Local elected officials react to health care decision

Crime, Law and JusticeHealthCook County GovernmentPoliticsPublic OfficialsRahm EmanuelToni Preckwinkle

Elected officials in Chicago and Illinois are reacting to the Supreme Court’s history-making decision to uphold the heart of the president’s affordable healthcare law.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the healthcare decision “historic” Thursday, noting that presidents from both parties for decades before Obama tried and failed to expand medical coverage.

Thanks to the president’s “not listening to politics,” Emanuel said, young adults up to 26 and people with pre-existing medical conditions will be able to get medical insurance.

“I applaud today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in a statement.

Many Democratic Illinois lawmakers are also lauding the high court’s 5-4 decision.

“Now it’s time to put labels and political rhetoric aside and remember what this is about. An insurance company can no longer deny coverage to the 17 million children with a pre-existing condition," said U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley in a statement.

“It is also noteworthy that after two controversial, activist decisions in Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, the Chief Justice, in both the Arizona immigration law and the Affordable Care Act cases, appears to be working to reestablish the political neutrality of this court. That is a positive development," said U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin in a statement.

Meanwhile, Republican Illinois lawmakers are disappointed in the decision.

"While I respect the Court’s decision, the health care law threatens our economic recovery by raising taxes, imposing new regulations and creating a drag on the economy," said U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk in a statement. "Congress should repeal the health care law and replace it with common sense, centrist reforms that give Americans the right to buy insurance across state lines and expand coverage without raising taxes, while blocking the government from coming between patients and their doctors."

"Today, I, along with most Americans, am disappointed with the Supreme Court decision. It is now clear that the only way to repeal this law is legislatively," Rep. Joe Walsh said in a statement. 

“Obamacare will lead to the implosion of our health care system, an explosion of our national debt and economic uncertainty for millions of job creators,” said Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady in a statement.

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