Reactions to Supreme Court health care ruling

"President Obama and Congress chose to pass the Affordable Care Act because the status quo was hurting our ability to create jobs, expand opportunity, and protect the health of our children and parents.

"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. Moms, dads, and kids throughout Maryland are counting on their elected leaders to continue the mission of lowering costs, and improving the quality of care.

"We remain as committed as ever to moving forward on behalf of our families. We must move forward, not back."

—Gov. Martin O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown

"We've broken the stranglehold of insurance companies where guys in pinstripes sitting in their board rooms decided who got healthcare. Now we know the people will get the healthcare they need, that their doctor says that they need, and they will be able to afford to get it. … For we women, it's an enormous victory. Because today, what we've been able to affirm is that insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate on the basis of gender."

—Sen.Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.)

"Before this law, every responsible American with health insurance was subsidizing the health care needs of the rest. That unfair arrangement will be coming to an end soon, as all Americans become part of a more efficient, more cost-effective health care system."

—Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat

"The Supreme Court's decision determined the law's constitutionality, not whether the law is good policy," Harris said. "Americans have already made up their mind on that issue. A majority favor repealing the law."

—Rep. Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican

"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 healthcare. We've already seen many of the benefits here in Maryland that can now continue."

—Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.)

"Republicans have been trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act since the day it was enacted, and they have been eagerly awaiting today's ruling. But they must now accept that the Affordable Care Act will remain in place and that the time for litigation and partisan posturing on this issue ought to come to an end."

—Rep. Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat who helped to shepherd the law through the House

"I think the Supreme Court decision replaces a lot of negative what ifs with a single positive and that is to change for the better the way we take care of people in the United States. That is what health care reform was all about."

—Carmela Coyle, president and CEO of the Maryland Hospital Association

"Our health care system is not meeting the needs of the American people, it is too costly, and it is placing unacceptable burdens on our industries, especially on small businesses, where most of our jobs are created. The Affordable Care Act sets in motion many necessary changes to get us to better health, better care, and lower cost."

—Dr. John Chessare, president / CEO of GBMC HealthCare system

"The president's health care law is hurting our economy by driving up health costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire. Today's ruling underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety. What Americans want is a common-sense, step-by-step approach to health care reform."

—House Speaker John Boehner

"Three quarters of a million Marylanders do not have the security that comes with having health insurance. Today's decision means many of them will be able to afford coverage. This marks a huge step forward for Maryland families, particularly those who cannot now afford insurance. Over time, this will make Maryland a much healthier state."

—Kathleen Westcoat, president and CEO of HealthCare Access Maryland

"Now that this historic legislation has been upheld by the highest court in the land, it's time for Republican leaders in Congress to stop their campaign to repeal the law and to focus instead on improving the economy and creating jobs."

—John Gage, president of the American Federation of Goverment Employees

"As the reform law is implemented, health plans will continue to focus on promoting affordability and peace of mind for their beneficiaries. The law expands coverage to millions of Americans, a goal health plans have long supported, but major provisions, such as the premium tax, will have the unintended consequences of raising costs and disrupting coverage unless they are addressed."

—Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, the national trade group representing health insurance companies that had fought the law in Congress

"The tragedy in this ruling is that Maryland residents are now at the mercy of politicians from other states and bureaucrats in Washington whose decisions won't be based on what is best for Maryland. Small businesses here will be overwhelmed by mandates, taxes and burdens imposed on them by people whom we cannot as easily hold accountable."

—Ellen Valentino, Maryland director of The National Federation of Independent Business, the group that initially filed part of the lawsuit

"The NAACP has long supported the full and complete implementation of this law. Access to quality, affordable health care is a civil and human right that should not be reserved for the wealthy or the few. The 32 million American men, women and children covered under this law can now breathe easier."

—NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock

"Today, the Supreme Court ended the debate over the Affordable Care Act and ruled conclusively that Obamacare is here to stay. It's time for opponents to stop wasting time and get to work on fully implementing the law in Maryland."

—Kate Planco Waybright, interim executive director of Progressive Maryland

"It gets us much closer to the goal of universal coverage. This critical piece of legislation provides the infrastructure for fully integrating the treatment of addiction, a chronic disease, into holistic care. With today's Supreme Court ruling, we have more certainty that this integration will happen, removing financial and bureaucratic barriers to good health. The next step is to make sure that the law is implemented well here in Maryland and around the country."

—Diana Morris, director of Open Society Institute Baltimore

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