs.

In overhauling America’s health care system, President Obama should have focused on controlling health care costs. The focus should be on patient-centered health care that emphasizes prevention, wellness and quality outcomes. There are many ways to achieve affordable patient-centered health care without the unaffordable, unsustainable, regulatory nightmare of Obamacare.

To name a couple of examples, nationally, we need an efficient electronic medical system that reduces costs rather than an inefficient paper-based system. We need hospital transparency for the consumers of health care. The prices of routine medical operations ought to be posted on the Internet so that citizens can make more informed decisions. Instead, America now has Obamacare which increases taxes and continues an unfunded Medicaid expansion.

The ramifications of today’s multifaceted Supreme Court ruling are very intricate and deeply complex. Reviewing this decision in a detailed, thoughtful and responsible manner will likely take weeks and months before a complete determination can be made on what this ruling means for Nebraska. One unexpected and convoluted element of the ruling is the unfunded Medicaid expansion is now an option for the states.

As I have said repeatedly, if this unfunded Medicaid expansion is implemented, state aid to education and funding for the University of Nebraska will be cut or taxes will be increased. If some state senators want to increase taxes or cut education funding, I will oppose them. Again, I want to emphasize that reviewing this decision in a detailed, thoughtful and responsible manner will take time before a complete determination can be made on what this ruling means for Nebraska.

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry
Released 6/28/12

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Fortenberry today issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to uphold key parts of the 2010 health care law.
“Now that the court has spoken, the debate turns back to the legislature. Do Americans want this law or not? Elections will decide. I think we can do much better than a nearly 3,000 page law that shifts more costs to unsustainable government spending, cuts Medicare, and erodes health care liberties.” 
Fortenberry has long supported patient-centered health care reforms that lower costs, improve health outcomes, and protect vulnerable persons.

Senator Ben Nelson
Released 6/28/12

Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson applauded today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, saying that the court’s ruling preserves the health care security the Affordable Care Act has been providing hundreds of thousands of Nebraska families and small businesses, and clears the path for new health care improvements set to go in effect in 2014. Today’s ruling ushers in a new era of affordable and accessible healthcare for all Americans.

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court preserves new health benefits that tens of thousands of children, young adults, seniors and families in Nebraska have already received under the Affordable Care Act,” said Senator Nelson. “Maybe this decisive action by the high court will mark a turning point in America, where people start working together because we need to fix our economy, create jobs and bring down the deficit.

“For the tea party types who waged a political campaign against the health reform law, the court’s decision that it is constitutional means they should stop discussing the issue and start offering their ideas and solutions,” Nelson added. “What the Supreme Court has done today is allow the nation to move forward, so let’s move forward together.”

The Supreme Court today affirmed the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and most of the law.

Senator Mike Johanns
Released 6/28/12

U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today released the following video statement on the Supreme Court’s health care law ruling. In the video, Johanns discusses the need to repeal the $2.6 trillion law and replace it with common-sense, step-by-step reforms that actually lower health care costs.

Click here to watch the video.

Johanns also gave a floor speech on the health care law’s full impact on Nebraska, our national economy and individuals’ quality of care. A full, unofficial, transcript is available here.

Below are excerpts from Johanns’ floor remarks:

“While we've waited over two years for the final decision about this law's constitutionality, we haven't had to wait that long to learn why the law is bad for America. The law was a train wreck from the very beginning. Back-room deals, empty promises, political tactics that epitomize what disgusts Americans about their government. Some of the law's leading supporters even admitted that they hadn't read the 2,700-page bill.”

"I believe we can pass step-by-step reforms that confront these tough issues and policies that depart from a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach. The issue of health care touches all of us at the deepest level. Whether it's a new life entering into our world, a tough diagnosis, a lifesaving surgery or care for a loved one in their final days, health care decisions should not be dictated by Washington. Families and the physician that they trust need to be at the heart of the decisions that impact their health.”

"The Supreme Court has spoken definitively about the constitutionality of this law, but Americans have spoken loud and clear when it comes to the sensibility of this process and of this policy. It's time to repeal it and put in place sensible reforms that truly do bring down costs.”

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