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Florida politicians react to SCOTUS ruling on Obamacare


The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld subsidies for the Affordable Care Act, allowing Obamacare to continue as it exists today. Here's the reaction from Florida politicians, updated as they come in:

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida (also 2016 presidential candidate)

I disagree with the Court’s ruling and believe they have once again erred in trying to correct the mistakes made by President Obama and Congress in forcing Obamacare on the American people.

Despite the Court’s decision, ObamaCare is still a bad law that is having a negative impact on our country and on millions of Americans. I remain committed to repealing this bad law and replacing it with my consumer-centered plan that puts patients and families back in control of their health care decisions. We need Consumer Care, not ObamaCare.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush, 2016 Republican presidential candidate (also released a video statement)

I am disappointed by today’s Supreme Court ruling in the King v. Burwell case. But this decision is not the end of the fight against Obamacare.

This fatally-flawed law imposes job-killing mandates, causes spending in Washington to skyrocket by $1.7 trillion, raises taxes by $1 trillion and drives up health care costs.  Instead of fixing our health care system, it made the problems worse.

As President of the United States, I would make fixing our broken health care system one of my top priorities.   I will work with Congress to repeal and replace this flawed law with conservative reforms that empower consumers with more choices and control over their health care decisions.

Here is what I believe:  We need to put patients in charge of their own decisions and health care reform should actually lower costs.  Entrepreneurs should be freed to lower costs and improve access to care – just like American ingenuity does in other sectors of the economy. 

Americans deserve leadership that can actually fix our broken health care system, and they are certainly not getting it now from Washington, DC.  

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida

I think the nation’s high court made the correct ruling. Clearly Congress intended for this law to help the uninsured gain access to affordable medical care and coverage.  Hopefully, some of the extremists will now stop trying to dismantle the law and instead join us in trying to improve it where needed.

U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter (also 2016 U.S. Senate candidate)

Today, millions of Floridians can rest easy knowing that the critical funding they need for their health care coverage will remain in place. More Floridians are benefiting from the health care law than anywhere in the country, and while we can continue to work to strengthen the law, it shouldn’t be used as a political football that jeopardizes critical assistance for millions of Americans.

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando (and possible 2016 U.S. Senate candidate)

The Supreme Court’s validation of the insurance subsidies for the Affordable Care Act is a great victory for the health of Florida and all Americans. It is fantastic news for the 1.4 million Floridians who currently get their insurance through the Federal Marketplace. This ruling means that 1,000,000+ Floridians will not lose their health insurance, and will continue to receive treatment for conditions that otherwise would go undiagnosed and untreated. It means that 63,000 residents in my district will not lose their health insurance subsidies.

As great as this decision is for Florida, Governor Rick Scott is still is not doing enough to ensure the health and well-being of Floridians. His refusal to expand Medicaid, backed by his Republican colleagues, is not only putting millions of people’s lives at risk, it’s costing our state billions of dollars.

The Affordable Care Act is the most important federal health law since the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid. It is working. I’m glad that the Court has declared, once and for all, that Obamacare is legal and Constitutional.

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach (also a 2016 U.S. Senate candidate)

The Supreme Court's interpretive gymnastics means that millions of Americans will continue to be burdened with increased premiums, high deductibles, and fewer hours, or else face stiff tax penalties. We must repeal ObamaCare and replace it with patient-centered solutions that actually make health insurance more affordable, promote small business expansion and job growth, and relieve bureaucratic burdens on doctors and patients.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston (also Democratic National Committee chairwoman)

Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a victory for millions of Americans, including 72,000 people in my congressional district, who will keep access to their quality, affordable health care coverage. For far too long before the Affordable Care Act, millions of people were denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions such as being a woman, or a medical condition such as diabetes. The ACA did away with all that, while lowering costs and reducing the rate of people who are uninsured. As a breast cancer survivor and one of tens of millions of Americans with a pre-existing condition, today’s ruling is personal for me.

This ruling should also mark the end of Republicans’ never-ending quest to gut the Affordable Care Act. Twice our nation’s highest court has given its stamp of approval to the ACA; it is unquestionably the law of the land. Instead of constant political games, Congress must work together to continue improving the ACA and states should work with the federal government to provide coverage for all of their citizens. In my home state of Florida, Governor Rick Scott has had opportunities to expand Medicaid and provide 800,000 Floridians access to quality, affordable health care. It is time for Governor Scott and the Republican State House to finally drop their political gamesmanship and help all Floridians.

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens

As a supporter of the Affordable Care Act and the representative of thousands of people who’ve depended on this landmark legislation to access quality, affordable health care, I am thrilled that the Supreme Court made the right decision in King v. Burwell. In my home state of Florida, 1,324,516 individuals and families could have lost their subsidies, worth $389 million, and faced a 359 percent increase in the cost of their premiums. My district has the third-highest number of people in the nation who benefit from the subsidy. It is a relief that those constituents, mostly immigrants, can now rest assured that their health care needs can be met.

They will not have to forgo seeking treatment because they lack the financial resources or be forced to rely on emergency room services to meet their health care needs, which is bad for patients and bad for the economy because it drives up the cost of insurance and medical services for other consumers.

I thank the Supreme Court justices for having the courage to do the right thing. It is yet another sign that Obamacare is here to stay.

Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando

The federal exchange provides access to low cost health insurance for more people in Florida than any other state, so today’s ruling is certainly welcome news for those more than 1.3 million Floridians who currently receive subsidies on the federal exchange. 

Unfortunately, more than 800,000 of our friends and neighbors still fall into the coverage gap, making too much to enroll in traditional Medicaid and too little to qualify for a subsidy on the federal exchange. The Senate remains committed to addressing this serious health care problem through a free-market Florida solution that maximizes consumer choice and personal responsibility, while protecting state sovereignty. 

With today’s ruling behind us, it is my hope we can continue to work with our colleagues in the House and with Governor Scott to craft a compromise plan to expand access to health care coverage and services for low-income working Floridians across our state.

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton

More than 1.3 million Floridians and nearly 7 million Americans nationwide can breathe a sigh of relief today, for the Supreme Court has ruled they can keep the federal tax credits that keep their health insurance premiums affordable.

Today’s simple but historic ruling in King v. Burwell upholds the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act for a second time. As Chief Justice Roberts explains his opinion for the majority, Congress passed health care reform in 2010 to improve our state health insurance markets, not destroy them. In order to make life-saving health coverage affordable for all Americans, tax credits must be available to all eligible taxpayers nationwide, no matter the state they reside.

Five years in, the Affordable Care Act has helped more than 16 million Americans gain coverage and drive our nation’s uninsured rate down to historic lows. Having now failed in the Supreme Court twice, it is time for Republicans to recognize that this law is here to stay. In Tallahassee, that means Governor Rick Scott working in a bipartisan way to expand Medicaid and ensure that 800,000 low-income Floridians can see a doctor if they get sick. And in Washington, that means Republicans working with Democrats not to dismantle this law, but to improve its shortcomings and make our health care system more sustainable for the American people.