Iowa’s reaction to SupCo’s health care ruling

Read the Radio Iowa story and find the audio of the telephone conference calls Senators Grassley and Harkin had with Iowa reporters this morning after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Affordable Care Act was constitutional.

Here are the written statements released by Iowa’s governor, lieutenant governor & Iowa’s congressional delegation:

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today released the following statements on the United States Supreme Court ruling of Obamacare.

Gov. Branstad:

“Today, the Supreme Court handed down a disastrous decision to uphold President Obama’s destructive health care law, which means a future of higher costs, higher taxes, and increasing debt for Iowans.  The current health care system is nothing but a federal takeover and continues to exceed its budgeted amount every day.  But, as Governor Romney has said many times, no matter what may happen in Court, the American people must remain vigilant in their fight to repeal the law. Our goal is for Iowa to become the healthiest state in the country and to do so Iowans will need to take ownership of their own health to reduce health care costs and lead healthier lives.”

Lt. Gov. Reynolds:

“America needs real health care reform and we need Governor Romney in Washington. Gov. Romney will enact real reforms to ensure that the future of Iowa and America as a whole can replace Obamacare with solutions that put Iowans in control of their own health care and preserve the economic future of Iowa’s next generation. “

Harkin Statement on Supreme Court Health Care Ruling
WASHINGTON—Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act:

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is a rigorous, resounding confirmation of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.  It is great news for America’s families and businesses, and for our economy.  This decision keeps consumers, rather than insurance companies, in the driver’s seat, and protects the more than $1 trillion in deficit reduction included in the ACA. Today’s decision allows us to continue our work replacing the current sick care system with a genuine health care system – one focused on wellness, prevention, and public health, keeping people out of the hospital in the first place.

“I am heartened to see that the hundreds of millions of corporate dollars poured into the effort to kill the Affordable Care Act did not win. This law is a critical step in the right direction;I have likened it to a starter home, suitable for improvement.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to make sensible changes as we continue to implement the law.  I invite them to bring their tool kits, rather than their sledgehammers, so we can work together to improve the law.

“The choice is to go forward, or be dragged backward.  I believe the great majority of Americans want to go forward – and today the Supreme Court made clear what we have long known: that the opposition is standing on the wrong side of history.  Now let’s get back to work building a health care system that works not only for the healthy and wealthy, but for all Americans.”

Under the Affordable Care Act:
• More than 3.1 million young adults who would have gone uninsured are now covered by their parents’ health care plans
• The Patients’ Bill of Rights puts Americans back in charge of their health care decisions, protects those with pre-existing conditions, eliminates lifetime coverage limits, ends arbitrary policy cancellations by insurers, and improves accountability and transparency
• 45.1 million women have access to breast and cervical cancer screenings, prenatal care, and well-child visits with no out-of-pocket costs
• Over 5.1 million people on Medicare saved over $3.2 billion on prescription drugs thanks to discounts on both name brand and generic drugs donut hole over the past two years
• 86 million Americans have already received one or more preventive services, like cancer screenings and check-ups, at no cost
• 360,000 small businesses have used the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit to help insure 2 million workers

Senator Chuck Grassley responds to the Supreme Court decision on the 2010 health care law:

“I respect the Supreme Court but strongly disagree with this decision.

“The court has upheld the law saying that the President’s health care law is a tax on every American – regardless of income – unless that American takes an action the government demands.

“The only way the law is constitutional is by doing what the President denied, that the penalty was a tax.  The legislation was sold in Congress and to the country under false pretenses.

“With this decision, the court said that while Congress’ ability to regulate is limited, its ability to tax is unlimited.

“In addition, the court saying the Medicaid enforcement mechanism was unconstitutional means that President Obama cannot deliver on his promise to poor people needing Medicaid.  Here, there was no way out for the unconstitutional approach of the President.

“Now, it’s up to the American people.  The majority of Americans don’t like this law, and health care will be a major issue in the presidential election, including its impact on the economy and jobs, which should have been the first priority all along.

“The goal has got to be on growing the economy and creating jobs, not making government bigger, but including health care solutions that use free-market principles, don’t get between patients and their doctors, and succeed in driving down health care costs.

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act:

“The Supreme Court got it right today.  This decision is good news for the middle class and affordable healthcare.  It makes me think of thousands of Iowans like my nephew, Tucker.  Tucker survived a fight with liver cancer at age 2 because his family had health insurance.  But his parents lived in constant fear of losing their jobs because Tucker would be denied new insurance due to his pre-existing condition.  The healthcare reform law ended those fears — and this decision means many other critical reforms will stay in place. 
“From allowing 18,000 Iowans to stay on their parents’ insurance up to age 26, to requiring insurance companies cover screenings for diseases like breast cancer, to saving Iowa seniors hundreds of dollars per year on their Medicare prescription drugs, the law’s positive impact on Iowa is just beginning to be felt. 

