Alaskan reaction to Supreme Court ruling

GOV. SEAN PARNELL: “On the federal level, it will take congressional action to roll back what now appears to be the single largest tax increase in American history. This tax will not hurt the rich, because they have insurance. It will not hurt the poorest Americans, because it will not apply to them. It is a tax on the working poor and middle class Americans. “At the state level, we have begun reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 193 page decision to determine how other provisions, like mandated state Medicaid expansion, have been affected by the U.S. Supreme Court decision. Alaska can then determine the best approach to the federal law for our state. “I remain concerned about the impacts of the federal law on individual and state’s rights, and with the real life effects of these tax increases on our people and our economy. We will do everything we can in Alaska to limit the impact of Congress’ decision to pass this tax increase to Alaskans.”

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI: “Today’s news from the Supreme Court is troubling to me in that it sets a new precedent for governmental overreach into our health care choices, and a wide majority of Alaskans and Americans feel the same way. “Moving forward, we must repeal this bill and responsibly address health care in a timely fashion. There are many reasons why Alaskans did not like this bill – whether it is because of the new federal tax forcing every American to purchase a service, over $500 billion in cuts to the already anemic Medicare program which would have further restricted access to doctors and hospitals for disabled and elderly Alaskans, the higher taxes on individuals, families and small businesses throughout America or the onerous new IRS reporting requirements for millions of Americans. “We need health care reform that will help Alaskans – helping them improve access to care; and reduce costs by allowing individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines, reform medical liability so we can limit the practice of defensive medicine, and restructure the delivery system of health care to make it more affordable and accessible. “The nation’s economic path is currently unsustainable, and the rising cost of health care is a major reason for this. America’s health care system is entirely too expensive and entirely too inefficient. I stand ready to work with anyone who wants to replace this law with something smarter, leaner and more responsive to Alaskans.”

SEN. MARK BEGICH: “I’m pleased Alaskans will continue to receive important benefits such as coverage for young adults through their parents’ insurance, access to care for individuals with pre-existing conditions, tax credits for small businesses, increased services for our seniors, improved coverage for Alaska Natives, and even cash rebates if insurers don’t spend your premiums on health care. “While the law is not perfect, the status quo was not an option. Health care costs were skyrocketing and insurance companies were in charge of escalating those costs. There is still plenty of work to do, and I look forward to the State of Alaska moving forward on implementation. “The court’s ruling on the Medicaid section of the law may raise questions for the states, but I believe the answer is not that difficult. The court says states now have the option of expanding health coverage – in Alaska, more than 30,000 people are newly eligible. Because the states will never pay more than 10 cents on the dollar for this coverage, it is a very good deal. “It is time to move past the politics and come together to make the law work for Alaskans.”

REP. DON YOUNG: “Today's decision by the Supreme Court does not change the fact that ObamaCare sticks the American people with new taxes, new regulations and devastating cuts to Medicare. 

“When it comes to the individual mandate, this ruling leaves the American people with two very bad choices – either pay a higher insurance premium or face a massive tax hike. The unfortunate irony today is that ObamaCare was saved because it is a new tax on the American people – which is something this President promised would not happen.

“We must repeal and replace this law with a bill that increases accessibility, portability and affordability for the American people – and that’s what I intend on fighting for.”