Reactions from NM politicians on health care decision
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Here are some of the reactions from New Mexico politicans int the wake of the 5-4 US Supreme Court decision that upholds nearly all of the provisions of President Obama’s controversial health care law.
As you’d expect, Democrats hailed the decision while Republicans hated it.
Since this is an election year, we broke down the reactions by matchups voters will see in November:
Gary Johnson, former New Mexico governor and current Libertarian Party presidential candidate:
“It has been clear for a while that we need a new President and a new Congress. Now it appears we need a new Supreme Court.
“Whether the Court chooses to call the individual mandate a tax or anything else, allowing it to stand is a truly disturbing decision. The idea that government can require an individual to buy something simply because that individual exists and breathes in America is an incredible blow to the bedrock principles of freedom and liberty. It must be repealed, and Congress needs to get about doing so today.”
Martin Heinrich, Democratic candidate for US Senate:
“This decision means New Mexicans will continue to benefit from expanded access to quality, affordable health care.
“Now it’s time to move on to the major economic problems facing our country. Our focus needs to be on creating jobs and getting our economy back on track. The finger-pointing needs to end and Washington needs to get its priorities straight by cutting waste and ending the Bush tax breaks for millionaires and companies that outsource jobs, so we can focus on job creation and strengthening Social Security and Medicare.”
Heather Wilson, Republican candidate for US Senate:
“The health care act is the very symbol of what’s wrong with Washington: It grows the size of government, kills jobs, raises taxes and makes Washington more involved in our lives. The court has said that Congress has the power to tax and spend; the people have the power to change the Congress so that we can create jobs and grow our economy in freedom.
“The right thing to do is repeal and replace the health care act. After today’s decision, the only way to do that is to elect more independent leaders we can trust who will do whatever it takes to make Washington work and get things done for New Mexico.”
Janice Arnold-Jones, Republican candidate for Congress, District 1:
“I am disappointed the Supreme Court did not rule in favor of completely overturning the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The politicians assured us that ObamaCare was not a tax. President Obama assured us the Individual Mandate was not a tax. The Supreme Court plainly ruled that the individual mandate IS a TAX. Over 46% of Americans pay no taxes. This means the 1.7 Trillion in costs will be paid for on the backs of the middle class. States can opt out of ObamaCare Medicaid and this jeopardizes health care coverage for the poor.
This historic policy blunder limits the choices of the American consumer, penalizes small business and those who work and continues this administration’s massive government overreach and leaching of our freedom. In the middle of this controversy, the debt and deficit crisis remains unaddressed and this country continues to operate without a budget. All of this KILLS JOBS.”
Michelle Lujan Grisham, Democratic candidate for Congress, District 1:
“This is a victory for New Mexico families because insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to people with asthma, cancer or heart disease, or force women to pay more for health care. This is a good first step toward reforming our broken health care system.
“However, there is still work to be done. When I get to Congress I will work to require health insurance companies to put patients before profits. We must control health care costs, improve quality and train more health care workers.”
Ben Ray Luján, Democratic candidate for re-election to Congress, District 3:
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the law is an important victory for the people of New Mexico. Young adults will be able to remain on their parents’ insurance plan, those with pre-existing conditions will be assured that they will have health insurance, and seniors will continue to pay less for prescription drugs and receive free preventive care.
“It is now abundantly clear that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and that the people of New Mexico will continue to benefit from its many important provisions.”
Jefferson Byrd, Republican candidate for Congress, District 3:
“The decision by the Supreme Court to uphold ObamaCare as the largest tax increase in American history proves what we have known all along. President Obama and Congressman Ben Ray Lujan are wrong for America and wrong for northern New Mexico!
“Ben Ray Lujan’s support of ObamaCare and this administration’s failed policies are the reason I entered this race. The Nancy Pelosi/Ben Ray Lujan led Congress lied to New Mexicans two years ago, denying that this disastrous mandate was a tax. Whether we characterize the ‘individual mandate’ in ObamaCare as a mandate or a tax, one thing remains clear: it is most certainly disastrous for our country’s future. As I have said from the start of my campaign, one of my top priorities to get America back on track is to introduce legislation to repeal every word of ObamaCare.”
Steve Pearce, Republican seeking re-election to Congress, District 2:
“I have long believed that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2011 was an unconstitutional overreach by the President. ObamaCare is a violation of our individual rights and an expansion of federal government power our nation’s founders would have found unfathomable.
“The Supreme Court, which has the responsibility of interpreting the law, found this overreach acceptable as a tax. While I do not agree, I respect its authority to make this interpretation … the Obama Administration will claim victory, when all this law does is assess a greater financial burden on hardworking American families and small business owners … We need to get back to work on repealing this ‘tax’ and reforming our healthcare system.”
Evelyn Madrid Erhard, Democratic Party candidate for Congress, District 3:
We’re trying to contact Madrid Erhard for a statement. As soon as we get it, we’ll post it.
Here’s what Gov. Susana Martinez said while talking to reporters Thursday afternoon:
Sen. Tom Udall, Democrat whose term runs through the end of 2014:
“When Congress and President Obama first took up this issue, we knew it wouldn’t be easy. The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is the best possible outcome for the American people. Today, quality, affordable health care is a major step closer to becoming a reality for millions of Americans who live one accident or diagnosis away from losing everything.”
Sen. Jeff Bingaman, Democrat who is retiring from the Senate at the end of this year:
“I think this is a very good ruling for New Mexico. For New Mexicans who have insurance, this law will help keep health care costs from spiraling out of control because there will be more Americans in the insurance pool. And for New Mexicans who do not have insurance, this law offers affordable coverage to them … I hope New Mexico moves quickly to prepare for the law’s full implementation in 2014, so that New Mexicans can take every advantage of it.”
Monty Newman, chairman of the Republican Party of New Mexico:
“Today’s Supreme Court decision ups the stakes for the future of our country. It is clearly a choice between two futures. Now, the only way to save the country from the White House’s government takeover of health care is to elect a new president.
“President Obama has put his faith in government bureaucrats and effectively cut families out of the decision process for their own healthcare choices. The sad irony is that the taxes, regulations and budget-busting costs aren’t solving the problem. Access and affordability are not achieved under the President’s plan. If you like your current plan, you can’t keep it because employers will no longer provide it. Under ObamaCare, as many as 20 million Americans could lose their employer-based healthcare, while an unelected board of bureaucrats could deny care to seniors.”
Javier Gonzales, chairman of Democratic Party of New Mexico:
Now we know. The health care reform that we all worked so hard for so long to achieve has been validated by the highest court in the land. But what comes next will make all the difference. Republicans like Mitt Romney and Governor Susana Martinez will refuse to move forward. They’ll re-fight old political battles inch-by-inch to stop Obamacare from impacting our community.
President Obama, Martin Heinrich, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Ben Ray Lujan and Evelyn Madrid Erhard are Democrats moving forward. Implementing Obamacare and creating jobs. But we need to win this fall if we want to protect the ground we’ve gained and move forward!