US Rep. Ed Perlmutter: “I supported the Affordable Care Act because it guaranteed the Constitutional rights for people with preexisting medical conditions so they cannot be discriminated against and denied health insurance coverage. The Supreme Court’s decision upholds these Constitutional rights and provides certainty to folks that they do not have to worry their pre-existing medical condition or age will prevent them from receiving quality, affordable medical care. The ACA also gives new rights to middle class Americans so their insurance company cannot change the rules of the game at their convenience. It’s time to let this work, get more people covered and move on with the business of the country. We are all in this together, and our priority has to be putting American people back to work in good, stable jobs here in our country.”
Colorado Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman: “The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling is a serious blow to individual rights and freedom. The Obama Administration and Congress have just been granted unlimited power to coerce 313 million Americans into purchasing any product Congress chooses. By expanding the power to tax and regulate to every corner of our lives, this ruling truly is a threat to the very foundation of our republic.”
Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado – Statement from President Vicki Cowart: “This decision will have a profound and concrete impact on millions of people’s lives. Affordable, quality health care will now be available to millions of women who had no coverage or inadequate coverage before. Today, we are closer than ever to realizing the promise of health care for all. This is a victory for the American people, and we thank President Obama and the members of Congress who passed the Affordable Care Act for their leadership on this issue.”
Colorado Health Benefit Exchange – statement from CEO Patty Fontneau: “The high court decision allows us to stay on track with the work of building a new health insurance marketplace that increases access, affordability and choice for Coloradans and fulfills the vision of our state enabling legislation, Senate Bill 200. When we open for business in October 2013, our marketplace will make it easier for individuals and small businesses in Colorado to shop for and purchase health insurance. We have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us and we are grateful to be able to stay focused on opening an Exchange that meets the needs of Colorado.”
Centura Health: “The Supreme Court decision puts to rest certain legal questions about PPACA while at the same time fueling the fires of partisan politics in a Presidential election year,” said Gary Campbell, president and CEO. “In the midst of the continuing national debate about the law, Centura Health remains committed to fundamentally reforming health care delivery to ensure the utmost value for all Coloradans.”
Gov. John Hickenlooper: “The court’s decision simply keeps Colorado on the path toward reform we’ve been on since the Affordable Care Act became law. We must also remember that controlling costs across the entire health system is a critical component of expanding coverage. We remain committed to doing everything we can to improve the health and health care of all Coloradans.”
“More Coloradans will benefit when the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented in 2014. We will continue to operate within the law’s framework and with the General Assembly while making state-level decisions that work for everybody.”
US Rep. Doug Lamborn: “This is a sad day for freedom and liberty in America. President Obama adamantly denied that the massive individual penalty in ObamaCare was a tax, so to hear the Court define it as a tax is extremely disturbing. This is an unprecedented tax on the American people that will cripple our economy. ObamaCare is a train wreck for small businesses and American families and must be repealed.
“While I respect the judicial oversight of the Supreme Court, the Court did not create this problem. Congress created this mess, and Congress must fix it.
“If ObamaCare is not repealed, it will continue to be a drag on the economy and prevent us from returning to full employment. My Republican colleagues and I are focused on helping grow the economy, and we cannot do that with ObamaCare standing in the way. This unfortunate ruling makes the stakes all that much higher for this November’s election. It is absolutely essential that Congress repeal ObamaCare so that we can get back to economic growth and job creation in this country.”
US Rep Scott Tipton: “The President sold this act to the American people as anything but what it is, a tax increase. The President’s healthcare law has increased costs for American families, and hurt job creation when we needed it most. I have voted to repeal the law, and given what senior citizens and what struggling families will face as the law continues to be implemented, we must rededicate ourselves to standing up for common sense solutions that will address what Americans are truly concerned with: affordability and accessibility of care.
