Oklahoma's governor, attorney general, congressional delegation and the president of the State Chamber were unanimous Thursday in their criticism of the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, a federal health care law aimed at covering more than 30 million Americans without medical insurance.
“Oklahomans have voiced their opposition to the federal health care bill from the very beginning, having approved a constitutional amendment to block the implementation of this bill in our state,” Gov. Mary Fallin said. “We believe that, rather than Big Government bureaucracy and one-size-fits-all solutions, the free-market principles of choice and competition are the best tools at our disposal to increase access to health care and reduce costs.
“I'm extremely disappointed and frustrated by the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the federal health care law. President (Barack) Obama's health care policies will limit patients' health care choices, reduce the quality of health care in the United States, and will cost the state of Oklahoma more than a half-billion dollars in the process.
“Today's decision highlights the importance of electing leaders who will work to repeal the federal health care law and replace it with meaningful reform focused on commonsense, market based changes.”
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa: “I am disappointed that the court has upheld the individual mandate as a tax. By ruling it a tax, I suspect that this issue will come up again in 2015 when that portion of the law goes into effect.
“In the meantime, even though President Obama said in 2009 that this is ‘absolutely not a tax increase,' it turns out that Obama and the Democrats have levied an enormous tax increase on the middle and lower classes. The individual mandate will cost Americans the greater of a per-person flat fee or percentage of the household's income. The flat fee is up to $695, and the income percentage is up to 2.5 percent. That is just not workable for most families.
“Aspects of the measure have infringed upon religious rights, cost our economy jobs, and will add to our skyrocketing federal debt.”
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore: “While I respect the Supreme Court, I respectfully disagree with its decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act. In a sense, however, today's decision changes nothing. Although the Supreme Court ruled very narrowly that Obamacare does not violate the Constitution, it remains a deeply flawed, unworkable and damaging law. Overwhelming evidence continues to show that the law will raise insurance costs, decrease health care access, force millions of Americans into government-run health care and hurt the economy. The American people can rest assured that congressional Republicans are committed to repealing this dangerous law and replacing it with sensible reforms.
“The final decision is now in the hands of the American people. They elected a House of Representatives in 2010 that proved willing and able to repeal Obamacare. It is imperative that they do the same with respect to the Senate and the presidency in 2012.”
Rep. John Sullivan, R-Tulsa: “I strongly disagree with the courts decision to uphold the individual mandate — I fear this ruling will forever change the relationship between the federal government and the people in this country.
“Nowhere in the U.S. constitution is Congress given the power to force Americans to purchase a good or a service or to enter into a contract. By signing Obamacare into law, the president and Democrat leaders told the American people they don't have a right to choose what health insurance plan best meets their needs — I strongly disagree.
“Regardless of the Supreme Court's ruling, Obamacare is still a bad law and must be repealed — it is hurting our economy, spending trillions of dollars we don't have to spend, killing American jobs and putting the federal government between doctors and their patients. I will continue fighting to repeal the law in Congress; however I am confident the American people will vote to repeal this law at the ballot box in November by making Barack Obama a one term president.”