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UPDATED: Local Pols Speak on Supreme Court Ruling

Elected officials weigh in on the high court's decision on the Affordable Care Act.

Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling finding that President Barack Obama’s healthcare plan - the Affordable Care Act - is legal and leading to a number of statements from elected officials and candidates about the decision. Below are several of those statements.

• U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (Democrat):
“I am pleased the Supreme Court reaffirmed the hard fought progress that was made to ensure that no one can be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing condition, young adults will be covered, prescription drug costs for seniors will be reduced, preventive care including life-saving mammograms will be accessible and that insurance companies can’t cancel their coverage when you get sick. It is time to get beyond scoring political points and get back to finding common core values and passing legislation that will help grow our economy and get more people back to work.”

• Rep. Tim Bishop (D, 1st District)
"Today's Supreme Court decision compels us to finally put aside the political wrangling over the Affordable Care Act and move forward to fully implement reforms that will control costs while improving quality of care. This ruling confirms that, as a result of the Health Reform Law, all Americans will have access to secure and affordable coverage regardless of pre-existing health conditions, age, gender or employment status. I call on my colleagues to work in a bipartisan manner to address the challenges facing our economy and abandon the symbolic effort to repeal a law that was fully debated in Congress and has been deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court."

• Randy Altschuler, Republican candidate, 1st Congressional District
“I strongly disagree with the court’s ruling today. President Obama and incumbent Washington politician Tim Bishop must be held accountable this November for forcing Suffolk County’s working families, small businesses and seniors on a fixed income to shoulder the $500 billion in tax increases and $500 billion in Medicare cuts in this law that will further cripple our economy and slow job creation. Now, more than ever, if you want to change Congress you need to start by changing your Congressman."

• Rep Steve Israel (D, 2nd District)
“Today’s ruling isn’t a political victory for Democrats, it’s a victory for America’s middle class and seniors, and now House Republicans need to drop their partisan obstruction and move on.  Insurance companies are not back in control of a patient’s care. Insurance companies can’t again deny coverage to people with asthma, cancer or heart disease, or block women from getting cancer screenings. Republicans have wasted the last 18 months on a misguided, partisan crusade to put insurance companies back in charge of health care, instead of getting the economy back on track and strengthening the middle class.”

• Stephen Labate, Republican candidate, 2nd Congressional District
"The American people were clearly misled by President Obama and Congressman Steve Israel by insisting the individual mandate was not a tax. The Supreme Court saw through this and upheld the individual mandate for what it really was a tax. Elections have consequences and today we witnessed the disastrous outcome of electing officials who are willing to be so blatantly untruthful to the American people."

• Rep. Peter King, (R, 3rd District)
“I oppose today’s ruling, which upheld a sweeping government takeover of our health care sector. I believe the strongest response is to repeal Obamacare and implement incremental reforms, such as ensuring coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions, allowing portability of insurance from one job to another and allowing small businesses to band together to buy insurance. Most importantly, we must work towards reducing insurance premiums and co-pays, which this law does not do. I will continue to fight to repeal this law and to enact measures that empower patients while simultaneously reducing costs.”

• Thomas DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller (Democrat)
“The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is a victory for New Yorkers and all Americans. The law has significant fiscal implications for our state, providing more than $1 billion annually in new Medicaid assistance and delivering affordable health coverage for New Yorkers. While we have not yet solved the challenge of balancing health care access and cost, today's decision moves us one step closer to reforming our nation's costly health care system.”

Editor’s Note: Patch will update as more statements come in throughout the day.

