Reactions from all sides to the United States Supreme Court decision to uphold most of the Obama health care law.

Governor Chris Christie

“I’ve been clear from the very beginning that I do not believe a one-size-fits-all health care program works for the entire country and that each governor should have the ability to make decisions about what works best for their state. Today’s Supreme Court decision is disappointing and I still believe this is the wrong approach for the people of New Jersey who should be able to make their own judgments about health care. Most importantly, the Supreme Court is confirming what we knew all along about this law – it is a tax on middle class Americans.”

Senator Bob Menendez (D)

“Today Obama Care became America Care -- it is a victory for every American.

“Today’s decision is a victory for millions of middle class families across America who want the security that the health care law provides. It is a victory for seniors, women and young people.

“This is a victory for nearly 126,000 seniors in New Jersey who have already saved, on average, $756 for their prescription drugs, and for more than 985,000 seniors who had access to free, critical lifesaving services.

“It is a victory for more than 73,000 young adults in New Jersey who can stay on their parents’ plan until their 26th birthday. And a victory for women and their ability to get the care they choose for themselves.

“This decision is a victory for every American who has been waiting decades for a health care system that is about accessible, affordable health care and not about padding the bottom line of insurance companies.

“The Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act has given our health care system back to patients and doctors, and not to insurance executives who care more about profits than people.

“I am proud to have fought for our seniors, our young people and our middle class families to provide quality, affordable health care. And I will oppose Republican efforts to repeal the consumer protections that would take us back to the days when insurance companies had free rein to do whatever they wanted.”

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D)

“On this day, history was made in America. This is a victory for the people, and makes clear that help is on the way for 30 million Americans who need access to affordable health insurance,” Lautenberg said. “Middle class families are struggling to afford health insurance and Obamacare will throw them a lifeline. It is time for the Republicans to stop the politically inspired attacks and work with us to extend this law’s help to as many people as possible. With this ruling, Americans finally will have the peace of mind to know that their families will be taken care of when they get sick. President Obama has courageously stood up to false, political attacks, and his hard work was vindicated today.”

Representative Jon Runyan (R)

“While I am disappointed in today’s decision, it will not shake my resolve to repeal the big government control that comes with Obamacare and replace it with common sense reforms that actually lower costs by making insurance companies compete for our business, improves access to care and empowers patients and doctors to make healthcare choices, not Washington bureaucrats. My constituents simply cannot afford the $500 billion in new tax increases and $500 billion in Medicare cuts required to pay for this flawed legislation, nor can our economy sustain the job-killing mandates and regulations it imposes.”

Representative Steve Rothman (D)

I am delighted at today’s ruling by the US Supreme Court that upholds the constitutionality of the Affordable Health Care Act. This is an historic decision upholding an historic bill. This is a great day for our nation and for the more than 30 million Americans who will now have access to affordable health insurance, and all those with pre-existing medical conditions, seniors who are struggling to afford their medication, students who wish to stay on their parent’s health insurance, those who suffer catastrophic illness resulting in extraordinary health care costs and were threatened with losing their health insurance, and all American citizens who will have access to more affordable health care.

There is still much work to be done in reforming our health care system, including making refinements to this law as it is implemented in full, but today we can celebrate that the constitutionality and legitimacy of this historic law that strives to achieve affordable heath care for all Americans has been upheld.

Rep. Rush Holt (D)

“The essence of the Affordable Care Act is to guarantee, through a variety of approaches, that every American can count on having access to excellent health care.

“We still have much work to do. Every major piece of American legislation ever passed, from Social Security to Medicare to the Civil Rights Act, has been refined and improved over the years. So, too, the Affordable Care Act will be refined and improved as we gain experience with it. Today’s decision ensures that we can continue making progress toward the goal of guaranteeing access to excellent health care for every American.”

Representative Frank LoBiando (R)

“It is clear – and the Supreme Court today agrees – that President Obama’s healthcare law is, in fact, a tax increase on the American people. Given how fragile our economy is and the unrelenting financial hardship South Jersey families and small businesses are already facing, the American people cannot afford and do not need another tax.

“With the Supreme Court’s ruling, President Obama’s healthcare law will now continue to decimate our small businesses and further discourage job creation. It will allow unelected bureaucrats on more than 100 new boards and commissions to make medical choices based on cost not care. And it ensures that Americans will now have the disastrous decision of either paying a massive tax or higher insurance premiums.

