We have compiled all the statements we have received from Texas lawmakers about today’s Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act. We will continue to update this post as more come in.

 

Governor Greg Abbott (R):

“The Supreme Court abandoned the Constitution to resuscitate a failing healthcare law. Today’s action underscores why it is now more important than ever to ensure we elect a President who will repeal Obamacare and enact real healthcare reforms.”

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R):

“I am extremely disappointed that the Supreme Court of the United States has once again sided with President Obama’s disastrous healthcare legislation. This should have been an easy decision based on the actual law as written. I agree with the dissenting opinion which soberly points out that the court was parting from normal rules of interpretation in order to achieve the ‘overriding principle of the present court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved.’ The Affordable Care Act is broken and a burden to not only Texas, but our entire country. This failed federal mandate will continue to bring increased costs to states and individuals. We need more flexibility, not mandates, to improve our healthcare system.”

Attorney General Ken Paxton (R):

“This is unfortunate news for the millions of Americans who have experienced first-hand the devastating effects Obamacare has had on their families and businesses. While today’s ruling is disappointing, Obamacare remains one of the broadest overreaches of federal authority in our nation’s history and we must continue to call on our leaders in Washington to step up and put an end to this job-killing law.”

Former Governor and Presidential candidate Rick Perry (R):

The Obama Administration has ignored the text of the Affordable Care Act time and again, and today’s ruling allows them to continue to disregard the letter of the law. While I disagree with the ruling, it was never up to the Supreme Court to save us from Obamacare. We need leadership in the White House that recognizes the folly of having to pass a bill to know what’s in it. We need leadership that understands a heavy-handed, one-size-fits-all policy does nothing to help health outcomes for Americans. With individual premiums up more than 50 percent and nearly 5 million people losing their health plans, Americans deserve better than what we’re getting with Obamacare. It’s time we repealed Obamacare and replaced it with truly affordable, patient centered-health care reform, and I look forward to laying out my ideas on this issue.

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa:

“Today is a big victory for hard-working Texans. Close to one million people will keep their health care coverage at a reasonable and affordable price. The Affordable Care Act works. And, although we celebrate today’s victory, we must remember that there are Texans still living without access to quality and affordable health care. We look forward to the day Governor Abbott and the Republican-controlled legislature put partisan games aside. It’s time for Texas to accept the billions in federal Medicaid funds to close the coverage gap so every Texas family has a doctor and a chance to live a healthy life.”

Texas Republican Party Chair Tom Mechler:

“Unfortunately today’s decision doesn’t change the fact that Obamacare is broken. Texans are faced with the reality of skyrocketing premiums that could rise as much as 64% next year as a result of this law. Democrats can celebrate today, but they do so at the expense of millions of hardworking Americans who have suffered because of Obamacare.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R):

“Today’s decision doesn’t change the fact that Obamacare has been a disaster for the millions of hardworking American families who have seen their health care costs skyrocket or lost their insurance entirely. Republicans will continue to fight tooth and nail to repeal this oppressive law and replace it with patient-centered reforms that lower costs and increase access for Texans and all Americans.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R):

“Today’s decision in King v. Burwell is judicial activism, plain and simple. For the second time in just a few years, a handful of unelected judges has rewritten the text of Obamacare in order to impose this failed law on millions of Americans. The first time, the Court ignored federal law and magically transformed a statutory ‘penalty’ into a ‘tax.’ Today, these robed Houdinis transmogrified a ‘federal exchange’ into an exchange ‘established by the State.’ As Justice Scalia rightfully put it, ‘Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is ‘established by the State.” He also said, ‘We should start calling this law SCOTUSCare’ – I agree. If this were a bankruptcy case, or any other case of ordinary statutory interpretation, the result would have been 9-0, with the Court unanimously reversing the Obama administration’s illegal actions. But instead, politics intervened. For nakedly political reasons, the Supreme Court willfully ignored the words that Congress wrote, and instead read into the law their preferred policy outcome. These judges have joined with President Obama in harming millions of Americans. Unelected judges have once again become legislators, and bad ones at that. They are lawless, and they hide their prevarication in legalese. Our government was designed to be one of laws, not of men, and this transparent distortion is disgraceful. At the same time, crocodile tears are flooding our nation’s capital today over the Supreme Court’s decision to illegally rewrite Obamacare, which has been a disaster since its inception. But one day of faux outrage from the Washington Cartel won’t fool the millions of courageous conservatives across our country. They know the Republican leadership in Washington is quietly celebrating the Court’s decision. If they believe this issue is now settled so they don’t have to address it, they are sorely mistaken. Every GOP candidate for the Republican nomination should know that this decision makes the 2016 election a referendum on the full repeal of Obamacare. I have made repeal of this disastrous law a top priority since the first day I arrived in the Senate and have made its repeal central to my campaign. Any candidate not willing to do the same—and campaign on it every day—should step aside. The Court adopted the IRS’s blatantly unlawful reading of the statute to make subsidies available to individuals on federal exchanges, when Congress expressly provided the opposite. After today’s ruling, Obamacare will now be responsible for imposing illegal taxes on more than 11 million individuals and for burdening hundreds of thousands of businesses with illegal penalties on their workers, killing jobs, and further slowing economic growth. President Obama’s health care law remains deeply unpopular and is harming countless Americans by increasing costs and worsening the quality of care. I remain fully committed to the repeal of Obamacare—every single word of it. And, in 2017, we will do exactly that.”