“It’s not a perfect law.  That’s why I’ll be working to bring Republicans and Democrats together to improve it and make it better.”

tWashington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court issued their decision on the Affordable Care Act.

“Today’s decision will bring stability and certainty to Iowans as they make critical health care choices for themselves and their families.  It maintains protections for those who have pre-existing conditions, ensures no Iowan will be denied coverage, and that young Iowans can stay on their parents’ health care plans until they are 26.  Additionally, this ruling affirms that preventative care will be provided without a co-payment, and that those who lose their jobs will not lose their coverage.  It also prevents women from being charged higher premiums simply because they are female, and prohibits pregnancy from being treated as a pre-existing condition.  Further, the Medicare prescription drug donut hole will be completely closed by 2020, through reforms that are already saving our seniors $650 each this year.
“As we move forward, the bill is not perfect and I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that the Affordable Care Act is enacted in a way that will reduce health care costs and help bring stability to Iowans during these difficult economic times.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Leonard Boswell (IA-3) released the following statement after the Supreme Court issued its ruling on the health care law:

“The highest court in the land spoke today and found the Affordable Care Act constitutional. Millions of Americans, including children, seniors, and health care providers, have won today. No one will ever be denied coverage for having a pre-existing condition. If you’re a young adult, you can be covered under your parent’s plan until your 26 years old. Seniors will continue seeing the gap in their prescription drug coverage close and will be able to take advantage of preventative care, like cancer screenings, without having a co-pay or deductible.

“This decision reaffirms a major victory for the middle class and I will be working to make sure the health care law continues to serve Americans’ health care needs and provides families with the necessary security and stability for the future. Now that this law has been reaffirmed, it is time for opponents to stop spreading misinformation in their attempts to confuse the American people on this law.  Enrolling approximately 30 million additional Americans in health insurance is an achievement we can be proud of as we act to fulfill our responsibility to those in need. It’s time for ALL to work together to make sure the law is enacted fairly and properly. ”

DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa Congressman Tom Latham issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling today on President Obama’s new health care law:

“While the Supreme Court has the duty to determine the constitutionality of the health care law, it does not have the authority to determine if it is good or bad policy for hardworking Americans.  Thankfully, it is still the American people who ultimately have the power and the right to make that final judgment.

“I opposed and voted against the health care law because it is bad policy that ignored the voices of the people. Congress must set its sights on completely replacing this bad law with measures that truly will lower health care costs for hardworking taxpayers. I have offered a solution made up of better ideas that offer better solutions that will produce the best results for everyone.  My patient-centered approach empowers the American people, not Washington bureaucrats, to choose the best health care plan for themselves, and it puts them in control of their health care, not the government. 

“As we move forward, I continue to stand ready to work with any of my colleagues in Congress, regardless of political affiliation, who are willing to enact real solutions for the benefit of the American people.”

Washington, DC- Congressman Steve King released the following statement today in response to the Supreme Court declaring the individual mandate to be Constitutional under Congress’s taxing power.

“Leading up to today, the lower courts were split on a handful of issues,” said King. “One issue they were nearly unanimous on was that the individual mandate was not a tax therefore could not be upheld under Congress’s power to tax. Today the Supreme Court disagrees with the vast majority of lower court decisions and contradicts President Obama himself, who vehemently denied that the individual mandate was a tax.

The fate of ObamaCare is not yet set. The House has voted to pass my language to repeal 100% of ObamaCare. Every Republican Senator has voted to do the same. On the other hand, President Obama and Democrats in Congress remain as committed as ever to forcing the unconstitutional law that bears the President’s name upon an unwilling and disapproving public. The choice could not be clearer. The American people should be reminded that there is no force more powerful than their voice. After the passage of ObamaCare, the American people made their disapproval known in a powerful way. Today’s decision should renew that call and spirit.

The Constitution lays out a government of limited, enumerated powers, and the size and scope of our current government, and specifically ObamaCare, are well beyond what our Founding Fathers ever intended. The American people will decide the fate of ObamaCare.”

King also sent out a fundraising appeal immediately following the decision.

Dear Friend,

Today the Supreme Court announced ObamaCare is Constitutional and the law will stand.

President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid promised us this legislation would make health care costs more affordable without affecting the quality of the system. In reality, ObamaCare has driven up costs, made it harder for small businesses to hire workers, limited Americans’ choice in healthcare and intruded on the doctor-patient relationship. Worse, ObamaCare has created trillions of dollars in new government spending we simply can’t afford.