Make no mistake, I will join again with my colleagues to repeal the healthcare law and replace it with common-sense policies that will control costs, practice patient-centered care and protect the doctor-patient relationship.

“Today’s decision is deeply disappointing and completely against the limited government principles our Founding Fathers had intended. The Justices of the Supreme Court have now given President Obama and future Administrations broad powers to mandate any action upon the American people. This ruling sets a dangerous precedent of an over-reaching federal government.”

Representative Frank Pallone (D)

“Today is a great day for the American people. The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reaffirms our nation’s commitment to make sure that all Americans have access to quality affordable health care and health insurance.

“For the millions of Americans who have gone without health insurance, the seniors who have struggled due tinadequate coverage, the women, children and young adults that have been denied coverage for preexisting conditions, the Court’s ruling is not only a victory, but a validation that they deserve to have the most basic of human needs met—access to health care.

“The ACA addressed so many of the gaps in the American health care system from closing the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole,’ to stopping the practice of denying those with preexisting conditions insurance coverage, to claiming womanhood as a preexisting health condition, to allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ coverage. This law has changed the way our country manages and delivers all phases of our health care system and I am proud to have been a part of its creation and prouder still today to learn of the Court’s decision to uphold its constitutionality.”

Senator Loretta Weinberg (D)

“This is a huge win for the President, and a huge win for the American people. By affirming the constitutionality of the ACA, the Supreme Court has sided with responsible public policy which would put health care within reach for all people – regardless of race, gender, creed, income, or pre-existing conditions.

“With today’s decision from the Supreme Court, we can finally put to rest any questions regarding the constitutionality of federal health care reform, and can begin the process of implementing these wide-reaching reforms for the people of New Jersey. I urge the Governor to work with Legislative Democrats to quickly implement laws that put New Jersey in compliance with the provisions of the ACA, so that New Jersey can be positioned to take advantage of new federal funding sources designed to boost health care access in the Garden State and around the country.

“It’s time to get to work.”

Senate Joe Kyrillos (R)

"Today’s Supreme Court decision may have confirmed the constitutionality of the legislation, but one fact remains: the massive, expensive health care overhaul voted for by Senator Menendez is bad policy.

Government run healthcare spends money we don't have, loots Medicare, limits patient choice, and continues to place a cloud of uncertainty over our economy. Congress can and must repeal and replace it with more sensible reforms like providing coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.

Here in New Jersey, we've seen how the Corzine-Menendez pattern of raising taxes, spending more and leaving the bills to future generations does not work- it left us nearly bankrupt.

We need change in Washington. Real, meaningful change. The same kind of change Governor Christie is bringing to New Jersey. And I intend to deliver that kind of change as your Senator."

Senator Joseph Vitale (D)

“I am grateful for the Supreme Court’s decision today to uphold the Affordable Care Act. Because of this decision, hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents will now have access to quality, affordable health care.

“Additionally, as more people throughout the state are insured via the ACA, the cost of health care for all of us will go down. New Jerseyans will be able to access the health care system in an appropriate manner, rather than shunting the uninsured to the emergency room for all of their health care needs.

“Now that the Court has upheld this law, we must get to work to implement the provisions of the ACA here in New Jersey. I look forward to working with the members of the Legislature from both sides of the aisle, as well as with the Administration, to determine a solution for the health care exchange component of the law that will provide New Jersey residents with access to health insurance that they can afford.”

Assemblyman Dr. Herb Conaway

For the 1.3 million uninsured New Jerseyans, and the tens of millions more across the country who are uninsured or underinsured, this is a tremendous victory.

“As elected officials, the greatest obligation we have to our citizenry is protecting their health and welfare. In the 21st century landscape, this is predicated on access to quality, affordable health care.

“Health care should not be a luxury. No one should have to choose between their health and paying their bills. This landmark legislation will make quality and affordable health care possible for every New Jersey resident.

“With the finality of this decision, it’s time to get back to work on implementing the health insurance exchange component so that it is best suited to meet the unique needs of New Jersey and its 9 million residents. The exchange is the most significant component in ensuring that individuals have access to a health plan they can afford.

“Today, the U.S. Supreme Court has done right by the people. Now it’s time for us to live up to our obligation.”

Assemblyman John Wisniewski

“Governor, it’s time to get to work on a health exchange here in New Jersey. You said your reason for rejecting the legislation was the pending case before the Supreme Court. Well, the court has ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional. No more excuses. You need to work with the legislature to get this done and ensure New Jersey workers have a health insurance exchange that allows them to select the coverage that works best for them and their families.”

