Georgia reaction to today's U.S. Supreme Court decision on health care split largely along party lines.
Congressmen Jack Kingston, Austin Scott and Senators Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss quickly released statements criticizing the ruling.
Georgia's Democrats say the law will improve health care access for Georgians.
But the state's leading business group argued that it will hurt both employers and workers.
Here are some of their statements in their entirety:
Both Senators 'disappointed':
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., made the following statements in response to the Supreme Court's ruling today on President Obama's health care law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
"I am sorely disappointed that the Court has upheld the individual mandate as a legal tax on the American people. Today's ruling does not change the fact that there have been enormous problems trying to implement this terribly flawed law and that it must be repealed and replaced with a step-by-step approach that makes health care more accessible, affordable and competitive."
"I am disappointed in today's decision. While I believe the individual mandate to directly contradict the Constitution, we must respect the decision of the court. However, this is not the final chapter in the healthcare-reform debate. I will continue to push to repeal the law, and urge Congress and the next administration to work to replace Obamacare.
"This law adds new taxes on an already overtaxed population, and adds regulation to an already over-regulated industry. We must address the skyrocketing costs of health care and its impact on individuals, families and small businesses while working together on transparent and measured reforms to ensure that everyone has access to quality and affordable care."
Isakson and Chambliss voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in December 2009, and they have both voted to repeal the law.
Congressman Scott: "It's a tax"
Washington D.C. - U.S. Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) released the following statement following the Supreme Court's ruling on President Obama's health care law:
"Despite the President's every attempt to convince the American people otherwise, today the Supreme Court today re-affirmed my long held belief that the health care mandate is a tax increase.
Scott went on to say, "Plain and simple, this law is bad policy. I will continue to support efforts to repeal it."
Georgia's State House Democrats 'Delighted'
Atlanta, Ga. - June 28, 2012 - House Democrats are delighted about the Supreme Court's decision to uphold President Obama's health care law.
The Supreme Court ruled this morning that the requirement that most Americans buy health insurance or pay a fine is constitutional as a tax. The health care overhaul was originally signed into law by President Obama in 2010.
The decision will improve how Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care.
House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams says that she is gratified by the Court's landmark ruling and its willingness to place principle over politics.
"The Supreme Court today issued an extraordinary ruling that will help millions of American families achieve better access to medical care and no longer have to choose between economic security and their health," said Leader Abrams. "We are very pleased by the Court's decision to uphold President Obama's signature achievement and its protections for Georgia families. Two million Georgians will have new access to insurance, and more will gain preventative care, lower costs and quality service."
"The legislation means that children and adults will no longer be denied health insurance due to pre-existing condition, young adults can stay on their parent's health insurance until age 26 and health insurance providers can no longer cancel your policy because you get sick."
Representative Pat Gardner has been an advocate for the Affordable Care Act since it was first signed in 2010.
"No one could be more delighted by the Supreme Court's ruling today than I am," said Rep. Gardner. "As a mother whose baby daughter was denied coverage by insurers 35 years ago because of a pre-existing condition, I am so pleased that no family will have to face that kind of anxiety in the future. Today we have taken a momentous step forward towards creating a coordinated system of care. People will no longer be denied coverage or find that their coverage has been dropped because they are sick. I am delighted that individuals in both Georgia and the United States will have more options for coverage."
More information about the Georgia House Democratic Caucus can be found at www.gahousedems.com.
Coliseum CEO 'Pleased'
STATEMENT FROM CHARLES BRISCOE, COLISEUM HEALTH SYSTEM CEO, REGARDING SUPREME COURT RULING JUNE 28, 2012
MACON, GA - "We will continue to work with patients, payors and the government to ensure a smooth transition as the provisions of the law are enacted. We are pleased that millions of Americans will have coverage for better access to vital medical services, preventive care and acute care."
