June 28, 2012

Health care ruling: Statements from Maine’s delegation

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U.S. Senator Susan Collins released this statement following the U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the Affordable Care Act.

“The Supreme Court has the responsibility to decide whether or not a law is constitutional and has rendered its verdict on the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.  I continue to believe that President Obama and Congressional Democrats overreached their authority when they enacted a partisan law that will ultimately increase health care costs, decrease choice, impose billions of dollars in new taxes and penalties, and greatly expand the role of the federal government.  Our nation faces overwhelming financial challenges, including a nearly $16 trillion debt, and this health care law will only make avoiding the coming fiscal cliff even more daunting.

“There can be no question, however, that our nation’s health care system requires substantial reform.  A clean decision by the Court to overturn this law would have paved the way for Congress to start over in a bipartisan fashion, as we should have from the start, to draft a health care bill that achieves the consensus goals of improving access and quality, providing more choice, containing health care costs, and making health care coverage more affordable for all Americans. 

“The Supreme Court was right to concur with the 26 states, including Maine, that challenged the healthcare law’s mandate to dramatically expand their Medicaid programs or risk losing their Medicaid funding.  Maine already has a generous Medicaid program.  Had the Medicaid mandate been upheld, financially-strapped states would have been forced to make draconian cuts in other critically important areas such as transportation, education, and many others in order to comply with this expensive federal mandate.  Ultimately, this provision was a false promise because it would not have been sustainable.

“I also am particularly concerned about the impact that this law will have on Maine’s small businesses, which are our state’s job creation engine.  The law discourages small businesses from hiring new employees and paying them more.  It could also lead to onerous financial penalties, even for those small businesses that are struggling to provide health insurance for their employees.  Even where the law tries to help small businesses, it misses the mark.  For example, I have long been a proponent of tax credits to help small businesses afford health insurance for their employees.  The new credits for small businesses in the health care law, however, are poorly structured.  They are phased out in such a way that businesses will actually be penalized when they hire new workers or pay their employees more.  Moreover, they are temporary and can only be claimed for two years in the insurance exchanges.“In the wake of the Supreme Court’s divided decision on this law, I continue to hope that Congress will work together to change the law substantially not only in response to the Court’s decision but also to respond to the very real health care concerns of the American people as well as the budget realities we face.”



Congresswoman Chellie Pingree issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision about the health care reform law:

“The Court made the right decision in preserving the basic consumer protections in thehealth care reform law—like letting young people stay on their parents’ policies or preventing insurance companies from cancelling your coverage when you get sick.  The court did the right thing by ruling in favor of consumers instead of siding with the big insurance companies.”


Governor Paul LePage released the following statement:

"Washington DC now has the power to dictate how we, as Americans, live  our lives.  This is a massive overreach by the federal government, and is infringing upon the individual choices that we, as Americans, have in pursuing our own American Dream.

This decision has verified what President Obama has refused to admit all along, which is to say this law is an enormous tax on the American people. The federal government can force you to do or buy anything, as long as they call it a 'tax.' This massive tax hike will only destroy the American economy as it forces us over the financial cliff.

This decision erodes the freedoms which made the United States the greatest country on earth.  It is a sad day, and it is now up to the American people to demand full repeal of Obamacare. The Washington DC  elites cannot and should not run our lives."

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