Reports say the Affordable Care Act was upheld by the court by a vote of 5-4. The court decision approved the core element of the President's law, which was the individual mandate. Under the law, all Americans are required to have some sort of health insurance. If Americans do not secure insurance, they will be subject to penalty by tax. The court maintained that this was constitutional as Congress possesses the power to impose taxes. The unlikely, but key player in the decision was Chief Justice John Roberts, who joined the more liberal members of the court in support of the law.
Several members of Congress from the Rochester area are weighing in on the ruling. Republican Congressman Tom Reed says, "I respect the Supreme Court's decision to essentially uphold Obamacare, but I am very troubled by the ramifications. This decision greatly expands the government's ability to tax and interfere in people's lives. This is bad news for patients, taxpayers and the economy."
Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter says, "I am very pleased that the Supreme Court has upheld the landmark Affordable Care Act. She says, "I was proud to bring this bill to the floor of the House of Representatives as Chairwoman of the Rules Committee in 2009, and I continue to be proud of the ways in which the law has improved health care access for millions of Americans."
Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Hochul says, "Today's Supreme Court ruling provides much needed clarity in an important national debate on the appropriate role of the federal government in the delivery of healthcare. While I was not in Congress to vote on the Affordable Care Act, I have always believed, and continue to believe, that the law is far from perfect, and I remain concerned about the high cost of implementing the law."
Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney said that the health care law is a "job killer" and would increase taxes dramatically. He says the law needs to be repealed and replaced.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has released a statement saying, "Thanks to the leadership of President Obama, and his administration, the Affordable Care Act will provide access to health care to millions of Americans nationwide and more than one million New Yorkers, and I am pleased the Supreme Court upheld this law."
We are continuing to follow this story and break down the details. We will have much more coming up on News 8 First at 4 and News 8 @ 5 & 6.