More local reactions to the Supreme Court upholding “Obamacare.”
At the Strib, “Peter J. Nelson, policy fellow, Center for the American Experiment:
“The Court’s ruling says nothing about the wisdom of the health care overhaul. While the law took aim at real problems in need of real solutions, it took the wrong approach. When the law passed, nearly every credible expert admitted that it did nothing to solve the central problem with our health care system: the increasingly unaffordable cost to both families and the government. Rather, the law irresponsibly spends federal money American taxpayers simply can’t afford.”
Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., a member of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee:
“While I respect the Court’s decision, it doesn’t change the fact that the health care law’s policy is flawed and remains very unpopular with the majority of Americans. I remain opposed to the $29 billion new tax on medical device innovation which threatens 10 percent of a workforce that accounts for over 432,000 American jobs.”
On the — wholly — political front, Kevin Diaz and Corey Mitchell of the Strib report: “The Supreme Court decision upholding the 2010 health care law provided a huge political boost for President Obama, but it also serves up a fresh new campaign issue for races in Minnesota and across the nation. … ‘It’s official,’ said Minnesota GOP Senate candidate Kurt Bills, who is challenging DFL incumbent Amy Klobuchar. ‘Klobuchar voted for the largest tax increase since the imposition of the income tax.’ … State legislators say they’re already gearing up for the fight. ‘Politically, this is probably the best thing that could have happened,’ said state Sen. Sean Nienow, R-Cambridge, who is on the Health and Human Services Committee. Nienow said the decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act could be better for the conservative movement in the long run than if the individual mandate had been struck down. ‘It fires up the base,’ he said. ‘This could be a victory for those of us who oppose this law.’ ” And opposing it has the added plus of providing another excuse for not coming up with a credible alternative.
Hannah Gruber at Oakdale Patch offers up these comments:
“State Rep. Nora Slawik, District 55B
“The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is great for Minnesota and our country. Thanks to the ACA 32,000 Minnesotans under age 26 have been able to stay on their parents’ health insurance. Because of the ACA, Minnesota seniors saved nearly $600 on prescription drugs, and thanks to the ACA Minnesotans receive free preventative coverage, along with dozens of protections from insurance industry abuses.
Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Pat Shortridge
“While we are disappointed that ObamaCare wasn’t repealed today, we are ready to elect conservatives to Congress this fall who will repeal and replace ObamaCare in its entirety. As Republican conservatives, we’ve learned time and again that we can’t rely on the courts to protect our Constitutional liberties, it’s up to us at the ballot box. We must continue our work to elect Constitutional conservatives who will defend our freedoms from an overreaching government in Washington. …. As President Obama and Democrats in Minnesota claim victory today, the Supreme Court’s decision is a reminder that ObamaCare is a massive tax increase on all Americans and another broken campaign promise, and that their victory will be short-lived as voters reject it in November.”
National Libertarian Party
“The Supreme Court Ruling on ObamaCare does not matter. It will make little difference to America in the short run, and no difference in the long run. Why? Because almost all elected Republicans and Democrats are Big Government politicians — in all things — including health care. After this Supreme Court decision, they will get back to work expanding government involvement in all things — especially health care.”
Minnesota Catholic Conference
“For nearly a century, the Catholic bishops of the United States have been and continue to be consistent advocates for comprehensive health care reform to ensure access to life-affirming health care for all, especially the poorest and the most vulnerable. The bishops, however, did not support final passage of the ACA for three main reasons. First, the ACA allows use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions and for plans that cover such abortions, contradicting longstanding federal policy. Second, the ACA fails to include necessary language to provide essential conscience protection, both within and beyond the abortion context.”