NJ GOP Chairman Samuel Raia

“Today, the Supreme Court confirmed what most American’s knew from the beginning and what President Obama did his best to deny, that Obamacare is in fact a tax on the middle class. As Governor Christie said today, individual governors are in the best position to decide what works for the people of their state and this law tremendously erodes that ability.

Today's decision changes nothing about the basic facts of Obamacare – it is bad public policy that imposes crushing taxes on our economy, families, and small businesses. We must now turn our energy and focus to not only defeating President Obama in November, but electing Republicans who will work to repeal Obamacare, grow our economy, and get people back to work.”

NJ Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Bracken

Today's Supreme Court decision may validate aspects of the health care reform law as constitutional, but that does not validate it as good business practice.

Employers are the ones who have to pay for the rising costs of health care and this will continue to inhibit job growth. Much still needs to be done to control the costs that employers and employees pay, especially small business owners. The Affordable Care Act does not do that.

To truly make health care reform effective, we must encourage innovative programs that contain costs, such as corporate wellness programs that financially reward workers that lead healthy lifestyles; encourage physicians to prescribe treatments that are scientifically proven to work; and loosen regulations in the individual and small group markets.

New Jersey Citizen Action

“We are elated that the Supreme Court sided with the constitution and consumers on this case,” said Jeff Brown, spokesman for NJ Citizen Action. “While many are going to rightly say that this ruling was a victory for the President, the real winners are the 30 million Americans who will now be guaranteed access to quality and affordable health coverage, and the countless others who will get better value for their existing coverage.”

“The Affordable Care Act, at its core, is a law that takes our healthcare decisions out of insurance company board rooms, and puts them back at the kitchen table and doctor’s office where they belong,” said Brown. “The Affordable Care Act has already had a profoundly positive impact on the lives of New Jerseyans. Young adults can stay on their parent’s health plans until they are 26, New Jersey seniors have received over $169 million to help them pay for prescription drugs, nearly 1.6 million people in our state had access to free preventative care, and insurance companies can no longer discriminate against sick kids and women – and that is just the tip of the iceberg.”

New Jersey Business & Industry Association

The US Supreme Court’s decision to uphold key provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) gives the business community clear direction that they will have to comply with the law’s provisions, but the continuing rise in healthcare costs remains the top concern, New Jersey Business & Industry Association President Philip Kirschner said today.

“Today’s decision removes a great deal of the uncertainty surrounding the federal healthcare law,” Kirschner said. “Businesses now know that they must comply with the new federal law, and they will. But the issue of very high health insurance costs remains, and until it is addressed in a meaningful way, it will continue to be a drag on our economy.”

“For decades, the rising cost of health insurance has been the single biggest concern facing employers in New Jersey,” Kirschner said. “It is employers who have been paying the bill, so they have a big stake in the success or failure of the Affordable Care Act.”

“NJBIA supports health reforms that control costs and make affordable coverage available to more people,” Kirschner said.

New Jersey Policy Perspective

“All New Jerseyans scored a major victory today. For the first time, everyone now has a right to high quality, affordable comprehensive health coverage and will no longer have to worry about going bankrupt to pay for medical bills,” said Raymond Castro, senior policy analyst for New Jersey Policy Perspective. “Many New Jerseyans who don’t have health insurance will now be able to get it, while people who already have employer-based insurance will no longer have to worry about losing health coverage if they lose their job, as so many have. It also greatly benefits New Jersey’s small businesses, which increasingly have been dropping unaffordable insurance plans for their employees.”

Nearly 1 million New Jerseyans in every county (see breakdown in report) will receive Medicaid and federal subsidies to make health insurance more affordable; those subsidies will reduce the number of uninsured by nearly 800,000 in New Jersey – a number that could be substantially higher if the state does a good job with outreach and consumer assistance. As of 2010, there were over 1.3 million New Jerseyans without health insurance; that number has been growing at a much greater rate here than it has nationally (55% v. 35% since 2000).

New Jersey’s economy will also benefit from the Court’s decision. New Jerseyans will receive about $41 billion in federally funded Medicaid and federal subsidies over eight years, creating a ripple effect of economic growth that will create new jobs and opportunities for many New Jerseyans.


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 ( and other resources to help Americans understand their benefits now and in the future.

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court found the majority of the Affordable Care Act constitutional," said AARP CEO A. Barry Rand. “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.”