Dad of Three June 29, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Yes, if you are permanently disabled you can obtain Medicare coverage. But I was speaking only of people who are employed or could be employed; still, I should have clarified the point, so thanks for mentioning this less well-known aspect of the law.
Dad of Three June 29, 2012 at 04:07 PM
WHO is totally ignorant of the "facts," Mr Dewick? Facts can be proven. Are you referring to the wildly-accusing-provides-no-proof "Peace & Love," or to me, or to...who?
Lincoln66 June 29, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Dear Old Fisherman, if by illegal you mean undocumented worker, than it's ok. Undocumented workers are not a "tax" on the system. We pay for it with higher taxes, that's all. I think Texas is close to paying to 1billion/yr for undocumented worker healthcare. But the hardworking folks of Texas can pay for it. It's free. As for additional sheriffs, you are not allowed to enforce our immigration laws on undocumented workers. Allowing them in illegally is good for our economy, We would not have over crowded schools or busting at the seems ER rooms without them. Open borders and an increased welfare state is what you want.
Preliator June 29, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Marlene, you need to look beyond the immediate effects of this ruling. In essence the government can now tax your behavior or pretty much anything they can dream up. Now why you may be comfortable with that now remember the old saying, be careful what you wish for. Where are the weapons of mass destruction...right now they are in the White House; Barack Obama IS a weapon of mass destruction more effective than any bomb any terrorist could ever hope to plant.
SueDit June 29, 2012 at 05:18 PM
I hope people will remember Atshullers lack of humanity when election time comes. I'm all for Tim Bishop and when my district is changed he will have my vote.
Marlene June 29, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Linda, you are what this country caused all the trouble were having....there's fact....never found weapons of mass distruction, oil prices high because the Texans have to have more money, the mortgage problem caused all these problems, has anyone causing this downfall have to pay any consequences.....no.......so instead of bashing, can you come up with a better solution? You all should stop talking through know it alls and open your eyes and ears...."
M. Perrotta June 29, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Thanks for being the voice of reason and sanity
Lincoln66 June 29, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Ms. Hazel, It doesn't matter whose idea it is or was- let's move into the here & now. This government fiat is going to cost us how much? Will our taxes increase? WIll there be new taxes levied where there weren't any ? (like people who don't want or need insurance yet or on small business? It's a bad idea whoever you assign it to.
Linda Otta June 29, 2012 at 07:16 PM
I answer to Marlene GASP! Is it possible that Obama lied AND GWB lied too? Is it impossible to think that not everyone supports party lines and is able to see past the bull on both sides? The Obama supporters need to stop making assumptions that because you don't support Obama that all of a sudden you are either a tea partier, a redneck or a republican. Thats a very broad brush to paint with and I am insulted by your choices of colors your using in your painting. I am happily re-registering from a democrat to an Independent next week. As I said before, the Democrats no longer represent the poor, they create them.
Preliator June 29, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Forget it, MB does not answer questions she just quotes what ever MSNBC tells her to.
Preliator June 29, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Correct Linda, create an entitlement class, the new slaves, who will never vote against you because you give them everything they need. The US will be one big plantation with Democrats rewarding the good slaves and dragging the bad ones behind the wood shed for a good whipping.
Chuck June 29, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Tim Bishop chose to cripple Medicare with his vote on the "Affordable Care Act". I hope you don't have any loved ones or family members that are seniors. Read my post above from 12:49 AM, today. You want to talk about a lack of humanity check in with some vulnerable senior citizens after this law gets fully implemented in a couple of years. Read some the the Medicare trustees' reports. Try getting informed.
DaddyGuru June 29, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Excuse me while I check my party platform and my religion and my slanted news channel to see what my opinion should be .
Chuck June 29, 2012 at 09:32 PM
I'm posting info that can be found in the Medicare actuarial reports. Tedious reading, but solid, unbiased information.
Boron June 30, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Where is all the screaming about the racist SCOTUS.
