Wisconsin officials weigh in on Supreme Court's health care decisionWisconsin News
AG says Wisconsin must comply with the Affordable Care Act. Republicans vow to fight for repeal of the law; Democrats support the Supreme Court's decision.
Wisconsin's attorney general may have fought the federal health care law but now says Wisconsin should go along with it.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday to uphold the controversial health care overhaul. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen had joined counterparts in other states in a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act but says Wisconsin should begin implementing its mandates.
Gov. Scott Walker still refuses to implement the law, but Van Hollen says what the governor and the rest of the state are going to be obligated to comply with the law.
Van Hollen emphasized that he does not give policy making advice to the governor or legislature.
Another former attorney general and governor made a similar statement. While speaking to reporters on a call, Jim Doyle wouldn't comment on his successor's refusal to enact a state health care exchange but emphasized it is federal law saying, "There really isn't much choice. This is going to happen."
Health exchanges are insurance networks each state must set up by 2014.
Walker and Doyle comment
Gov. Scott Walker says he won't work on health insurance exchanges until after November, but his predecessor says much of the work has already been done.
Former Gov. Jim Doyle spoke Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Affordable Care Act.
Walker plans on waiting to see if Republicans win in the election, including Mitt Romney's White House bid, a party that's sworn to strike down Obamacare.
Part of that law mandates states to create health exchanges, insurance pools that are a one-stop shop for consumers.
Doyle left office in 2010 and says he already laid out much of the groundwork for these networks which are to be set up by 2014. The former Democratic governor now serves as a national co-chair for Know Your Care, a group supporting the federal health care law.
Sen. Johnson vows to fight on
A Wisconsin businessman turned politician in order to fight Obamacare says he's disappointed by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the health care law.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson vows to keep building support to repeal the law. Johnson told reporters Thursday federal health reform will lead to ballooning costs, rationing and reduction in quality of care.
The Republican lawmaker who, won his seat in 2010, says this will make the November election a mandate on the law.
Sen. Kohl supports the law
Wisconsin’s other U.S. senator, Democrat Herb Kohl, supports the Affordable Care Act. He issued the following statement on Thursday:
“I believe the Supreme Court made the right decision today. There is much more work to be done in controlling health care costs, but the Affordable Care Act brings us closer to providing health care to all Americans at a cost we can afford.
“Under the bill, nearly 60,000 Wisconsin seniors on Medicare have already saved almost $38 million in prescription drug costs, more than 43,000 of our state’s young adults have gained health insurance coverage, more than 400,000 women now have access to preventive cancer screenings and no one can be denied coverage for a preexisting condition.
“As we know, health care costs are a drag on our economy and the Affordable Care Act tackles some of the most rapidly growing health care expenses.”
Rep. Kind comments
U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, who represents Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District, made the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act.
“We have a system of checks and balances in our government for good reason and the Supreme Court has agreed that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. The ruling today will help us move forward in changing the health care system to better ensure that all Americans have access to stable, secure, affordable health care coverage.
“During the health care debate, a young mother introduced me to her one-year-old son, Henry, and shared their story. Before Henry was born, he suffered a seizure in the womb and therefore, upon his first breath, they were told he was uninsurable due to a pre-existing condition. I’m especially pleased that today’s ruling ensures that Henry and the 39,000 children in western Wisconsin with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied health care.
“The law isn’t perfect but it takes significant steps to get costs under control and provides important patient protections. We must find a way to continue working together to build on the important reforms made in the Affordable Care Act and continue implementing the law.”
Thompson would vote to repeal
Former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson, who is seeking the Republican Party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate, issued the following statement:
"My first vote as a U.S. senator will be for the full repeal of Obamacare. I will use every measure available to block any vote in the next term of the Senate until a full Obamacare repeal vote is taken. But that is not enough. I also have the ideas and experience to actually bring down health costs and increase availability, which is something nobody else in the race offers. That vote will only succeed if Wisconsin elects a Republican senator.
"Furthermore, I would work with Gov. Walker to make sure Obamacare is derailed in Wisconsin. We deserve better than a cost-increasing, choice-limiting political fix for a broken health care system.