“There are better solutions to provide healthcare in this country than through a massive tax increase to fund a cumbersome government plan that raids Medicare and may result in 20 million Americans losing their employer-based coverage. Those solutions include: expanding coverage across state lines, and increasing the flexibility of health savings accounts, allowing patients to choose the lowest-cost healthcare option that best meets their needs. There are parts of the federal healthcare law that should be included in future reform legislation, such as coverage of pre-existing conditions, and allowing parents to keep their children on their health plans longer. This can be accomplished by partnering with the states to create and expand programs and put into place the proper resources to ensure that high-risk Americans have access to care.
“We have begun efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal this tax and implement common sense market-based solutions. I will continue to support measures that increase patient control and health care affordability, protect Medicare for seniors and strengthen it for future generations, and provide access to quality healthcare for all Americans.”
Colorado Community Health Network – statement from CPO Polly Anderson:
By upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the U. S. Supreme Court has assured that 32 million uninsured Americans, including 510,000 Coloradans, will have the opportunity to gain insurance coverage over the next few years. The decision also assures continued expansion to primary and preventive health care and that consumers will have vital protections and benefits under the law.
The Court’s decision assures expanded access to health care through Medicaid expansions, support for private insurance purchase and through continued growth in the nationwide network of Community Health Centers (CHCs) to more communities across America. In the years ahead, millions of newly insured people in communities identified as medical shortage areas will gain access to the high-quality, cost-effective primary and preventive services provided at CHCs.
Nearly $50 million in grants from the ACA has gone to communities across Colorado to expand existing CHCs and to build new CHCs to care for more people in Colorado. Health Centers are working hard to provide access to high quality, affordable primary health care in underserved communities, regardless of people’s insurance status. The continuation of the ACA means that Colorado CHCs will continue to provide health care homes to the 600,000 people who visit CHCs now – more than one in 10 people in Colorado — and help us move closer to our goal of caring for a million Coloradans through our Access for All Colorado plan.
Now is our opportunity – all of us working together: health care consumers, health care providers, communities, businesses, insurance plans, and government agencies – to make meaningful and lasting improvements to our health care system. It is time to prepare for full implementation of the health reform law. Most of the 16 million people who will gain coverage under Medicaid expansion in 2014, and the additional 16 million who will be able to purchase coverage through the new state Health Insurance Exchanges, live and work in the same communities that CHCs serve.
Colorado Center on Law and Policy – statement from Elisabeth Arenales, Health Program Director: “We celebrate the ruling because it means that all Coloradans have the security of knowing they can get the care they need when they need it.”
Colorado Hospital Association – statement from president Steven J. Summer:
“The opinion of the Supreme Court today allows the state of Colorado to continue to focus on what is important—ensuring health care access and coverage for Coloradans—and for that reason, we are grateful for this opinion. Colorado hospitals will continue to work to implement federal and state health care reform initiatives, and we look forward to continuing to assist our member hospitals and health systems in this effort. It’s ‘business as usual’ for us today, and it’s business as usual at the more than 100 hospitals statewide providing care for more than nine million patient visits annually. We will continue to work with policymakers on both sides of the aisle to reform the health care delivery and payment system and reduce the number of uninsured, as well as increase access to affordable care.
“Since 2010, the Affordable Care Act has already provided close to $200 million in funding to various Colorado entities, agencies and citizens. More than 44,000 young adults in this state have gained health insurance coverage through a parent’s plan; more than a thousand Coloradans have gained coverage through the pre-existing condition insurance plan; and more than 973,000 Coloradans with private insurance have received added coverage for preventive services without any cost-sharing. About 40,000 Coloradans with Medicare coverage have saved money on prescriptions thanks to the ACA, and close to 400,000 have received free preventive care. These are real, tangible benefits, and we must all continue to work towards increasing access to affordable, quality health care services for all Americans.”
Colorado Consumer Health Initiative – statement from executive director Dede de Percin:
“This is the best economic news we could have heard. Coloradans will have more money in their pockets because we will continue to reap the benefits of increased access to more affordable health care.