Long Island Patriot June 30, 2012 at 03:38 PM
The moment of truth has arrived and it’s time for freedom loving Americans to sh*t or get off the pot. The precedent set today which will live on through "starry decisis" gives the government unlimited taxing authority which could conceivably be used to force us to buy GM cars, foreclosed HUD properties, join only religious organizations the regime determines are acceptable. The sky is the limit and there is no positive spin on this that is worth the paper it is printed on. The only thing we can do is to put solid conservatives in office who will fiercely defend the US Constitution. I certainly didn’t devote my life to the US military to sit back and watch my country be dismantled piece by piece by the tyrannical actions of Obama and democrats. We are not at the precipice of losing our country, we are there. This is no joke folks and the time for action is now or resign yourself to living in a Marxist dictatorship. So get off the couch, turn off the baseball games and dancing with the stars, and save your country. Donate what you can, even if it’s $5 to conservative, constitutionally faithful candidates. Volunteer to walk the districts you live in to promote candidates who will stop the tyranny. Talk is cheap and your inaction constitutes agreement with the road Obama and his fellow travelers are taking us down. Nothing less than the future of your country and the freedoms warriors through our history fought so hard to protect is on the line.
Yvonne Kleine June 30, 2012 at 05:30 PM
I fear the government is encroaching on us from all sides and ALL parties. I was watching a program yesterday that asserted that George W. Bush signed a law that makes it legal for hospitals to draw blood samples from newborn babies without parental consent. This blood is to be stored in a government facility for so-called DNA and stem cell research. This law is an abomination, totally circumventing the rights of the individual and stealing the literal life's blood from infants without parental notification. The ramificaitons for the abuse of power and destruction of individual freedoms posed by this law cannot be underestimated. Calling politicians "Blood suckers" is no longer a metaphor. Obama is steering us to financial ruin and ignores both Congress and the system of checks and balances. Congress is somnolent. Our rights are being stolen folks, and we are worried about who wins the World Series. If we don't wake up soon, when we do, our country will be gone. Anyone from either party who ignores the will of the people MUST GO!
Lincoln66 June 30, 2012 at 06:57 PM
I have been on a few threads these last few days, (between work- not at work), and I am truly saddened. I was angry on day one of the decision but now saddened today after reading some of the comments. I have noticed the proponents of this law are all very good at what the law says and they represent their side well- but they seem incapable,(or unwilling), to discuss the fall out of this law. I would like to start with the Supreme Court decision itself and hopefully than get some feedback on the cost of all this. The Supreme Court Decision- The Court’s decision of turning a penalty into a tax expanded the government’s ability to tax us. It actually did more than that. The decision made it law that this new tax power is a mandate power. The court allowed that if you don’t buy insurance, you pay a tax. If you don’t do what government says to do, you will be taxed. That is so alarming to me, so against the values of this country that it sickens me even to write it. Please, proponents of this law, please tell me your opinion about the decision. Thank you.
David Doig July 01, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Wow! That's strong. I wish I could claim to know the will of the people! All government functions are not bad, many of them work quite well.....it is the system of checks and balances which prevent rights from being "stolen"....I think the public is awake! David Doig, Associate Professor of Business Five Towns College...Director of The Bayport School of Music http://bsm.musicteaching.info/
Jaguar-Guy July 01, 2012 at 10:05 AM
Hazel, it an onerous burden on citizens to make them "prove" they cannot pay this Tax - don't you think ??
Jaguar-Guy July 01, 2012 at 10:07 AM
Hi Lincoln, if you like the law, you cannot see any flaws. Amazing how you either love or hate this law.
Jaguar-Guy July 01, 2012 at 10:11 AM
Eliza, how come this is not portable - state-to-state ??? How come we cannot buy insurance from different states ?? That one is TERRIBLE. Cuts down competitive pricing so much !!
Yvonne Kleine July 01, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Dear Dr. Doig: I am not afraid to have strong opinions. We are served poorly by those who are loathe to have any opinion that isn't like a bowl of warmed over mush. And too many are afraid to challenge the President on his ever more destructive policies. As to knowing the will of the people, we will find out what it is in November.
