Posted: Jun 28, 2012 10:58 AM by KPAX/KAJ Media Center
Updated: Jun 28, 2012 1:44 PM
WASHINGTON, DC- The members of Montana's Congressional delegation are reacting to Thursday morning's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld a major tenet of the Affordable Health Care Act.
In a 5-4 ruling, the high court decided the individual mandate requiring people to have health insurance is valid as a tax, even though it is impermissible under the Constitution's commerce clause.
"In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. "Such legislation is within Congress's power to tax."
The importance of the decision cannot be overstated: It will have an immediate and long-term impact on all Americans, both in how they get medicine and health care, and also in vast, yet-unknown areas of "commerce."
The most anticipated Supreme Court ruling in years allows the government to continue implementing the health care law, which doesn't take full effect until 2014.
Montana Senator Max Baucus hailed the ruling in a statement. He says that, "Thousands of Montana families, grandparents, young adults and kids can breathe a little easier today knowing they get to keep the cost savings and protections they have because of the health care law."
The statement went on to say that Baucus views the decision as a "victory for the people of Montana."
Fellow Democratic Senator Jon Tester also released a statement on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Thursday morning.
"After my daughter was born, our family had to give up health insurance because we couldn't afford it--a situation too many other Montana families have faced. I'm pleased the Supreme Court has validated Congress' work to ensure access to health care for all Montanans."
Tester added that the ruling does not mean that improvements can't still be made to the Affordable Care Act.
Congressman Denny Rehberg, who voted against the law, also released a statement Thursday saying that, "This fight is a long way from over because the Constitution gives final authority to We the People on election day. Despite this ruling made possible with the help of two freshly confirmed Obama appointees, this law has got to go. We can't afford its $2.5 trillion price tag, our economy can't sustain its $1.25 trillion tax increase and our health care system can't survive its top-down government meddling or massive cuts to Medicare."
Rehberg added in his statement that he continues to support health care reform "designed to reduce and control the cost of health care while improving access."
Click here to read the U.S. Supreme Court decision.
- information from CNN included in this report.