Annapolis – House Republican leaders today reacted to the Supreme Court’s ruling that upheld the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“Obviously, the Supreme Court’s ruling is disappointing”, said House Minority Leader Anthony O’Donnell. “But, it is important to remember the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate as a tax – something that President Obama has repeatedly denied. Today is the day when work to repeal this tax begins in earnest.”
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the ACA’s individual mandate that Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional based on Congress’ authority to tax. The court also ruled that the federal government cannot compel states to expand their Medicaid programs by withholding funds.
“The cost of ACA is staggering”, said House Minority Whip Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio. “It is not just limited to the federal government either; state budgets could take a massive hit. The one bright spot in this ruling is that states cannot be forced to expand their Medicaid programs. Of course, with Governor O’Malley’s rush to be one of the first states to enact Obamacare, Maryland’s budget may not benefit from this ruling.”
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the ACA will increase the federal debt by over $500 billion in ten years. When the federal government starts to reduce their share of the subsidies in 2019, Maryland’s already-strained budget will explode.
“In the worst economy in 80 years, with thousands of people out of work, the costs of this bill will mean higher taxes for everyone”, said O’Donnell. “With the burden this will put on our state and federal budgets, you will pay higher taxes even if you buy health insurance. Our citizens’ only hope now is for a change in the White House this fall so this tax can be repealed.”