Gov. Rick Scott, who launched his political career on the defeat of the Affordable Care Act, refrained from offering a first impression to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling during a brief break in the clemency hearing this morning.
"I need to review it first,'' he said.
When reporters suggested he was a good poker player, the governor responded: "You know, I played poker once and I lost...I have to read it to understand what they actually said."
Attorney General Pam Bondi, whose office joined with other states to lead the legal challenge and who sat in the front row during oral arguments said she was "surprised, shocked.
"The court did say however, that they cannot do this under the commerce clause. You cannot force a person to purchase a product simply by being alive under the commerce clause.
"However, they found this is a tax, and that's contrary to everything our president has been saying. This is a tax on the American people, and that's how it was upheld. We haven't seen it yet; we heard it's approximately 200 pages; it hasn't been listed online yet. As it is, we'll have it printed and try to digest it. We heard they did limit the Medicaid expansion, but to what extent, we don't know yet.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam issued the following statement:
"Unconstitutional or not, the so-called ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’ is the wrong policy for reforming health care and the wrong direction for America. Individual liberties and the doctor-patient relationship took a step back today."
Florida Chamber of Commerce CEO Mark Wilson:
“Obamacare is a bad prescription for job creation and economic growth, and today’s ruling will have a long-lasting effect on the spirit of America’s entrepreneurs – true job creators.
“The looming cloud of uncertainty and fear of enormous and costly employer obligations will now be realized under today’s ruling and will cost many Floridians their employer-based health insurance, undermine job creation and raise health care costs for all.
“Private-sector jobs, particularly small businesses, will be hit hardest. In fact, the federal health care law will be financially devastating for many small businesses. More than 4,500 jobs and at least $3.5 billion in sales are now at risk – a sad reality just as Florida’s economy was beginning to head in the right direction on jobs and reemployment.
“Employers need a stable and predictable business climate to foster economic growth and that is why the Florida Chamber engaged in this lawsuit and co-filed an amicus brief with other state chamber of commerce.
“Florida already has nearly 50 health care mandates. The last thing Florida job creators need is another Washington mandate placing burdensome and unreasonable regulations on their businesses. Yet the federal health care law establishes 159 new agencies, panels, commissions and regulatory bodies.
“We recognize the cost of health care continues to rise. The United States continues to spend more per capita on health care than any other country and the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey consistently ranks increasing health care costs as one of the leading concerns of small business owners throughout our state.
“But we remain deeply concerned that Obamacare is flawed. As we move forward, it is important that we roll up our sleeves and work toward more meaningful reform that doesn’t hurt employers, impact employee wages, kill jobs and increase red-tape. True reform that makes health care affordable and accessible is needed – not an unrealistic and burdensome Washington mandate.
“The Florida Chamber commends Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi for her bold leadership in leading this 26-state legal challenge.”
-- Brittany Alana Davis contributed to this report