Updated with video: Attorney General Scott Pruitt was first to comment on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the King v. Burwell case and other elected official quickly followed. However the most damning reaction can be found in Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent.
Pruitt said, “It’s disappointing the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Obama administration’s executive rewriting of the Affordable Care Act by ruling on the context of the statute rather than the plain language of the law. The court acknowledged that the challengers’ arguments were strong, but focused instead on the outcome of their opinion. There’s no doubt the rule of law took a hit today, but I won’t be deterred from continuing to fight for the rule of law and our founding principles.”
Governor Mary Fallin said, “The Supreme Court’s decision today in King v. Burwell means that taxpayers will be, for the time being, stuck with a law that is deeply flawed, disruptive to the lives of American families and a destructive force in our economy.
“As I and others have argued for years, states need flexibility to pursue their own health care solutions tailored to the needs of their constituents; Obamacare does the opposite by pursuing one-size-fits-all policies. Health care decisions need to be left to doctors and patients; Obamacare erodes that relationship and replaces it with decisions made by bureaucrats. Successful health care reform would make health care less expensive and would focus on improved health; but Obamacare has led to ballooning insurance premiums shouldered by hardworking families without corresponding improvements in health outcomes.
“Regardless of the court’s ruling today, the status quo cannot be allowed to stand. Now, more than ever, the American people need Congress to use its powers to move the country towards constructive, market-oriented solutions that empower families, provide flexibility to states, improve health and reduce the cost of health care,” Gov. Fallin added.
Senator James Lankford (R-OK) in a statement said, “I have opposed Obamacare from day one and I am profoundly disappointed with today’s Supreme Court decision. Obamacare continues to be a nightmare for millions of Americans who are facing higher premiums, higher deductibles, and fewer health care options.
“This ruling sets a difficult precedent for the future of legal interpretation. The court ruled that because the text of the law is ‘inartful’ in other areas, they assumed it was also inartful related to the state exchange. Oklahomans shouldn’t pay the price for regulators’ free interpretation. The problems with Obamacare run deeper than just drafting errors. Washington Democrats jammed this poorly written law through Congress five years ago and the resulting ambiguity is one of the many problems we will face for years to come.”
Congressman Jim Bridenstine said, “Despite the Supreme Court’s decision, Obamacare is still the number one job killer in America and responsible for the massive increases in insurance premiums. I am committed to repealing Obamacare – every single word – and replacing it with a system which empowers states and individuals to have the freedom and flexibility to make their own health care decisions.
“The important facts in the healthcare debate are:
• Health insurance costs are up because of Obamacare – regardless of subsidies.
• Only 13% of Oklahomans receive the subsidies. (click here for more) Many of them would prefer to have their previous, lower cost plans and forget subsidies.
• Requested rate increases for 2016 are as high as 44% for ACA-compliant plans available in Oklahoma. (click here for more)
“These facts stand regardless of today’s Supreme Court decision,” Bridenstine added.
TheBlaze.com noted, “Scalia was confounded by the majority’s twisted logic, writing that the court “accepts that the ‘most natural sense’ of the phrase ‘Exchange established by the State’ is an Exchange established by a State” but then “continues, with no semblance of shame, that ‘it is also possible that the phrase refers to all Exchanges—both State and Federal.’” This analysis Scalia dubbed, “Impossible possibility, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!”
A list of top quotes from Justice Scalia’s dissent included:
No. 1: ‘SCOTUScare’
“We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.”
No. 2: Supreme Court Plays Favorites
“But this Court’s two decisions on the Act will surely be remembered through the years. The somersaults of statutory interpretation they have performed (‘penalty’ means tax, ‘further [Medicaid] payments to the State’ means only incremental Medicaid payments to the State, ‘established by the State’ means not established by the State) will be cited by litigants endlessly, to the confusion of honest jurisprudence. And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites.”
No. 3: Making a ‘Parody’ of The Federalist Papers
“Just ponder the significance of the Court’s decision to take matters into its own hands. The Court’s revision of the law authorizes the Internal Revenue Service to spend tens of billions of dollars every year in tax credits on federal Exchanges. It affects the price of insurance for millions of Americans. It diminishes the participation of the States in the implementation of the Act. It vastly expands the reach of the Act’s individual mandate, whose scope depends in part on the availability of credits. What a parody today’s decision makes of Hamilton’s assurances to the people of New York: ‘The legislature not only commands the purse but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to be regulated. The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over . . . the purse; no direction . . . of the wealth of society, and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL but merely judgment.’”
Later in the day, Senator Lankford produced this video explanation of the court’s decision: