Politicos and party members weighed in on the Supreme Court ruling Thursday.
State Rep. Chuck Hopson, R-Jacksonville, said the health care law will have a detrimental effect on independent health care providers and demand a larger slice of the state’s budget pie.
Hopson, a retired pharmacist, sold his business last year after 38 years. He said the health care law weighed into his decision to sell.
“Anyone in business who has a large group of Medicaid or Medicare recipients is hurting,” he said. “It’s going to be hard on hospitals and doctors, anyone who is a healthcare provider.”
Hopson, a House Health and Human Services Committee member, said Texas legislators will see an increased demand on health and human service funding beginning in the next session, which begins in January. Health care is approaching 40 percent of the state’s general funding, he said, as much as the state spends on public education. Together, health care and public education would require around 80 percent of the state’s annual revenues.
Smith County Democratic Party Chairman David Henderson called the court’s ruling “incredible” and said it solidifies President Barack Obama’s legacy even if he is defeated in November.
“This is good news, but the irony is it probably makes the president’s reelection more difficult,” he said. “Republicans will mobilize because of the ruling, and Democrats typically don’t mobilize when they’re happy.”
Henderson said GOP supporters who were not keen about presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has said he would work to repeal the legislation, will back him more enthusiastically.
Smith County Republican Party Chairman Ashton Oravetz said he is hoping for a strong November showing by conservatives. He said the decision “shreds” state sovereignty and personal rights under the Constitution by enforcing the federal government’s powers to create individual mandates based on its ability to tax.
“I am just disgusted with it,” he said. “This is a disaster for the economy and for health care.”
Texas already faces a $14 billion deficit in January because it deferred Medicaid payments during the last session. He said the ruling will negatively impact doctors, businesses and individuals. Oravetz said a health care system with 50 million new Medicaid recipients will drive many doctors to quit the profession or stop taking payments via insurance or government programs. This will mean less access to doctors and health care, he said.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, in a statement, said the American people will be the ultimate judge of “Obamacare.” He said Republicans will “redouble our efforts to repeal this job-killing law.”
“We must replace it with reforms that expand access and enhance care without adding trillions of dollars to the national debt and inserting Washington bureaucrats between Americans and their doctors,” he said.
Cornyn said there will be time to debate the court’s decision heading toward Election Day. He said conservatives must now focus on electing legislators who will dismantle the law.
U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, in a statement, said the Supreme Court’s decision doesn’t make the health care law good policy.
“In fact, the majority said it was not ruling on fairness or wisdom of health care policy, but instead on the power of Congress to levy taxes,” she said. “The court’s ruling confirms the president’s health care law is nothing more than a massive tax on the American people.”
Sen. Hutchison said implementation of the law means most Americans won’t be able to keep the coverage they have now. Citizens’ health choices will be decided by the government creating new regulations to disrupt the doctor-patient relationship. She said $500 billion will be cut from Medicare to pay for full implementation of the health care law, plus $500 billion in higher taxes on individual Americans and businesses.
She echoed Cornyn’s call for a conservative takeover of the White House and Congress in November.