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D):

“This decision means health care security for millions of Americans.  Like the 60 attempts to destroy this law, this latest attempt to destroy it in the courts has failed.  A loss would have meant that more than 800,000 Texans who benefit from receiving these credits would have lost a tax benefit worth an average of $247 a month.  With this ruling, we avoid the ‘death spiral’ Congress designed the law to prevent.”

Rep. Michael McCaul (R):

“I am disappointed in the court’s ruling today.  While the court has once again upheld the law, the fact remains that ObamaCare is a disaster for patients, doctors and our economy.  Costs continue to soar, the doctor-patient relationship has been eroded and we still haven’t seen all of the effects of this deeply flawed law.  That is why a majority of Americans have continually disapproved of this law and why I have voted to repeal ObamaCare dozens of times. This ill advised decision by the court has moved health care reform and ObamaCare repeal to one of the top issues of the upcoming presidential race. The Republican party must choose as their nominee someone who will be committed to repealing and replacing this misguided law with market based, commonsense solutions that the American people deserve. It will be a stark contrast to the same old, failed policies of the Obama administration and the Democratic party.”

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D):

“Today’s ruling is a victory for the millions of Americans, including nearly 1 million Texans, who gained health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act. Despite unrelenting Republican attempts to repeal the ACA, the law has prevailed and families’ access to affordable, quality health care is preserved. The healthier the American people are, the stronger our United States will be. Upholding the ACA is good for our country, and a tremendous relief to families across the nation who can rest easy knowing that they will not lose their coverage.”

Rep. John Carter (R):

“Today the Supreme Court sided with the Obama Administration and ruled to uphold portions of Obamacare, including providing subsidies to healthcare consumers signed up through the Federal exchange. I vehemently oppose Obamacare, and proudly voted against its inception. In fact, I have voted more than 60 times to repeal, defund, and dismantle the law. As a conservative I know that Obamacare is ill-conceived and poorly crafted legislation and I will not stop fighting until we abolish this law and enact common-sense reforms.”

Rep. Lamar Smith (R):

“Ever since this controversial law was passed five years ago, Democrats and this administration have worked overtime to save ObamaCare. But my goal is to protect the American people, not this failed law. There are many who will be quick to declare winners and losers in this case. The American people are the ones who lost on the day ObamaCare was signed into law. Millions who were promised they could keep their doctors and their health plans lost them. Still millions more have seen their insurance costs rise. Two years ago the Supreme Court confirmed that ObamaCare’s individual mandate could only be upheld as a tax. And one of the law’s chief architects has bragged that the law was only passed thanks to the ‘stupidity of the American voter.’ ObamaCare’s policies are bad enough but its implementation continues to create problems for the American people. To this day, the $2 billion HealthCare.gov website has glitches. Yet this administration has forced Americans to put their private information on this failed website that the president himself has described as a ‘well-documented disaster.’ Over the past two years, as chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I have raised concerns about the security of HealthCare.gov. And other hacks to government agencies in recent weeks have exposed the personal information of millions of federal employees. Some have criticized House Republicans for our persistence in wanting to fully repeal this extremely damaging law. I have voted more than 50 times to repeal, replace, dismantle or defund the law in some form or fashion. But today’s ruling only motivates us to keep working to end the nightmare that is ObamaCare. I believe the only mandate that Americans are interested in is the one they gave Republicans last November – to put an end to this law once and for all. That is why I continue to call on the Senate to take up the House-passed bills to fully repeal this law and work with us to replace it with common-sense solutions.”