David Doig July 02, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Dear Yvonne, I’m OK with the strong opinions part of your post. If President Bush had heeded warnings in the 4th year of his presidency regarding potential pitfalls of his monetary policy, perhaps the collapse of the financial system, in the final months of his 8th year could have been avoided! I believe the political system works best when an outcome (goal) is set and both political parties do their best to attain that goal. Unfortunately the current political environment is obsessed only with the process whereby healthcare will be reformed and not the ultimate goal of revising the current healthcare system. The American people are sick of the current political environment where compromise is not an option. I agree, the winner in November will be the candidate which most Americans will be able to identify with!
Yvonne Kleine July 02, 2012 at 05:18 AM
Then, Dr. Doig, we actually agree! I am against this sub-rosa finagling by both parties and the mendacious way they pass life altering bills without reading them. We still don't know most of what is in the Healthcare Bill, and at the risk of appearing cynical, I doubt that even one of the Supremes actually read it in it's entirety. I believe both parties treat the American people as if we are a vast sea of dribbling morons and you know, if we continue to allow them to do so, we are.
Rick Hoyt July 02, 2012 at 07:33 AM
LONG ISLAND PATRIOT - I Also Am Retired Military, Mostly With You, But Am A Constitutionalist, The Executive Branch, Even With The Bush Regime Had Exceeded Their Authority, Now This Regime Is Taking That And Going Further.I Have No Idea What The Feckless Congress Is Doing ? The Senate That's Easy To See.I Know Ron Paul Doesn't Have a Chance On This Cycle, But a Lot Of People Are Catching On To The Fact That The 2 Party System Has Been Dysfunctional For Decades, Also That Lobbyists, Big Biz-Banksters Are Prior Political Hacks And Goldman Sachs, Monsanto People Serve In High Positions of Government.That's Why I'm a Skeptical Independent.Some Here Think I'm Cruel - I Don't Care About The Poor, That's Far From True, They Should Be Helped On A Personal,Family, Church-Community Level, Or At Most A State Level.Get Big Government Involved And You're In Trouble - 16T In Debt Should Give Us a Clue, Also We Don't Produce Anything Anymore, Can't Compete On The World Stage In Science And Math.Most People Are More Interested In Getting Something For Free - 47% Pay No Taxes, Getting Public Assistance, Foodstamps,And The Wealthy Have Lawyers And Loop Holes.So It's The Diminishing Middle Class That Gets Snookered - Saying It's Enough - Tax And Tyranny.And YVONNE - "I Believe Most Parties Treat The American People As if we are a vast sea of dribbling morons and you know, if we continue to allow them to do so, we are." - CORRECT !
Joan July 02, 2012 at 03:32 PM
I WANT socialized medicine. You Republicans and Teabaggers don't seem to be smart enough, as a group, to know what is in your best interests. I would like to know what your fascination is with the bloated rich of America. I would like to know how you can believe that corporations are people. Medicare works great and it needs to be extended to all Americans. In a country where 90% of the wealth is owned by 1% of the population we have a President who wants, not to steal money from the wealthy but only that they pay their fair share so that everyone can live a good life. I hope that if you get sick you have to depend on "charity" for your medical care. You'll see how far THAT will get you. It would be a good lesson for you so keep on paying those outrageous health care premiums, and over the top prescriptions. As a group your party is the party of hate. Hate immigrants, hate Obama, hate the poor, hate brown people, and hate yourself. All that hate is reflected in the political party that you have chosen. Take a bit of advice and turn off Fox and learn how your government works. Learn that your party sees you as nothing more than either a burden or a wage slave for them. Stay well my friend.
Mark E. Smith July 02, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Very clever Mr. Guru. More people should be aware of how appallingly flawed the American political system is
Mark E. Smith July 02, 2012 at 05:10 PM
In actuality the tax imposed on those who choose not to buy health care is marginal compared to the tax increases America saw under the Reagan and Bush 1 and 2. I understand the apprehensiveness of people who do not want to be forced to buy any private product, but the reality is, you would have bought health care anyway because you need it, this bill just makes it more affordable for those who cannot afford proper health care.
Mark E. Smith July 02, 2012 at 05:12 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/07/02/no-obamacare-isnt-the-largest-tax-increase-in-the-history-of-the-world-in-one-chart/

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