Officials from Hawaii to Washington D.C. have been reacting to Thursday's Supreme Court ruling upholding President Barack Obama's health care law.
Sen. Daniel Inouye said,"Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act more than two years ago, the President and those in the Congress who worked in a bipartisan fashion to pass this measure have been subjected to legal scrutiny and withering criticism from opponents of the law."
Inouye continued, " I applaud the Justices for their careful review of the law and thank them for ruling on behalf of the healthcare needs of millions of Americans. Because of the health care reform law, over 3 million young adults now have health insurance that would otherwise not be covered, 17 million children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage, and more than 5 million seniors will save $4 billion on their prescription drugs."
Sen. Daniel Akaka said, "I am pleased the Supreme Court upheld the bill as constitutional. The Affordable Care Act may now fulfill its full promise to bring quality health care to millions more Americans, combat skyrocketing costs, and lower the burden of uninsured patients on our hospitals and doctors."
Akaka continued, "The Affordable Care Act has already helped thousands of young adults in Hawaii stay on their parents’ plans, helped over 24,000 Hawaii seniors afford their prescription drugs, and helped over 100 Hawaii residents with pre-existing conditions get insurance coverage. Now that the Affordable Care Act is without question the law of the land, many more Hawaii residents will gain new coverage options over the next two years."
Gov. Neil Abercrombie reponded the ruling by saying, "Here in Hawaii, we already have our Prepaid Health Care Act, which enables a vast majority of our residents to be insured. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision supports President Obama’s initiative to make healthcare availability a national policy."
Abercrombie continues in his statement, "In the days ahead you will continue to hear political discussion over health care plans. What is most important for Hawaii to know is that your State government will continue to support a healthcare system that ensures high quality, safety and sustainable costs. The Affordable Care Act is our ally in this effort."
John McComas, CEO of AlohaCare, Hawaii's largest safety-net health plan, called the Supreme Court ruling a "tremendous relief."
"With the cloud lifted, states that had been resistant or on the fence should rush to set up insurance marketplace exchanges and the health care industry and consumers will at last be fully engaged in needed reform," said McComas. "I am confident that as the public begins to see the benefits of the new law, the entire nation will realize how valuable and important health care reform really is."
John Henry Felix, chairman, president and CEO of Hawaii Medical Assurance Association, one of the largest Preferred Provider Organizations in Hawaii said, "HMAA has for some time been fully prepared to do everything necessary to conform to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision only reaffirms our commitment to continue providing Hawaii businesses and their employees with superior health insurance benefits and value-added services at competitive rates."