“Colorado families now will have the peace of mind that they will be able to get the care they need when they need it. Sonji and Nathan Wilkes of Parker know that their insurance company will never cut off the treatment their 7-year old son Thomas needs for severe hemophilia because of arbitrary coverage caps. Evergreen’s Dustin and Ariane Speck will not be denied health care coverage due to the pre-existing condition of Dustin’s suffering a stroke at age 41. And 24-year old David Taft in Summit County can continue on his parents’ insurance plan while he searches for a job with health benefits. And small businesses like CAP Management will be able to earn tax credits by providing health care insurance to their employees.
“Colorado has already begun expanding Medicaid coverage because as a state, we believe families should be able to get the health care they need. The Medicaid finding on reimbursements will not effect us.
“And not only has the Court upheld the law but Colorado has spoken – voters rejected an anti-health reform initiative and passed bi-partisan legislation to establish an health benefits exchange. We will continue to move forward with increasing access to quality health care for all Coloradans.”
Colorado Children’s Campaign: Today is a great day for Colorado kids. With the Affordable Care Act upheld, we know that thousands of Colorado families will continue to enjoy the security that comes with having access to affordable, quality health care. The Colorado Children’s Campaign celebrates this decision and calls on health advocates and policy makers to keep kids in mind as we continue to implement the law in Colorado.
We’ve fought hard for the protections and security this law guarantees and we must stay committed to connecting Colorado’s children and families to the affordable health coverage they need to thrive. Working together, we can move Colorado closer to the common sense goal that all Coloradans get the care they need, when they need it.
In just two short years, the Affordable Care Act—also known as Obamacare—has given 2 million Coloradans access to health care, expanded services and peace of mind. This includes:
· 291,000 Colorado children with pre-existing health conditions who can’t be denied care for that reason.
· More than 40,000 young adults under age 26 who’ll remain on their parents’ health insurance plans while they pursue their educational and career dreams.
· 521,000 children who no longer have to worry about lifetime limits on insurance coverage.
We’re happy to know these families will wake up tomorrow with a stronger sense of security that their health coverage is protected. We look forward to the additional benefits this law will bring to all Colorado children and families.
Center for Improving Value in Health Care:
Key provisions of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act were substantially upheld today by the Supreme Court, including the individual mandate. With the entire ACA left intact, Colorado’s efforts to improve care and reduce the cost burden gain new energy. And the Center for Improving Value in Health Care’s (CIVHC) initiatives to transform our health care delivery and payment systems now rest on a stronger foundation.
The Court’s decision to uphold the individual mandate for insurance purchasing is particularly important. Bringing everyone into the insurance pool with the individual mandate is the only way you can spread risk sufficiently to enable insurers to cover everyone, even those with pre-existing conditions. With the mandate in place, we gain an important mechanism for increasing coverage and improving health. We also gain an important lever for controlling costs: when everyone has coverage, you minimize the hidden tax we all pay when providers shift the cost of uncompensated care to those with insurance. Thus, the decision on the mandate is a boon for every Coloradan.
The Court’s action also provides greater certainty to important initiatives. For example, the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange can continue developing a robust marketplace for insurance purchasing for individuals and small businesses in the certainty that the subsidies that will facilitate participation by lower-income individuals will be available. In addition, our expansions of Medicaid eligibility to more low-income people-though not entirely dependent upon the ACA, because many of them were enacted prior to the law-have greater certainty as a result of the Court’s decision.
Yet, there is no room to become complacent. The need to improve health, improve care and control costs remains. Colorado started down the path to reform five years ago, with the work of the Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform. CIVHC’s work is an outgrowth of that effort. Since then, health reform has remained alive and well in Colorado, as our private insurers, our Medicaid program, our providers, patients, purchasers and policy-makers have all moved down the path the Commission laid out. Now, the Court’s decision provides additional impetus and support for CIVHC’s leadership role in convening engaging and supporting stakeholders in the essential work to improve quality and control costs in Colorado.
