The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act in a 5-4 decision Thursday.
Here's a look at what politicians from around Anne Arundel and around the state of Maryland have to say about the court's decision.
Annapolis City Council:
Mayor Josh Cohen (D) said, "I”ve always found it troubling in the wealthiest county that so many people do not have access to affordable health care. I'm glad that the constitutionality has been affirmed and that parents will no longer have to worry about family members being denied care due to pre-existing conditions."
Ald. Ian Pfeiffer (D-Ward 7) said, "I was supportive of the legislation in the first place. I thought it was worth doing."
Anne Arundel County Council:
Councilman Jerry Walker (R-7th District) told Patch via text, “The ruling by SCOTUS today points to the importance of the upcoming election. We need a Romney administration that will support a Congressional repeal of Obamacare mandate/tax."
Councilman Dick Ladd (R-5h District) told Patch via email, "Sounds like a major increase in government spending, size and taxes. It's a worrisome impact on private job growth and maintenance, which puts pressure on for more government jobs; good for those who do not pay taxes and or get tax refunds; very unnerving for those who pay taxes..."
Councilman John Grasso (R-2nd District): This is perfect proof that this is country is going downhill fast. They're going to tell you next who you're gonna marry. What's next? The Democrats are going to ruin this country, you can see it now. I'm so blown away. It's more proof of why Obama has to go. I'm gonna have to denounce my citizenship and move to another country. I can see it already.
Maryland State Delegates:
Speaker Michael Busch (D-District 30) was unavailable for comment. His office said he is out of state on vacation.
Delegate Ted Sophocleus (D-Linthicum): "I don't agree with all of it. The feeling I get out there in the public is that they knew we needed some type of health care [reform]. ... I agree with most of it but I think a lot of people don't understand it. I mean it was, what? 2,000 pages? I admit I haven't read the entire thing.
"But there were a lot of scare tactics being used especially with older people and death panels. ... I've been in the health care profession for a long time as a pharmacist. I don't think any doctor withholds treatment or medicine [because of a patient's age]. ... Everyone's got to digest this. We'll see where it goes."
Maryland State Senators:
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-2nd District) today issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling on “The Affordable Care Act:”
“This ruling is not about a victory for Democrats or a loss for Republicans. It’s about providing all Americans with access to quality, affordable health care. We’ve already seen many of the benefits here in Maryland that can now continue."
Rep. John Sarbanes (D-3rd District) said in a press release, “This is only the beginning. As we move forward, the Affordable Care Act will create health insurance exchanges where uninsured individuals and small businesses can choose from multiple private plans and end discrimination due to pre-existing conditions for people of all ages.
“Although I disagree with the majority’s interpretation that the Congress cannot enact an individual mandate of health insurance coverage under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, I am pleased that we are now able to move forward.”
Sen. Ben Cardin (D) wrote in a press release that the court's decision was "the best possible decision for the American people, because everyone now will have access to affordable, quality care and will be protected against the abusive practices of insurance companies.
“I thank the justices for setting aside the politics surrounding this debate and actually following precedent and the law."
Sen. Barbara Mikulski wrote in a tweet, "For women it's an enormous victory. No longer will being a woman be a pre existing condition or pay 30% more than men of same care status."
Gov. Martin O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown released a joint statement, which read in part:
"In upholding the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Supreme Court chose to protect the lives of millions of Marylanders and millions of Americans. American businesses will be more competitive in the global economy with lower health care costs and a healthier workforce. Parents will be able to keep their children on their health care plans until age 26. Seniors will avoid the Medicare Donut Hole. And by 2014, no American will be denied health care coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
“Today’s decision gives considerable momentum to our health care reform efforts here in Maryland. What it does not – and indeed must not – do, is give us license to take our eye off the ball or slow our progress.
“We remain as committed as ever to moving forward on behalf of our families. We must move forward, not back.”
What do you think about the Affordable Care Act being upheld by the Supreme Court? Tell us in the comments.