Local Elected Officials React to Obamacare Supreme Court Decision

The tax is an overreach of government authority says the East County congressman Duncan Hunter.

U.S. Congressman Duncan Hunter (Rep.—Alpine) on Thursday responded to the to uphold the president’s health care law by saying it needs repealing.

“This ruling on the law’s constitutional validity doesn’t change the fact that it’s a bad law. Health care costs are still rising and now, assuming the law is not ultimately repealed by Congress, there will be new taxes and higher costs imposed on families and businesses," Hunter stated in a news release.

On its last day in its 2011-2012 session, the court held that the individual mandate could be upheld as a tax under a narrow interpretation of the Constitution.

Hunter believes that's a stretch.

"Whether viewed as a tax or a penalty, the individual mandate is an overreach of government authority and it will continue to underscore one of the many reasons why this law needs to be repealed.

"This law, with its expansive programs and cost burden, is not the right solution to the country’s health care challenges," Hunter said.

Other local leaders have their own opinions:

La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid:

"Like 99.9 percent of members of congress, I have not read the 2,500-plus pages of this legislation. However,  I do believe that providing insurance of some sort to the more than 50 million uninsured Americans is the first step in address a nearly century old problem that's been mired by political, social and economic forces that have prevented some type of 'universal health care' as addressed by the  Affordable Care Act," Madrid wrote in an email to Patch.

He continued: "Chief Justice Roberts is to be commended for taking politics off the table regarding his vote. Just remember, those less informed about this, or any other issue, are the most vocal. A question for the critics: how many of their family members or friends with catastrophic illness will now be able to have some coverage? Then, for them, it's the first appropriate step."

Rep. Susan Davis of the 53rd District:

“The Supreme Court came down in favor of San Diegans and the American people. Those paying for their health insurance should not continue to have to pay for those who don’t. While the individual mandate is about all Americans being responsible for their own health care, the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) is about providing health care access to everyone."

Davis said that there are many Americans  already benefitting from the new health care law.

  • Adults and children with pre-existing conditions are able to buy health insurance
  • Seniors are saving on prescription drugs
  • Young adults are able to stay on their parents’ health care plans
  • Americans are receiving preventive care for free
  • Small businesses are getting tax breaks to help cover their employees

“I’m sure they are relieved that these benefits will not be taken away from them," she said. “The ACA has hospitals and providers looking at ways to deliver better and more affordable health care services.  When fully implemented, the ACA will help Americans who can’t afford insurance with credits to cover premium costs.

“This is a historic day and we are moving in the right direction.  Now is the time for us to keep moving forward and make sure this law works for all,” said Davis.

Ramona Patch editor Julie Pendray and Belmont Shores Patch editor Nancy Wride contributed to this story.

