Tags: Healthcare Reform | Supreme Court | obamacare | gizzi | bill cassidy | gop | democrats

Sen. Cassidy Pledges to Return 'Power to Patients, Not Bureaucrats'

Image: Sen. Cassidy Pledges to Return 'Power to Patients, Not Bureaucrats'
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La. (Molly Riley/AP)

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Thursday, 25 Jun 2015 12:13 PM Current | Bio | Archive

To the surprise of just about no one in official Washington, the response in the Senate to the Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling in the King v. Burwell case Thursday morning fell strictly along party lines, with Republicans vowing to continue the fight against Obamacare.

Minutes after the high court ruled in favor of the administration by upholding federal subsidies to the states under Obamacare, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and sponsor of the Patient Freedom Act alternative to Obamacare, told reporters that "the fight to repeal and replace Obamacare to give patients the power must continue."

Declaring that the court decision "does not repeal the problems with Obamacare," Cassidy, himself a physician, pointed out that "health insurance premiums are increasing as much as 60 percent per year. Americans are paying more for less, and view government mandates, penalties and IRS coercion as un-American."

The Louisiana senator also left no doubt that, the King ruling notwithstanding, he would continue to pursue enactment of his Patient Freedom Act, which ends the mandates required in Obamacare and increases competition in health insurance.

"This gives patients the power, not Obamacare bureaucrats and the IRS," he said.

Fellow physician and Louisiana Republican Rep. Ralph Abraham has introduced the Patient Freedom Act in the House.

Cassidy's fellow freshman Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska also weighed in critically on the King verdict.

"The president's victory comes at the expense of the American people," Sasse told reporters. "Obamacare will continue to raise costs, restrict choices and stifle innovation."

Like Cassidy, Sasse made it clear he was not giving up the fight for an alternative to Obamacare.

"While I am disappointed with the Supreme Court's ruling," he said, "I am undeterred in my commitment to fully repealing Obamacare's command-and-control structure and starting over with true, patient-centered healthcare reform."

At the same time, Senate Democrats voiced relief and approval following the ruling.

Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware seemed to speak for his 44 Democratic colleagues when he told reporters that the King decision was is a "victory for millions of middle-class and low-income Americans who will continue to have access to affordable health insurance."

Admitting he was not in the Senate when the Affordable Care Act was written and enacted in 2010, Coons asserted: "It has always been indisputable that the bill's authors intended for Americans in every state to have access to health insurance tax credits.

"Now that the Supreme Court has once again rejected a politically motivated legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act, it is my hope that we can turn the page and focus on ways to continue improving the law and ensuring every American has access to quality, affordable healthcare coverage.

"After years of political posturing," Coons said, "it's time for Congress to come together to ensure our healthcare system leaves no American behind."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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To the surprise of just about no one in Washington, the response in the Senate to the Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling in the King v. Burwell case Thursday fell strictly along party lines, with Republicans vowing to continue the fight against the healthcare law, John Gizzi writes.
obamacare, gizzi, bill cassidy, gop, democrats, reaction
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2015-13-25
Thursday, 25 Jun 2015 12:13 PM
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