Rep. Bill Flores (R):

“I am deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s ruling today and disagree with their decision to save Obamacare by ignoring the plain text of the law. The Court’s ruling does not change the fact that millions of Americans are still being hurt by Obamacare. Hardworking Americans now know that access to a subsidy does not mean they will have access to improved care. The president said Obamacare would increase access to improved health care, lower insurance premiums, let you keep your doctor and let you keep your health plan; all of the president’s promises have been proven false. For that reason, a strong majority of Americans oppose Obamacare. Conservatives in Congress remain committed to fully repealing Obamacare and implementing truly affordable, patient-centered health care reform.”

State Rep. Donna Howard (D):

“I am grateful to the Supreme Court for upholding the subsidies on policies purchased through the federal health insurance exchange. Today’s ruling ensures that 832,000 Texans will be able to keep and afford their health coverage. It’s time for opponents to face facts: the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the law of the land, and it’s working. Since its enactment, the rate of uninsured has dropped significantly, the growth in health care costs has slowed, and provider choice through the online health insurance marketplace is increasing. Our state leaders have fought federal health reform every step of the way, yet it has only left Texas with the nation’s highest rate and highest number of uninsured. Just saying ‘no’ is neither responsible nor is it a solution. I urge the Governor and lawmakers to take full advantage of the ACA’s benefits by promoting awareness of the marketplace, closing the Coverage Gap for our working poor, and drawing down federal dollars to meet our health care needs. Let’s finally put politics aside, and do what’s best for the health and well-being of our community.”

State Sen. Charles Schwertner (R):

“Over the past five years, we’ve seen Obamacare repeatedly changed and contorted through executive actions by President Obama and controversial judicial decisions by the United States Supreme Court.  This morning’s ruling represents the latest tortured attempt to preserve a law that is fundamentally flawed and unworkable.  As an American, I find it troubling that the letter of the law can be so easily subjugated to some implied legislative intent that exists only in the minds of a few congressional lawmakers in Washington, DC. This is a sad day for American healthcare and a sad day for the American legal system.”

State Rep. Kirk Watson (D):

This Supreme Court ruling is great news, especially for the 832,000 Texans who have access to healthcare because of the Affordable Care Act. Now we can get to work on helping ALL Texans get healthcare.

State Rep. Chris Turner (D):

“I am glad the Supreme Court agreed that it’s clear that Congress intended for the tax credits to be available to all Americans who purchase health coverage in an exchange and are between 100 – 400 percent of the poverty level, regardless of who runs the exchange. The impact of a different decision would have been devastating. If the Court had decided in the plaintiffs’ favor, more than 830,000 Texans would have been negatively impacted and would have faced a 300 percent increase in their premium costs. Many would not have been able to afford coverage and would have returned to the ranks of the uninsured – a category in which Texas unfortunately already leads the nation.  Despite non-stop partisan, political attacks on the Affordable Care Act, thousands in our communities and across our state have affordable health insurance coverage. Now that this decision has been made and this issue is behind us, we can move forward and get even more Texans enrolled in affordable health care plans.”

State Rep. Garnet Coleman (D):

“This ruling is a great victory for the Affordable Care Act. It has now withstood two major legal challenges, and there does not appear to be any other significant threats on the horizon. It is increasingly clear that the ACA is here to stay. The ruling is a victory for Republicans as well. If things had gone the other way, they would have been in the uncomfortable position of explaining why instantly making health insurance unaffordable for millions of Americans is a victory. But most of all, this is a win for the American people including the over 800,000 Texans whose health insurance is made affordable by receiving subsidies through a federal exchange, which has now been upheld by the Court.”

State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D):

“Today’s ruling is life-saving news to the over 800 thousand Texans who rely on federal tax subsidies to afford health insurance obtained through the federal exchange under the Affordable Care Act. Although our state’s uninsured rate has declined from 25 to 17 percent since the ACA enrollment began, Texas still leads the nation in the rate of uninsured and has the highest number of uninsured residents in the country. The Supreme Court’s ruling should serve as a wake up call to Texas leaders that it is time to finally get our heads out of the sand and work to develop a solution to provide coverage to the remaining estimated 1 million Texans trapped in the coverage gap due to Texas’s refusal to expand Medicaid eligibility. Governor Abbott has the ability to call the Legislature back to a special session to address the immediate health needs of our state. I stand ready and willing to work with all members and state leaders to come up with a solution to increase access to health care for our citizens. For those who believe in the rule of law, it’s time to get to work.”