Virginia's Republican governor and attorney general are denouncing the U.S. Supreme Court's decision upholding President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli - one of those who helped lead the fight against the administration's health care plan - says the high court decision goes against the very principle of a federal government with limited powers.
Cuccinelli calls it a "dark day for the American people, the constitution, and the rule of law," and an "affront to the principle of limited federal government."
Like the 26 states involved in the Supreme Court case, Cuccinelli believes the law's requirement that individuals buy health insurance or pay a penalty is unconstitutional. He goes on to say that Congress has now gained an unlimited power to force citizens to buy anything.
Governor Bob McDonnell says the law will impair economic recovery, infringes on citizens' liberties, will hurt small businesses and imposes unfunded mandates on states.
Former governor and current Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine, however, calls the law an important first step in curbing discriminatory insurance company practices and increasing access to health care.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement today following the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
"Today's Supreme Court ruling is extremely disappointing for Virginia and for America. The PPACA will create a costly and cumbersome system that will impair our country's ability to recover from these challenging economic times, infringes on our citizen's liberties, will harm small businesses, and will impose dramatic unfunded mandates on Virginia and all states. Simply put, this is a blow to freedom. America needs market-based solutions that give patients more choice, not less.
"Virginia will evaluate the steps necessary to comply with the law. While we have awaited this decision, planners have been working to identify necessary resources and issues to be addressed to ensure Virginia implements this flawed law in the most effective and least costly and burdensome way possible. In coming months, Virginia's healthcare leaders will work to develop the best possible system to meet the healthcare needs of our citizens. It remains my hope that we will elect a new President and Senate so that the existing law will be repealed and states will be given the freedom they need to implement healthcare solutions that work best for their citizens. We will evaluate the opinion in detail in the days ahead and determine what policies are proper for the people of Virginia.
Following the Supreme Court's decision affirming the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, former Governor and U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine today released the following statement:
"The Affordable Care Act is an important first step in curbing discriminatory insurance company practices and increasing access to health care, but more needs to be done to bring down costs. Our government, businesses, and citizens cannot continue to spend more than any other nation on health care while getting second-rate results. As Senator, I am committed to working with all stakeholders to find additional improvements to the Affordable Care Act that give all Americans affordable access to high quality services.
"While there is more work to do, it is worth noting what has already been accomplished under the Affordable Care Act. Nearly 63,000 more young people in Virginia have health coverage, more than 800,000 Virginia seniors have received free preventive care, millions of small businesses are now eligible for tax credits, and twenty million American women have access to cancer screenings and contraception without co-pays. And we've put an end to the egregious abuses by insurance companies that denied coverage to children with preexisting conditions, charged women higher premiums for the same coverage, and dropped folks when they got sick.
"My opponent regularly calls for a full repeal of this law, despite the positive results it's already delivering for Virginia. In the decade encompassing George Allen's six years as a U.S. Senator, the average insurance premium for families more than doubled and over 12 million more Americans were uninsured. Clearly, inaction was not a solution, and neither are continued calls for repeal. Instead we must work together to strengthen this existing program and improve cost controls."
George Allen today released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court's decision on President Obama's health care law:
"While disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision on President Obama's health care law, I believe it reinforces what is truly at stake during this pivotal election. This November the American people have an opportunity to choose new leadership in Washington who will listen to their voices and repeal this costly, harmful government health care law.
"My opponent believes this health care law is a 'great achievement,' but I believe it's an infringement on individual liberty and free enterprise. As I have traveled throughout Virginia, I have heard from families, small business owners and seniors seriously concerned about the harmful impact of this health care law and how it is increasing costs, discouraging businesses from hiring, and trespassing on religious freedom.
"I want to be the deciding vote to repeal this health care law. Virginians and Americans would be better served by reforms that deliver on the promise of reducing costs, increasing access to quality care, and put people - not government - in control of their health care. We need health care reforms that provide Americans with affordable, portable, and personal market-based health care solutions including Health Savings Accounts. I also support allowing small businesses to join together across State lines in larger risk pools for lower insurance costs and more competition and greater choice. And the States should be allowed the flexibility to manage Medicaid more smartly and efficiently.