Friend, I know we’re both disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision, but this is only a minor setback in our fight to protect our individual liberties and freedom. We must rally together and work harder to fully repeal ObamaCare. I will not rest until Congress defunds and completely repeals this legislation.

Christie Vilsack will not vote to defund or fully repeal ObamaCare. That’s why I’m asking for your help to make sure I win this race by posting the highest possible numbers for the June 30 fundraising deadline. Can I count on your immediate contribution of $25, $50, $100 or more?

Today’s Supreme Court’s decision makes protecting our conservative majority in the House more important than ever. It also sets the stakes even higher for taking back the Senate and winning the White House. This is NOT the time to abandon our Conservative beliefs; it’s the time to rally together to defend them.

For the last 10 years, I’ve fought for our shared values and been the number one advocate for limited government in Congress. I’ll continue to do this, but I urgently need your help. Will you follow this link right now to make a contribution of $25, $50, $100 or more to my campaign before June 30?

Thank you in advance for your support.

Steve King
Member of Congress, Iowa

P.S. With the Supreme Court ruling ObamaCare is Constitutional, our mission to defund and repeal the legislation is more important than ever. Give me the chance to continue leading the charge against ObamaCare by making a contribution of $25, $50, $100 or more to my campaign before the June 30 deadline. Thanks—Steve

Christie Vilsack, King’s Democratic opponent, issued a statement early this afternoon.

AMES – Following the Supreme Court’s decision on health care today, Christie Vilsack called on Congress to reform the Affordable Care Act:
“I feel strongly that health care must be accessible, affordable, and high quality for all Americans. The Affordable Care Act took important steps toward that goal, like allowing young people to stay on their parent’s health insurance, closing the donut hole in Medicare, and eliminating discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. Now that the Supreme Court has made their decision, Congress must reform the Affordable Care Act to control the skyrocketing costs of health care in America,” said Christie Vilsack.
“This law did little to address the rapidly increasing cost of health care. I believe we must control costs and provide stability to families and small businesses in Iowa. To address this, I am introducing seven common sense ideas for reform that directly benefit families in my district by making health care more affordable.”
“With the legal battle over health care reform behind us, Democrats and Republicans must focus on having a real conversation about how we can create jobs and economic opportunity in this country. This is what the American people deserve and it’s the reason I’m running for Congress.”
Making Health Care More Affordable
1. Control soaring premiums: The Affordable Care Act does not do enough to protect Iowans from unreasonable premium increases. Health care costs will continue to soar if insurance companies increase premiums as they see fit. Christie Vilsack believes that we must protect families and small businesses from these outrageous increases and keep rates affordable for everyone.
2. Protect seniors from increased out-of-pocket expenses: Any reform to our health care system must not jeopardize quality and affordable care for seniors. For this reason, Congress must protect Medicare from drastic cuts, like those in the Ryan Budget, which would force seniors to pay more out-of-pocket for health care.  Christie Vilsack will also work with Democrats and Republicans to protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security from benefit cuts.
3. Lower prescription drug costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices: Prohibiting Medicare from negotiating prescription drug prices is unnecessary and increases the costs to America’s seniors. By removing this prohibition, as the Veterans Administration has, we can lower the cost of prescription drugs. This is a common sense idea that should have bipartisan support.  As a member of Congress, Christie will work to keep health care affordable for seniors, while protecting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
4. Decrease the burden on small businesses by providing additional tax credits: The tax credits for small businesses in the Affordable Care Act do not do enough to encourage small businesses to offer employee health insurance coverage. In order to make health care affordable for small business owners, the tax credit should be enhanced.
5. Cut administrative costs with electronic records: The United States spends approximately $360 billion on administrative health care costs each year. Much more can be done to bring these costs down. We can save as much as $40 billion a year by taking simple steps to reform administrative procedures, such as using electronic eligibility, claims processing, and payment systems.

6. Encourage prevention and coordinated care organizations: The federal government should work with states to encourage prevention programs and support coordinated care models to deliver health care that rewards results. If states would adopt a coordinated care model, like Oregon has, we can save as much as $1.5 trillion over the next decade.

7. Reduce regulatory burden on rural health care providers: Across the 4th District and in rural communities across the country, Rural Health Clinics and Critical Access Hospitals provide important care to Medicare beneficiaries. Unfortunately, they’re forced to comply with burdensome regulations that stretch their budgets and staff even further. In order to lower health care costs and provide quality care to rural communities, Christie Vilsack will work to reduce the regulatory burden on these small clinics and hospitals.