At Politics in Minnesota, Charley Shaw reports: “ DFL House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, who is a past chair of the Health and Human Services policy committee, said the next step will involve implementation at the state level. ‘Settling this issue once-and-for-all in court means real progress and security for families and children with preexisting conditions, seniors facing high drug prices, and thousands of other Minnesotans,’ Thissen said. ‘However, our work is not done. We need to roll up our sleeves and work to implement the health care law in a way that builds on our nation-leading health care system in Minnesota to improve care and make it more affordable for all Minnesotans.’ ”
James Warden at Hopkins Patch turns in this: “Jamie Williams, president of Minnesota Health Coverage on Shady Oak Road, said many insurance companies had already started making some of the required changes, both because they’re popular and as a goodwill gesture. ‘I guess my attitude all along has been to treat it as if it’s already law,’ said Williams, who opposed the bill before it passed because he didn’t think it did enough to keep health care costs from rising. ‘It probably would’ve been more disruptive for it not to have been upheld.’ ” … West Suburban Teen Clinic was also pleased with the court’s decision: ‘This decision will have tangible [effects on] the lives of young people and their families,’ a statement quoted Executive Director Leah Hebert. ‘Every day, we see teens and young adults in our clinics who cannot afford basic preventative health care. Choosing to go without treatments or check-ups is something that no family should ever have to do’.”
At CNN, Jessica Yellin notes that the Koch brothers aren’t going to wait for the moment to pass. “Americans for Prosperity, an independent conservative organization is poised to launch an ad in response to the Supreme Court’s health care ruling backed by its biggest ad buy to date, $8.2 million. The spots will run in the presidential battleground states of Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, according to two sources with the group.”
At Fox9, Tom Lyden offers a “Health Care Truth Test”. Says Lyden:
“1. Is this a government takeover of health care?
That’s a stretch. The federal government is not taking over hospitals or insurance companies, and there will still be a free market of private insurance. …
4. People will be forced out of their current plans.
That is false. No one will be forced out of their insurance plan by this law, but it is possible that consumers will be able to find something better. …
6. You could be jailed for not buying health insurance.
That’s a flat out lie. The penalty for not carrying health insurance is just a tax fine. If you don’t pay it, the IRS will deduct it.
7. What about ‘death panels’?
After the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the law, Sarah Palin once more made some noise about so-called ‘death panels,’ but there was never anything like that in the law. There is a payment advisory board that looks at Medicare spending, but it can only make broad recommendations about how to curb future spending — and the law specifically states that the board cannot ration care.”
At the Strib, Dan Browning gets into the tale of perennial Senate candidate Jack Shepard and his libel suit against The Huffington Post: “Fugitive Minneapolis dentist and U.S. Senate candidate Jack Shepard says the Huffington Post went too far with a headline that labels him an arsonist. He may be a convicted sex and drug offender, but he’s never been convicted of arson, Shepard said in a federal lawsuit he filed Monday in St. Paul. Calling him an arsonist, he alleges, is inherently libelous. … ‘On its surface it sounds like the case could have merit,’ said Marshall Tanick, a Twin Cities defamation attorney. Falsely accusing someone of a crime is libel per se, Tanick said. In such cases, he said, the law allows general damages, meaning a plaintiff does not have to prove actual losses. Tanick said the Huffington Post could defend itself by trying to prove that Shepard, in fact, committed arson, but that’s tough to do on an old case. But Shepard would have a hard time pressing his case from Italy, he said.”
Now that they’ve got it, the Strib has to get people, especially its neighbors, to love it. Janet Moore writes: “Backers of the new $975 million Vikings stadium met their neighbors from the eastern stretch of downtown Minneapolis on Thursday, and just about everyone agreed on this point: No one wants a repeat of the Metrodome. … But it remains unclear how the desired development, which is slated to break ground the summer or fall of 2013, will occur in what is still a tough economy for commercial real estate projects. As about 50 attendees munched on cold cuts and hot dogs at the Dome’s Gridiron Club, Rybak urged them ‘to put every picture you’ve seen of [the Dome] out of your head.’ The goal will be to create a neighborhood that will not only be attractive and bustling on game days, but the rest of the year as well. What, exactly, that will entail is uncertain. The Downtown Council’s 2025 plan envisioned the Vikings stadium for the west side of downtown, with the area around the Dome set aside largely for housing. Mondale advised, ‘You guys need to think big here.’ ” Right. I’m thinking … big lake.