Compass Colorado: “This decision fundamentally alters the American way of life. President Obama’s federal government can now officially force any American to buy any product it pleases. This unprecedented decision by 5 unelected lawyers on the Supreme Court has put every Americans’ well-being under the thumb of big government and burdensome mandates. This is a sad day for American freedom and democracy.”
Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield Colorado – official statement:
From the early days of the debate on health care reform, we’ve stated our desire to build a health care system that provides access to all Americans and ensures high quality, affordable health care.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado will continue to move forward with our efforts to improve our nation’s health care delivery system, including:
Advancing our partnership with primary care physicians announced earlier this year that we believe will substantially improve quality and member health and potentially reduce the trend in overall medical costs by as much as 15-20 percent by 2015; and
- Offering the support of thousands of case managers and health coaches to help people manage their conditions and improve their well being.
- Providing resources to help members find high quality, high value physicians and health care facilities.
- Leveraging IBM-Watson technology to help members and physicians make decisions based on the most current, comprehensive, relevant and credible information available.
The road to implementing health care reform will be a challenge; however, we look forward to working constructively with policymakers and other key stakeholders to build a health care delivery system that provides security and affordability to all Americans.
AARP: AARP is pleased that the Supreme Court found the critically important provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to be constitutional. This landmark legislation is already improving the health and financial security of our members and all Americans.
AARP supported this law because it helps many Medicare recipients avoid financially burdensome increases in prescription drug costs by closing the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap, or “doughnut hole.” The ACA also expands the number of people eligible for free preventive and wellness benefits, and cracks down on Medicare fraud, waste and abuse. Finally, for those not yet eligible for Medicare, the ACA will be instrumental in eliminating discriminatory health insurance practices such as exclusions based on pre-existing conditions, and in limiting the use of age rating to charge exorbitant premiums for older Americans.
By starting to close the doughnut hole, 5.3 million people with Medicare Part D have saved $3.7 billion since the law was enacted. In the first five months of 2012, 745,000 people with Medicare saved a total of $485.3 million on prescription drugs in the doughnut hole coverage gap for an average of $651 in savings per person this year. Over 32.5 million Americans in Medicare used one or more free preventive services in 2011. And, over 2.2 million people with traditional Medicare benefited from the new Annual Wellness Visit in 2011.
We are analyzing the entire decision, including the Medicaid portion of the Supreme Court’s decision, to understand what it means for affordable healthcare coverage moving forward.
We know that our more than 37 million members, and Americans generally, want to know how these provisions affect them now and moving forward. That is why we developed the AARP Health Law Guide (www.aarp.org/healthlawguide) and other resources to help Americans understand their benefits now and in the future.
AARP CEO A. Barry Rand statement: “We are pleased that the Supreme Court found the majority of the Affordable Care Act constitutional. We look forward to the continued implementation of this critically important legislation so that millions of Americans can continue to receive the benefits it provides. AARP will continue to be a source of information and support as Americans navigate the benefits of the law.”
US Sen. Mark Udall – “The Affordable Care Act has expanded health coverage for thousands of Coloradans and made preventive care more accessible and affordable for millions of Americans across the country. I am pleased to see that the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the bill’s constitutionality. We have already seen the positive impacts of the law, including keeping prescription drugs affordable for our nation’s seniors and prohibiting insurance companies from denying health insurance to children with pre-existing conditions. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues, and the administration, to ensure that this important law continues to be implemented in a smart and effective manner.”
US Rep. Mike Coffman – “I’m deeply disappointed that the individual mandate was re-branded as a tax and allowed to stand. I still believe that we need to repeal the Affordable Care Act and start over with a bipartisan patient-centered health care reform that doesn’t increase our debt or cripple our economy.”