One of the two Republican challengers of a Democratic Iowa congressman issued a statement by early this afternoon.

INDEPENDENCE, IA — Iowa congressional candidate Ben Lange (IA-01) issued the following statement today in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare:
“The issue before the Supreme Court today was not about the wisdom of Obamacare, it was about the legal foundations of our constitutional Republic and the role of federal politicians in the lives of states and individuals.
“Our founders constructed the Constitution on the pillars of federalism, separation of powers, and enumerated powers in order to divide and limit the power of the federal government. Why? Because history has shown that well-meaning politicians armed with concentrated power in pursuit of desirable ends tend to trample the rights of citizens.
“Obamacare is the quintessential example. In pursuing more affordable and accessible health care, no doubt a desirable end, Congressman Bruce Braley and other federal politicians sought to establish the legal principle that the federal government can force Iowans to purchase a good or service against our will.
“By upholding this legal principle today, the Supreme Court has ruled that there are no longer any meaningful limits on what federal politicians can do to the American people under the auspices of the taxing power. Individual and states’ rights have been permanently compromised in our constitutional system. 
“While I disagree with the legal conclusion of the Supreme Court, I respect their judgment. 
“Chief Justice Roberts is correct in stating: ‘Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.’   

“Iowans now have only one option for taking back control of their most intimate health care decisions from divisive federal politicians and bureaucrats: Iowans must vote out politicians like Congressman Bruce Braley in November.  

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller filed a brief in support of the law.  He issued a written statement today.

Attorney General Tom Miller’s Statement on Supreme Court Ruling

“For 90 years, as a nation we have tried to secure health coverage for all Americans.  For many years, the United States has been the only industrialized country without coverage for all.  Congress spent much of two years working intensely on this legislation and finally passed it.  It would have been wrong for an unelected court to strike it down with the issues presented.  This is a matter for the political process.

“The decision today means that —-
• Tens of millions of Americans without health care can secure it.
• Hundreds of millions of Americans who have or get in the future a pre-existing condition will not lose their health care.
• Millions of young people under 26 now covered by their parents’ policies will not lose coverage.

“Chief Justice John Roberts showed great wisdom and courage in leading and writing today’s decision.  He found a basis (the tax power) he was comfortable with to uphold the law.  He changed constitutional law from a conservative perspective by limiting the ability of Congress to condition federal grants.  Because he believed it was the right thing to do, he broke with the beliefs and ideology of his usual allies.  I worked with Chief Justice Roberts when he was a lawyer on the Microsoft case.  I came to know him and became a big believer in his great character and other high personal qualities.  But never more so than today.”

The state’s largest insurance company issued a statement.

DES MOINES, IA (June 28, 2012) – Today Wellmark® Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® issued the following statement in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

Wellmark will continue to implement the various provisions required by the law while working with policymakers to address provisions that will increase costs such as compressed rate bands, which will result in driving up premiums for young people and the health insurance tax that will add hundreds of dollars to families’ premiums each year.  “We plan to remain engaged in state-based health care exchange discussions, and will continue to provide input to policymakers as they develop the best approach to establishing a successful exchange model in Iowa and South Dakota,” said John Forsyth, Wellmark chairman and CEO. 

As always, we will remain focused on making sound fiscal decisions that best serve our members. Wellmark is proud to be one of the few Iowa insurance companies to exceed the ACA medical-loss ratio requirement to spend 85 percent of premium dollars on medical claims in the large group market (100+ employees), and 80 percent in the individual and small group markets.  We will be here to serve our members today and in the future.

The Iowa Hospital Association issued a statement, among the first to arrive in my email after the ruling was announced.

Statement on Supreme Court’s Decision Regarding the Affordable Care Act

Kirk Norris, President/CEO, Iowa Hospital Association

“Consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision, health care reform in the United States continues to move forward.  While there will always be debate over the policy details, there remains a national consensus that everyone should have access to insurance coverage and delivery of care needs to be more efficient with higher standards of quality.  Iowa’s hospitals continue to lead by further integrating care with physicians and focusing on process improvement, care coordination and health information technology implementation – all with the aim of providing better care to individuals, better health to communities and lower cost for everyone.

And by 1 p.m. this afternoon, the leader of one of Iowa’s two major political parties had issued a statement.

DES MOINES, Iowa– The Republican Party of Iowa released the following statement today from Iowa GOP Chairman A.J. Spiker in response to the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare:

“President Obama clearly lied to the American people when he promised not to raise taxes on middle class Americans. Obamacare not only raises taxes on every single Iowan, but also guarantees higher health care costs and deficits in perpetuity. The winners today are big corporate health insurance companies who lobbied vigorously for this law and government bureaucrats, while patients have lost control over their personal heath care decisions.