Deal, Olens: Law Must Be Repealed
Today, in the wake of the Supreme Court of the United States decision to uphold Obamacare, Gov. Nathan Deal and Attorney General Sam Olens highlighted the need for Congress to repeal the government takeover of health care, which puts crippling mandates on the taxpayers of Georgia. Georgia was one of 28 states to challenge the constitutionality of the law.
John Barrow: Law is 'Flawed'
"My battle with Obamacare didn't start when I was elected as governor of Georgia," said Deal. "I wear with pride my bruises and scars from the fight against its passage in the U.S. House. Today, the highest court in the country let the American people down.
"While we recognize this is a huge setback for fiscal sanity and personal liberty, we are not giving up. Georgians and the American people deserve high-quality, sustainable health care. Congress must now work steadfastly on repealing this law and replacing it with reforms that help taxpayers instead of hurt them."
Olens said the ruling carries with it the strong implication that, contrary to the text of the Constitution and the vision of this country's Founding Fathers, there is no longer any meaningful limit to the power of the federal government.
As Georgia's chief legal officer, Attorney General Sam Olens has led the state's legal fight against the president's health care reform law. Immediately following his swearing-in as attorney general in January 2011, Olens joined the multistate lawsuit against the law. He has steadfastly defended Georgia's interests throughout every phase of the litigation.
"I disagree with this decision. Congress explicitly said this was not a tax," said Olens. "I call on Congress to act swiftly, repeal the law and replace it with real reform that respects the Constitution as written."
Prior to today's Supreme Court decision, two lower courts ruled for Georgia and its fellow plaintiffs, finding the individual mandate unconstitutional.
"Governor Deal and I are grateful to the outside lawyers who have served Georgia in this lawsuit as special assistant attorneys general at no cost to the state: Frank C. Jones, Jason Alloy, Josh Belinfante, Pitts Carr, Ben Mathis, David Oedel, John Parker, Mike Russ, and former team member and Supreme Court Justice-designate Keith Blackwell," Olens said. "Their pro bono efforts have ensured that Georgia could participate fully in this vital lawsuit at minimal cost to taxpayers."
U.S. Congressman John Barrow (GA-12) today issued the following statement on the announcement that the U.S. Supreme Court fully upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
Congressman Barrow said:
"This health care legislation was flawed from the beginning, which is why I voted against this law in committee and twice on the House floor. For the most part, the Supreme Court has ruled that the law doesn't violate the Constitution, but that won't fix the problems the law doesn't solve, and it won't fix the problems the law actually makes worse. We have to cut spending and cut health costs, but its starts with rejecting the false choice being offered by both parties, that it's all or nothing."
Georgia Nurses: Law Provides 'Better Care Options'
ATLANTA - In reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to largely uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Georgia Nurses Association (GNA) reaffirms its organizational mission to advocate for quality health care for all Georgians. With today's ruling, the ACA will provide access to care for nearly 30 million Americans who are currently uninsured. Almost 20 percent of Georgians (1.9 million) are uninsured.
Registered nurses in Georgia are on the front lines of the health care delivery system. They know from experience that patients who delay needed care often end up sicker and require much costlier care. Stipulations within the ACA will provide better care coordination options for patients.
"There is a crisis in our emergency rooms when the uninsured overload the system with health conditions that could have been preventable through routine health care," said Debbie Hackman, GNA's Chief Executive Officer. "The ACA's requirement of universal minimum coverage is an opportunity to provide insured routine and preventative health care and keep costs down for everyone."
Many provisions of the ACA, such as prohibiting insurers from denying coverage to children with preexisting conditions and allowing adults remain on their parents' policies until age 26, are universally accepted as improvements. Questions and concerns still remain on some issues, such as whether Medicaid will be expanded in Georgia or not.
"Nurses are valuable members of the interdisciplinary health team and stand ready to transform the current bloated, uncoordinated, inefficient health care delivery system," added Hackman. "The Georgia Nurses Association is also pleased the law provides for the growth and dissemination of long-standing, nurse-pioneered programs, such as nurse-managed health centers and the establishment of innovative models of team-based, patient-centered care delivery."