US Rep. Cory Gardner – “Today’s decision is very disappointing. The Supreme Court effectively granted Congress unprecedented power to tax people who don’t spend money and buy what Congress wants them to buy. But just because something is deemed constitutional does not make it good policy. Our fight to curb the overreaching power of government will continue. While today’s decision may have been a setback, the vision of our Founding Fathers and their notion of limited government still lives in the hearts and minds of many Americans. This ruling only energizes us for November.”
US Rep. Jared Polis – “The Court has ruled, the issue is decided, and it’s now the duty of everyone in Congress and the administration to work together to ensure that the law is properly implemented so it works as intended: to reduce health care costs, expand health care coverage, protect Americans with preexisting conditions and women from insurance company discrimination, and ensure continued coverage even if you lose a job.
“The health care law is not perfect and just as I did during the drafting of the original legislation, I’ll work with anyone who wants to constructively improve it. But now that the Court has ruled we should work together on a bipartisan basis to ensure that it functions effectively and extends quality health care to all.”
CO. Sen. Irene Aguilar – “This is a wonderful outcome for 480,000 of our 829,000 Coloradans without health insurance. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will help working families afford health insurance, and allow Colorado to expand its safety net for those living in poverty. Colorado can move forward on its work on the exchange without further delays and diversions. The Supreme Court’s decision will help our economic recovery tremendously.”
Colorado House Majority Leader Amy Stephens: “Today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court sets a dangerous constitutional precedent that will derail our fragile economic recovery.
“Federally mandated health care oversteps congressional authority and will hamstring entrepreneurship and impose impossible-to-manage costs for all employers here in Colorado and across the country.
“House Republicans will continue to look for ways Colorado can fight federally mandated health care and introduce consumer-driven solutions that respect states’ rights and best fit Colorado’s unique needs.”
CO Attorney General John Suthers – official statement:
“Today’s decision is extraordinary and unexpected, and it is frankly a blow to our constitutional system of federalism. The Court has endorsed Congress’s unprecedented decision to mandate that individual Americans buy a particular product or service or pay an economic sanction. While the Court did not rest its decision on the Commerce clause, and agreed with the states’ argument that Congress cannot use that power to compel economic activity, they have permitted the federal government to force individuals to buy a product. Whether Congress does so under the Commerce Clause or the federal tax power, the result is the same: an unprecedented expansion of federal power.”
“The Court has approved the stick and not the carrot. Congress can now penalize individuals for refusing to buy a commercial product.”
“I am disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Colorado and its fellow states. We have a fundamental interest in protecting state authority and individual rights in the face of the ever-widening scope of federal power.”
“I think it is prudent for each person to have health insurance. While this admirable goal might have been achieved in less intrusive ways, the Court’s decision allows Congress to force each person in this country to buy a particular product, something the federal government has never before attempted to do. Now that the Court has endorsed this unprecedented exercise of federal power, I worry that Congress will pass other laws requiring people to buy one product or another to further a federal government policy.”
“There is one silver lining, however. The Court held that the federal government cannot hold the entirety of a state’s federal Medicaid funding hostage if the state chooses not to expand its Medicaid program. This means, at least, that there are limits on the federal government’s power to compel states to make policy.”
“When Colorado first joined this litigation in early 2010, many of my critics — numerous left-leaning legal scholars and several editorial pages across Colorado — dismissed Colorado’s case as frivolous or pure politics. We proved them wrong by winning at the U.S. District Court and U.S. Circuit Court level. It is disappointing that the Supreme Court sided against the states today. Whatever limits remain on Congress’s power will now be left to the political arena, where history has proven that little stands in the way of further encroachments on individual and state rights.”
“I take my responsibility to safeguard the U.S. and Colorado Constitutions very seriously. Protecting federalism is arguably the most important role for state attorneys general. I am proud to have been a part of this litigation, in spite of the disappointing result.”