“The Supreme Court’s decision today is a set back for believers of individual liberty and smaller government all across Iowa, but rest assured this will only energize us even further. The Republican Party of Iowa will be working tirelessly to send Mitt Romney to the White House along with a full Republican delegation to Congress in order to repeal Obamacare in its entirety and replace it with meaningful market-driven reforms that will reduce costs, protect patients and increase quality of care.”

UPDATE:  The Iowa Democratic Party’s chair issued a statement.

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Sue Dvorsky’s Statement on the Supreme Court Ruling to Uphold Affordable Care Act

Des Moines — Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky released the following statement following the Supreme Court ruling which upheld the Affordable Care Act. 

“Today was an unequivocal victory for the American people. Health care has been protected for 34 million Americans, including the 12 percent of Iowans living without health insurance.

“By virtue of President Obama’s bold leadership, 18,000 Iowans under 26 can now stay on their parent’s insurance and two million Iowans no longer have to worry about lifetime caps or losing insurance when they get sick. Soon, no American will ever again be denied care or charged more due to a pre-existing condition. President Obama believes quality affordable health insurance you can rely on is at the heart of middle class security. The Iowa Democratic Party agrees with this 100 percent.

“We move forward today knowing that this law makes us a stronger and healthier nation. We can now return to the mission of getting Iowans back to work in this recovering economy.”

UPDATE II: The Iowa Republican Party has issued a fundraising appeal as well.

Right now Barack Obama is grinning ear to ear.

But he has no idea the sleeping giant he’s awakened.

This morning the Supreme Court upheld the main parts of “Obamacare” and dealt a blow to freedom and liberty throughout the nation.

And while Obama and his liberal establishment minions are celebrating, Republicans have already begun to make sure this law never sees the light of day.

Here in Iowa we plan on doubling our efforts to keep our majority in the State House, take back the State Senate and ensure Obama becomes a one term President.

We can do it, but we need your help.

As Mitt Romney comes to Iowa and builds his campaign structure it is vital we give him the ground support he needs.

This election will be a close one and It is imperative we turn Iowa red this Fall and deliver our electoral votes to Governor Romney.

This morning I have spoken at length with state and national Republican leaders on how to reverse Obama’s dangerous liberal agenda.

We all agree, the best way to effectively fight back is to elect Republicans at all levels of government and ensure we have the votes in place to defeat Obamacare once and for all.

But we can’t do it without your help. Please click here to make a donation to our efforts with $100, $50, $25 or even $10. If you’d prefer to send a check, please make it out to “Republican Party of Iowa” and send to 621 E. 9th St. Des Moines, IA 50309.

Barack Obama may enjoy the day focusing on what he THINKS he’s achieved, but Iowa Republicans know the truth. We know the President’s “victory” is short-lived and can STILL be stopped if we act now.

That’s why I’m asking for your help to keep Republicans across the state active.

All across Iowa we’ve got campaign victory offices and dedicated volunteers working day and night to elect our Republican legislative candidates and defeat Barack Obama in November.

Mitt Romney has shown he is committed to winning Iowa. Now it’s our turn as Republicans to show him we are committed to helping him achieve victory.

Together we can and WILL restore freedom to our Nation and ensure Iowa leads the way in defeating Obama once and for all.
A.J. Spiker

Chairman, Republican Party of Iowa

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. William Snyder says

    You asked me to speak my mind! I’m not a shy person at all. When are you crazy maniac GOP supporters and your radio and tv shows going to give up. Obama’s Affordable Health Care Law will not, and I repeat, will be repealed in any way, shape, or form. For God’s sake people, when are you going to be supportive of the American people and their major healthcare issues, Medicaid, coverage for the “young voters” until age 26, etc., etc., etc., is very important to us. The only thing that is going on here is that people like you – Kay Henderson, I will drop the O as I think it is very inappropriate, are so hung up on the Republican Corngressmen/Women, Sentate, Governors, that it makes all of us want to vomit. You make complete idiots out of yourselves when you host these “waste of time” shows to show your love and support for a bunch of losers. Please – I know you like the money and attention that you receive, and I’m sure that you are definitely a Republican, but it’s not going to happen. Mitt Romeny is so transparent that he looks like a pane of highly polished clear glass when he speaks.

    I hope that your show is disregarded by so many people that your ratings fall to a major low, and your show is cancelled.

    Thank you for giving me this opportunity to comment.

    William G. Snyder Junior
    A Major Campaigner for Barack Obama