VIDEO REPORT: Court Upholds Individual Mandate In Health Care Law

UPDATED Thursday, June 28, 2012--6p.m.
MADISON--For some politicians, today's Supreme Court ruling seems to signal that it's time to pivot to plan B: "The first step was legal, second step was political and then if both of those are exhausted obviously we'd look at that point more closely at what the state could do," said Gov. Scott Walker.

That means the Governor is encouraging voters to select candidates this fall that will seek to repeal the law. "While the court said it's legal doesn't make it right," he said. "And our hope is between now and November 6th that there will be voters here and across America who see fit to put in candidates for president for U.S. Senate and the House that will seek to change that and repeal that mandate upon the American people."

He said Wisconsin will not be implementing the Affordable Care Act, saying that it doesn't make sense to put time, energy and resources into something that might change--given the potential for a new political hierarchy after November's election.

But some are saying it's time to act now."It's very irresponsible on behalf of the governor," said State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton. "There are thousands of people in Wisconsin right now who are waiting for affordable health care and the only way they're going to get that is through the exchanges that the Affordable Care Act requires us by law, reaffirmed by the Supreme Court to set up now."

As part of the act, Americans are supposed to have access to health care exchanges starting in 2014. "We were pretty close to putting forward recommendations to the legislature for how an exchange would look and the governor pulled the plug on that," said Sen. Erpenbach. "But what the governor isn't telling people is that if we don't do it the federal government will come in here and run our exchange."

UPDATED Thursday, June 28, 2012 --- 12:39 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says Gov. Scott Walker must follow the federal health care reform law.

The U.S. Supreme Court found the law constitutional on Thursday, but Walker, a Republican, has vowed not to implement it until after the November elections. The governor hopes the next president and Congress will repeal the law.

Nearly 30 states, including Wisconsin, sued over the law, alleging it was unconstitutional. Van Hollen, a Republican, handled Wisconsin's participation in the lawsuit.

But he said Thursday that Walker is obligated to follow the law according to its deadlines.

Asked at a news conference whether he was obligated to conform to the law, Walker responded by saying the legislation establishes multiple timelines.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


UPDATED Thursday, June 28, 2012 --- 12:25 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the Supreme Court's decision to uphold his health care overhaul is a "victory for people all over the country" and will make their lives more secure.

Obama says the decision upholds the fundamental principle that in America -- the wealthiest nation on earth -- no one should fall into financial ruin because of an illness.

The president says the decision means that people with pre-existing medical conditions will not be discriminated against and people will be able to afford quality health care.

The nation's highest court on Thursday upheld the individual insurance requirement at the center of the president's overhaul.

Polling has suggested that most Americans oppose the law and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney vowed again after the ruling to seek its repeal.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


UPDATED Thursday, June 28, 2012 --- 12:22 p.m.

Republican Party of Wisconsin Statement on ObamaCare Ruling

[Madison, WI]- Republican Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Nathan Conrad released the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on ObamaCare today:

“Today’s Supreme Court decision sets the stakes for the November election. Now, the only way to save the country from ObamaCare’s budget-busting government takeover of health care is to elect a new president.

Under President Obama’s signature legislation, health care costs continue to skyrocket, and up to 20 million Americans could lose their employer-based coverage. Meanwhile, a panel of unelected bureaucrats now has the unprecedented authority to come between elderly patients and their doctors.

We need market-based solutions that give patients more choice, not less. The answer to rising health care costs is not, and will never be, Big Government.

As Governor Walker fights to protect the hardworking taxpayers of Wisconsin, this mandate will increase the burden on already struggling families and slow the ability for private-sector companies to spur job creation throughout the state.

We must elect a president who understands the economy, respects free enterprise, and can provide the leadership we now so desperately need. On Election Day, we must elect Mitt Romney and put America on the path toward a brighter economic future and successful health care reform.”


UPDATED Thursday, June 28, 2012 --- 11:41 a.m.

Statement by Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen:

“My fundamental reason in joining this lawsuit on behalf of the State of Wisconsin was that the federal government was unconstitutionally expanding its powers, and in doing so, it was eroding the states’ sovereign ability to self govern.