"Tammy Baldwin's number one priority just became the relentless defense of Obamacare - and her willingness to unleash IRS agents onto the American people to enforce this unjust tax.
"What should frighten every Wisconsin voter is Tammy Baldwin's continued desire and support for even more government control over our lives and health care decisions. The road to repeal goes through Wisconsin, and I am by far the best person to defeat Tammy Baldwin and deliver this critical victory for Republicans."
Baldwin comments on decision
U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, the Democrats’ candidate for the U.S. Senate in the November election, gave the following statement:
“Today’s ruling by justices appointed by Presidents of both parties is an independent legal judgment. It is now time to come together and make this work.
“I disagree with those who want to rip up the decision of an independent court and start over.
“I am committed to continuing my work across party lines to make reform work and if there are bipartisan solutions that strengthen reform, we should work together to move them forward.
“I have previously authored bipartisan, health care reform legislation with Congressman Tom Price, R-Georgia, that earned broad co-sponsorship from 36 Republicans and 44 Democrats. I remain a willing partner to work across the political divide to advance bipartisan solutions and protect the gains we have made for the people of Wisconsin.
“I believe middle class families should have the peace of mind knowing they will have access to quality, affordable health care, regardless of any pre-existing condition.
“I believe Wisconsin small business owners should receive assistance to provide health coverage to their employees, allowing them to be more competitive in the global marketplace.
“I believe seniors should continue to have access to free preventive care, as well as affordable access to prescription drugs under Medicare.
“And I believe that it is the right thing to do to allow over 6 million young people who now have health care to stay on their parents’ health care coverage.”
Form State Sen. Pat Kreitlow, the Democratic candidate to represent Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District, of which Hudson is now a part, released the following statement:
“Talking with Wisconsin families who are worried about the cost of health care and the Affordable Care Act’s impact on government spending, it’s clear that this law and the decision upholding it was an important step, but there are a lot of changes that need to be made before we can have true reform.
“As we go forward, let's not forget what the health care issue is all about. Families and small business owners cannot afford to go back to a system where abuses by private insurance companies create higher medical bills and hurt local job creation. We need folks in Washington who are willing to overcome partisan differences to take on the real challenge of exploding health care costs families face without returning to a system that enabled insurance company abuses against our children, and without creating a system that unduly hurts jobs and adds to the deficit.
“I understand what middle class families and small businesses in northern and central Wisconsin are going through, and I will make sure that their voices – not those of insurance or pharmaceutical special interests – are what guide choices going forward. A healthy economy depends on healthy families and reducing costs for healthy outcomes.”
Rep. Duffy’s statement
U.S. Rep Sean Duffy, the incumbent Republican 7th District congressman, made the following statement:
“Today’s decision is a win for big government and a loss for Wisconsin families and job creators. This law is an aggressive and unwarranted intrusion of government into our lives. Obamacare fails to fulfill any of its original promises, heaping massive debt on America, imposing stiff penalties on small businesses which will kill jobs, and actually causing health care costs to rise. Furthermore, this law puts unelected government bureaucrats in charge of health care decisions rather than individuals and families.
“The Supreme Court confirmed the so-called individual mandate is nothing more than a massive tax on the American people and on job creators. Congress does have the power to tax – and in this case, Obamacare heaps taxes on everything from small businesses, to medical devices, to the average middle class American.
“We all agree that health care reform is necessary in this country, but I believe that we should work to replace Obamacare with a consumer-based approach that uses market reforms to make health care affordable again. That’s why I introduced legislation last year, H.R. 3682, that would be used as a starting point for discussions moving forward.
“My bill allows people to purchase health insurance across state lines, ends junk lawsuits, allows small businesses to pool together to offer health insurance, and empowers patients with meaningful data on cost and quality so they are better equipped to make good decisions about their health care. My plan also covers individuals with pre-existing medical conditions and keeps kids on their parents’ insurance after college.
“I would still support a full repeal of this job-killing law and would push for a replacement that takes bureaucrats out of our doctors’ offices and makes healthcare more affordable for all.”