Arkansas Lawmakers Respond to Healthcare Ruling

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Several lawmakers issued statements shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday to uphold the Affordable Care Act championed by President Barack Obama.

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe: “We will study the impact the Court’s ruling will have on health care in Arkansas going forward. In the meantime, our separate initiative to create cost savings and improve health care in Arkansas continues. Our aim is to set an example other states can follow, regardless of what transpires next in Washington, D.C.”

U.S. Senator John Boozman: “I am disappointed in the outcome but respect the decision reached by the Supreme Court. However, just because the Court found the law to be constitutional, does not mean it is good policy. The President rammed this law through Congress claiming it was not a tax increase but the Court ruled it Constitutional as a tax. This is all the more reason to step up our efforts to repeal the law and its accompanying tax increase, and put in place free market solutions that lower costs and allows a patient centered approach to making health care decisions.”

Congressman Steve Womack:  “I am surprised and disappointed with today’s ruling.  With respect for the court’s decision, I will continue to advocate for full repeal of this massive expansion of government and do away with an unwanted and restrictive tax on the American people by replacing it with common sense, patient-centered reforms. The majority of Third District Arkansans are opposed to this law, and I will continue to fight on their behalf to fully repeal it. This is a bad day for America – and a major victory for big government.”  

Senator Mark Pryor: “The cost of health care is having a major impact on Arkansas families and it is taking an enormous toll on our nation’s budget and well-being. This reason is why Presidents and lawmakers of both parties have promised to fix this broken system for more than 40 years. It is also the reason I have worked to make health care more affordable, accessible and reliable for Arkansans. The law we passed, while not perfect, is already making health care more affordable, accessible and reliable. It is benefiting children, adults and seniors throughout our state. Before health care reform, I heard from an individual in Greenwood who couldn’t afford life-saving medicine for his heart condition. He is now one of the 36,000 Arkansas seniors who are saving a collective $30 million on prescription drugs through Medicare.  I received a letter from a mom in Fayetteville who can now insure her 5-year-old with Down Syndrome, and an email from Brian in Rogers who was able to purchase health care coverage despite having multiple sclerosis. In fact, in Arkansas more than 35,000 young adults have gained health insurance, 574 individuals with pre-existing conditions were able to buy coverage after being denied in the past and 819,000 individuals received preventive services with no deductible or co-pay. The protections upheld today by the Supreme Court will continue to benefit these families, and thousands of other Arkansans who have struggled with the cost of health care in our country. I am still analyzing today’s ruling. While it provides more certainty, it still allows us to work in a bipartisan way to improve our health care system.”

Lt. Governor Mark Darr: “As a candidate, I promised to join a lawsuit challenging Obamacare.  Today I make a new promise that, despite the fact we didn’t get the result we wanted from the Supreme Court, I will continue to stand with 70% of Arkansans and fight this over-reaching act. This ruling tells us the Federal government cannot punish states if they choose not to participate in this Medicaid expansion program.  This decision underscores the fact that when Arkansas’ political establishment said we had to grow government, they were wrong.   What conservative legislators have been saying was right: we unnecessarily wasted millions of dollars starting healthcare exchanges in Arkansas when we didn’t have to. Today I call on every elected official who serves in this Capitol to publically take a stand.  Will you side with President Obama and continue to burden Arkansans, or will you join me in bringing real healthcare reform to our state.  To the people of Arkansas, I say this, I heard your concerns and I stood with you. Today, I continue standing with you.  Together, we will win the battle.”

 Read What the Health Care Ruling Means to You