On this issue, we as states have registered a resounding victory. The Court has very clearly stated, once again, that the federal government has limits to its use of the commerce clause and that it cannot be used by the federal government to force a citizen to purchase something.

As well, we argued that mandating the states to participate in this law or risk losing all prior Medicaid funding, was unconstitutional under the spending clause as coercive. The Court agreed. States will now have much greater latitude to determine the scope of their Medicaid program.

While the decision upholds the Affordable Care Act, it is a tremendous victory for re-establishing Constitutional limits on the power of the federal government. It should be clear that this ruling vindicates the states’ legal arguments. This will be studied for years to come as a landmark decision that promotes federalism and limited government.”


UPDATED Thursday, June 28, 2012 --- 11:22 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican Mitt Romney is promising that he will repeal the federal health care law the Supreme Court just upheld.

He called the decision incorrect and said Thursday that it is "bad law." He says it raises taxes and cuts Medicare.

Romney says that, if elected in November, he will work to repeal and replace the law. But he hasn't said precisely how.

As Massachusetts governor, Romney signed into law a measure that required all state residents to have health coverage. That notion was the cornerstone of the law enacted by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats. The high court decided it was constitutional.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


UPDATED Thursday, June 28, 2012 --- 10:47 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Republicans say the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling upholding most of President Barack Obama's health care reforms will have no immediate effect in the state aside from galvanizing the GOP going into the November elections.

Gov. Scott Walker has already vowed not to implement any facets of the law ahead of the elections. He hopes the next president and Congress will repeal the overhaul.

On Thursday the governor said the law amounts to a massive tax increase. The Republican leaders of the Legislature's health committees say the ruling perpetuates uncertainty for businesses, curtailing job growth, and voters will make things right in November.

Robert Kraig is the executive director of health care advocacy group Citizen Action of Wisconsin. He says Walker has a moral obligation to begin the implementation process.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker says Wisconsin will not proceed with implementing the federal health care overhaul despite the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the central part of the federal law.

Walker said Thursday he would have preferred the court strike down the law, but he is holding out hope that a new president and Republican-controlled Congress will overturn it next year. In the meantime, Walker says the state will not proceed with setting up a health care exchange as is required.

Walker says the law will be a "massive tax increase on the people of Wisconsin and America."

He says the decision creates uncertainty for Wisconsin businesses and that's bad for job growth. Walker has also said businesses will be bullish about adding jobs since he won a June 5 recall election.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


UPDATED Thursday, June 28, 2012 --- 10:10 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican campaign strategists say Mitt Romney will use today's Supreme Court ruling to continue campaigning against "Obamacare." They say he will be attacking the president's signature health care program as a tax increase.

Veteran Republican campaign adviser Terry Holt says, "Obama might have his law, but the GOP has a cause." He says the decision will rally Republican support for an appeal of what Holt says "could well be called the largest tax increase in American history."

Romney has said this week that if the law were to be upheld, Americans would need to elect a president who would repeal it.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


UPDATED Thursday, June 28, 2012 --- 10:00 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Speaker John Boehner says the Supreme Court ruling upholding the individual insurance requirement at the heart of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul shows the need to repeal the law.

The Ohio Republican says in a statement that the law is hurting the economy by increasing health care costs and making it difficult for small businesses to hire.

He says the court's ruling demands repeal of the entire law.

Boehner say Americans want a common-sense approach to health care. He says Republicans are ready to work with a president who's willing to listen to the people and "will not repeat the mistakes that gave our country `Obamacare."'

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


Posted Thursday, June 28, 2012 --- 9:35 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The individual mandate survives.

The Supreme Court has upheld the heart of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul -- ruling in favor of the requirement that most Americans can be required to have health insurance, or else pay a penalty.

The decision means the historic overhaul will continue to take effect over the next several years, affecting the way countless Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care.

The ruling also hands President Barack Obama a campaign-season victory.

The court found problems with the law's expansion of Medicaid. But even there, it said the expansion could proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold the entire Medicaid allotment to states if they don't take part in the extension.

The court's four liberal justices, Stephen Bryer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, joined Roberts in the outcome.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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