Letters and Commentary

July 5, 2012
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Health Care Upheld, Reactions – Yea and Nay – Follow Quickly

To The Editor:

The Supreme Court handed down on Thursday, June 28, a ruling that upheld the Affordable Care Act. Here are some statements from New Jersey political figures:

From U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.):
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.

From Congressman Frank Pallone Jr., (D-6) who is the senior Democrat on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee and a primary author of Affordable Care Act:

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 to inadequate 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.

From U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12):

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.

The Spirit of Shrewsbury

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.

From State Sen. Joseph Kyrillos, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Menendez:

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 health care 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 Gov. Christie is bringing to New Jersey. And I intend to deliver that kind of change as your senator.

From U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, (D-N.J.):

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.

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 (Thursday).

From Gov. 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.

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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.”

From Anna C. Little Republican candidate in the 6th Congressional District:

“The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare, aka Pallonecare, against Constitutional challenges, is a disappointing defeat for the American people. Poll after poll shows that the American people do not want the federal government to be running our health care. We do not want government bureaucrats to come between us and our families and the medical care that our families need, especially the elderly, the infirm and children.

Furthermore, the decision thwarts our Constitutional right to religious freedom. The individual mandate forces religious institutions out of the business of health care.

This will reduce health care access, and increase the demands on the remains of a system whose funding was reduced by half a trillion dollars. Despite the high court’s ruling, We the People believe that there are clear Constitutional boundaries to the powers that the president, Congress, and the entire federal government may assert over the American people. Four of nine justicesagree with us.

This disastrous ruling proves that we have much work to do. We must focus our attention, with even more fire and energy, on repealing Obamacare. We must work to elect a president, senators, and representatives committed to the law’s repeal, and committed to constitutionally limited government, so that we can put justices on the court who better understand the limits placed by our founders on the federal government’s powers.”

After the faulty Obamacare is repealed, we can work on genuine health care reforms that will address issues of soaring health care costs and health care affordability.

Two River Moments

A busy summer’s day on Broad Street, Red Bank during the early part of the 20th century. This photo may have been taken sometime around the Fourth of July because of the number of flags and the patriotic bunting hanging from buildings. The front of the trolley advertises “Baseball Today” in Red Bank. This photograph is courtesy of Dorn’s Classic Images.

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