M Parker June 28, 2012 at 10:43 PM
I am guessing that if Hunter had an uninsurable child and an uninsurable spouse like I do, he might change his tune, Of course, he is a Congressional member with the best healthcare in the world so he has nothing to worry about. Rep. Davis is more in touch and more sympathetic to the needs of everyday Americans
Scott A McMillan June 29, 2012 at 01:45 PM
M Parker, why am I subsidizing you and your misfortune?
Gerald Yops June 29, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Get the government out of our lives! Once the government controls your health insurance/health care, the government controls YOU!
Kevin George June 29, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Scott, I am so happy to see you here on the Patch. I always enjoy your appearances at Council meetings and am looking forward to your input here. Welcome aboard!
Maura Larkins June 29, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Scott McMillan, I'm not sure that I understand your comment. Americans subsidize the rich as well as the poor, providing money to solve all sorts of problems. For example, we subsidized the bankers and insurance companies when they made a mess of our economy. Surely M. Parker's family deserves as much. Her child is not responsible for his/her illness, as the bankers were for the crisis they created. But we need healthy people and healthy banks to have a flourishing society. Isn't healthcare pretty much like all of the other government enterprises--like education, roads, etc. that help us have a well-functioning economy?
Kevin George June 29, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Maura, why stop there? We also need clothing, food and cars for a " flourishing society" , shouldn't those also be provided?
Scott H. Kidwell June 29, 2012 at 09:04 PM
The court did find a construct to allow the mandate to not be unconstitutional! It's not their job to determine if the legislation was good law.
Things I Learned June 29, 2012 at 09:37 PM
“It is not our job to protect the people from the consequence of their political choices.” ---Chief Justice John Roberts June 28, 2012
Maura Larkins June 29, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Most developed countries provide healthcare. It's pretty basic. It protects the healthy and well as the sick. For example, don't you want to feel confident that the person sitting next to you in the movie theater doesn't have untreated tuberculosis? No one knows if when he or she might have a catastrophic accident. It makes sense to share the risk. Clothing is different. Poor people can buy cheap clothing, rich people can buy expensive stuff. The same with food and cars. But health care has far greater repercussions in people's lives. It can be a matter of life or death or disability or extreme pain. Health care is more like roads: it would be silly to depend on individuals building the roads in front of their houses, or to depend on private freeways. Education, too, needs to be a group endeavor: we need an educated populace to have a healthy economy.
Scott H. Kidwell June 29, 2012 at 09:56 PM
That is certainly one opinion.
Kevin George June 29, 2012 at 10:16 PM
So"It makes sense to share the risk" ? Why do I, who participates in nothing more dangerous than driving a car ( less than 5000 miles a year) have to share risk with idiot skateboarders who risk life and limb at every opportunity. This one size fits all theory is one of the worst points of this crackpot scheme. We just got a letter from our health insurance co telling us about the " Expanded coverage for women" in preparation of Obamacare. The expansion of our policy that covers me, a 61 year old man and my 56 year old wife includes : Breast feeding support, prescription contraceptives, permanent surgical contraception, screening and counseling for STDs, screening and counseling for HIV, screening for gestational diabetes and testing for HPV. Our age and G rated life style requires NONE of that, why am I forced to pay for it? And yes poor people can buy cheap clothes but there is no such thing as a CHOICE for cheaper health care under this legislation. I thought folks with your outlook on life wanted choice on everything, why not this? You would not find this lack of choice acceptable in any other realm.
Kyla June 29, 2012 at 10:19 PM
So if you build roads for a living and suddenly you are told that you are expected to increase the number of roads you build by 1/3 because there is a much greater demand for your service. You are also told that you will be receiving your pay in 18 months for the work you to today (18 months is the average time it takes for a doctor to be paid by Medicare. I don't expect it to shorten). How willing to continue building roads would you be?
Kyla June 29, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Also, the major source of untreated, deadly communicable diseases is people who don't vaccinate their kids on time, if at all. I'd bet damn near anything that the new law doesn't allow doctors to force vaccinations, so that argument is pretty much invalid.
Andee Aceves June 29, 2012 at 11:07 PM
We already subsidize health insurance through our taxes-medi-cal and medicaid are just a couple of examples. My work insurance premiums are increasing because I am sharing the burden of dependent coverage for our members who still have dependents up to the age of 26! Never mind that my own children are grown and I paid for their coverage out of my own pocket. Where does it end?
Kevin George June 29, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Exactly Andee, once the government gets the idea it can be involved in every intimate aspect of your life indeed, where does it stop? Already mayor Bloomberg in NY has no qualms at all about telling you how much and what kind of soda to buy. When they find heart disease is costing the collective too much cheese burgers and bacon will be only available on the black market. How about mandatory exercise? And the worst, do you think they will spend money on a terminally ill 80 year old when they have a young taxpayer that needs a knee operation? The camels nose has entered the tent.
Scott H. Kidwell June 30, 2012 at 12:10 AM
So are the rights which we possesses unalienable, as described in our nations founding documents, or are they conferred upon us by the society to which we belong? Are rights and liberty to be determined by the legislative authority in view of the needs of that society? Social expediency, rather than natural right, is thus to determine the sphere of individual freedom of action?
Things I Learned June 30, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Here's a rambling extremist making the same point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-dQfb8WQvo
Andee Aceves June 30, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Exactly, Scott! If our rights are unalienable, they must come from the law of nature and of nature's God, according to the Declaration of Independence. They can't be "given" by anyone or taken away. However, if that right is given by the government, it can be given or taken at any time. Government is a poor god...
Scott H. Kidwell June 30, 2012 at 01:41 PM
And thus is the great question for our day not really about health care for all. Rather, it is within arguments about such. Shall we retain and reenforce that "we the people" are the sovereign and uphold our Constitution that limits the intrusions government may make on personal liberty or shall we follow the path of progressives from Woodrow Wilson, John Dewey and FDR through to President Obama wherein the Constitution is a "living document" to be interpreted as expediency is determined by an educated, enlightened and well meaning ruling class where natural individual unalienable rights are subordinate to a newer and ever evolving "social contract?"
Michael Patrick King November 13, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Mr. McMillan, you are subsidizing M Parker's misfortune because that's what good neighbors do: they bear one another's burdens. When my father, my brothers and I served in this nation's military, we did it with a sense of civic pride. We knew that we might leave our broken and bleeding bodies on some foreign battlefield but we did not shirk our duty. We were not compensated in a manner commensurate with the level of risk and sacrifice that we were asked to bear. Many wealthy Americans, both part owners and tools of the Military-Industrial Complex, have benefited materially from the global conflicts that have claimed the lives of their less-moneyed countrymen. That they should be asked to pay hefty taxes to subsidize the survival of their benefactors'--and their progeny's--well-being is only fit and proper. We are one nation and we stand or fall together. Simply put, Mr. McMillan, you subsidize the misfortunes of your countrymen because it is the right thing to do...the American thing to do.
Michael Patrick King November 13, 2012 at 08:31 PM
"...it would be silly to depend on individuals building the roads in front of their houses, or to depend on private freeways..." If private parties provided their own, they wouldn't be "freeways"--they'd be private.roads or toll roads.
Michael Patrick King November 13, 2012 at 08:43 PM
The so-called "Founding Fathers" of the United States of America were both progressive and conservative, hence the Constitution that they hammered out for themselves and their posterity to live by is crafted to benefit from pressures exerted by both of these two opposing forces. As much as I or anyone else may wish it were otherwise, the extant two-party system was pretty much designed into our form of government. If everyone were a conservative, America would be like any other autocratic, despotic regime on the planet. So would it be if everyone were a progressive. The fact that a provision was included to amend the Constitution "as may be desired" demonstrates that it is, as you say, a "living document" by design.


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