"Virginia has proven that historic reforms can be achieved if leaders are willing to work together. As Governor, I worked with a Democrat-controlled legislature to pass major reforms including welfare reform, abolition of parole and Standards of Learning - now Washington needs the leadership and political will to achieve real health care reform."
In response to the Supreme Court's ruling on Health Reform, Congressional Challenger General John Douglass (USAF ret) issued the following statement:
"Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the people's will to reform our health insurance system, if elected, I will work in Congress to continue improving the the current law to help companies and people gain access to affordable, quality care. That's what forming a more perfect union is all about - economic growth that comes from helping Virginia families."
Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) today released the following statement after the Supreme Court rendered its decision upholding the President's health care law:
"Today's announcement by the Supreme Court is disappointing news for the people of Virginia's 5th District and for Americans across this country; however, we respect the Court's decision.
"The President's health care law represents a fundamental departure from the founding principles of our nation by placing more faith in government than in the American people and by inserting the federal government in between patients and their doctors. It has not only resulted in compromised freedoms, but also has resulted in increased premiums, higher unemployment, and less access to high quality and affordable care.
"In light of the Supreme Court's ruling, the House of Representatives remains committed to pursuing a full repeal of the President's health care law so that our nation may move forward with true market-based reforms.
"The House of Representatives has kept faith with the American people time and time again, voting on 30 different occasions to repeal, dismantle, defund, and replace the President's flawed health care law. Now, it is time that the Senate heed the calls of the American people and finish what the House has started by repealing, in full, this misguided law and working with us to replace it with patient-centered reforms that will deliver the highest quality care and the lowest costs, and that will preserve jobs across this country."
Today, Congressman Eric Cantor (VA-07) released the following statement on the Supreme Court ruling on the President's health care law:
"The Supreme Court's decision to uphold ObamaCare is a crushing blow to patients throughout the country. ObamaCare has failed to keep the President's basic promise of allowing those who like their health care to keep it, while increasing costs and reducing access to quality care for patients. In this tough economy, jobs and economic growth are on the minds of most Americans, but ObamaCare has increased uncertainty for small businessmen and women and forced them to put their hiring decisions on hold.
"During the week of July 9th, the House will once again repeal ObamaCare, clearing the way for patient-centered reforms that lower costs and increase choice. We support an approach that offers simpler, more affordable and more accessible health care that allows people to keep the health care that they like.
"The Court's decision brings into focus the choice the American people have about the direction of our country. The President and his party believe in massive government intrusions that increase costs and take decisions away from patients. In contrast, Republicans believe in patient-centered, affordable care where health care decisions are made by patients, their families and their doctors, not by the federal government."
Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling issued the following statement today following the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA):
"I am very disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the constitutionality of Obamacare. It was my belief that the President and Congress overstepped their constitutional authority in requiring American citizens to purchase a product like health insurance, and I am disappointed that the Supreme Court reached a different conclusion. However, the court's decision does not change the fact that Obamacare is bad policy. Obamacare is too costly and we cannot afford it. In addition, Obamacare increases the cost of doing business and makes it harder for American businesses to hire workers. Finally, Obamacare limits American's health care choices and intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship.
"Now, it is up to the American people to stop Obamacare. We can do that in November by electing Mitt Romney President of the United States, electing George Allen to the United States Senate, and reelecting our Republican majority in the House of Representatives. President Romney and a Republican Congress will act to repeal Obamacare and replace it with more responsible, market based health care reforms."
U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement following today's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The final health reform law contained amendments successfully introduced by Sen. Warner and 10 of his freshmen colleagues which promote increased innovation and greater cost containment for consumers.
"I am pleased the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of health reform.
"I have always felt the Affordable Care Act was weighted more toward the issue of coverage and not enough toward cost containment.
"I look forward to now moving forward in a bipartisan way on how we can further bring down the costs of health care. We must focus the health care system more on outcomes than simply on the volume of services provided."