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Minnesota reactions

  • June 29, 2012 - 8:51 AM

PETER NELSON

Director of Public Policy, Center of the American Experiment

"The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the individual mandate represents a tremendously disappointing expansion of federal power over the lives and liberties of the American people. By upholding the individual mandate as a proper exercise of Congress' taxing power, it's hard to see what sphere of an individual's life is safe from congressional meddling.

"The court's ruling [also] 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. 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.''

MARY BRAINERD

President and CEO, HealthPartners

"The Supreme Court decision to uphold the requirement that individuals have health insurance makes sense. Without that requirement, health care and health insurance would be less affordable for everyone because many wouldn't buy insurance until they were already ill or needed coverage.

"But adjustments in the law are still needed to make sure that coverage is affordable. In the current law, individuals and small employers will pay for more of the costs, and we are concerned about that. We also want individuals and families to have choices about the coverage that works best for their needs. Congressional action is needed to make important improvements to ensure affordability and choice.''

LAWRENCE JACOBS

Political scientist and health care scholar, University of Minnesota

"Today's Supreme Court ruling makes health reform the law of the land and will start a stampede by Minnesota and other states to meet imminent deadlines to comply with the Affordable Care Act. The court's decision should remove the cloud of constitutional doubts that has deterred the Republican-controlled Minnesota Legislature from working with the Dayton administration.

"Upholding the individual mandate is a surprising and important decision. But only a tiny number [of Americans] are going to face its teeth, maybe three out of 100.

"The decision also lets stand the most comprehensive set of initiatives to date to control rising U.S. health care costs. For families facing higher bills, insurance companies are compelled to devote at least 80 percent of premiums to medical care and improvements -- and rebate to customers any excess. Tougher fiscal oversight for Medicare will also help the federal government's bottom line. Businesses and other payers will benefit from new ways to pay health providers, because the Affordable Care Act encourages incentives for quality outcomes rather than payments for sheer volumes of procedures and services.''

DR. PATRICIA LINDHOLM

Past president, Minnesota Medical Association and a family physician in Fergus Falls

"I think this is a very, very good start.

"As a primary-care doctor, it takes a lot of stress out of the relationship with the patient when they're saying: 'Can I skip my appointment because it costs such and such?' Or: 'I can't afford the medication.'

"If we can make it easier to participate in the health care system, our lives as providers would be a lot easier, too."

REP. STEVE GOTTWALT

Republican chairman of the state House Health and Human Services Finance Committee

"Outside of the fact I believe the U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong on the huge issue of constitutionality, this decision makes the challenges before us much more difficult.

"The Affordable Care Act solves nothing in terms of delivering greater access to lower cost, higher quality health care. Having the federal government take over the direction of health care for our state takes Minnesota backwards. The added costs to Minnesotans are simply unsustainable, and the law makes a mess of Minnesota's nation-leading reform efforts.''

peter nelson Policy fellow, Center for the American Experiment "The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the individual mandate represents a tremendously disappointing expansion of federal power over the lives and liberties of the American people. By upholding the individual mandate as a proper exercise of Congress's taxing power, it's hard to see what sphere of an individual's life is safe from congressional meddling. "The Court's ruling [also] 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. 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.'' Mary Brainerd President and CEO, HealthPartners "The Supreme Court decision to uphold the requirement that individuals have health insurance makes sense. Without that requirement, health care and health insurance would be less affordable for everyone because many wouldn't buy insurance until they were already ill or needed coverage. "But adjustments in the law are still needed to make sure that coverage is affordable. In the current law, individuals and small employers will pay for more of the costs, and we are concerned about that. We also want individuals and families to have choices about the coverage that works best for their needs. Congressional action is needed to make important improvements to ensure affordability and choice.'' Lawrence Jacobs Political scientist and health care scholar, University of Minnesota "Today's Supreme Court ruling makes health reform the law of the land and will start a stampede by Minnesota and other states to meet imminent deadlines to comply with the Affordable Care Act. The court's decision should remove the cloud of constitutional doubts that that has deterred the Republican-controlled Minnesota Legislature from working with the Dayton administration. "Upholding the individual mandate is a surprising and important decision. But only a tiny number [of Americans] are going to face its teeth, maybe 3 out of 100. "The decision also lets stand the most comprehensive set of initiatives to date to control rising U.S. health care costs. For families facing higher bills, insurance companies are compelled to devote at least 80% of premiums to medical care and improvements -- and rebate to customers any excess. Tougher fiscal oversight for Medicare will also help the federal government's bottom line. Businesses and other payers will benefit from new ways to pay health providers, because the Affordable Care Act encourages incentives for quality outcomes rather than payments for sheer volumes of procedures and services.'' Dr. Patricia Lindholm Past president, Minnesota Medical Association and family physician in Fergus Falls "I think this is a very, very good start. "As a primary care doctor, it takes a lot of stress out of the relationship with the patient when they're saying: 'Can I skip my appointment because it costs such and such?' Or: 'I can't afford the medication.' "If we can make it easier to participate in the health care system, our lives as providers would be a lot easier too." Rep. Steve Gottwalt Republican chairman of the state House Health and Human Services Finance Committee "Outside of the fact I believe the U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong on the huge issue of constitutionality, this decision makes the challenges before us much more difficult. "The Affordable Care Act solves nothing in terms of delivering greater access to lower cost, higher quality health care. Having the federal government take over the direction of health care for our state takes Minnesota backwards. The added costs to Minnesotans are simply unsustainable, and the law makes a mess of Minnesota's nation-leading reform efforts.''

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