Congressman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (D-VA-03), a dedicated advocate of universal health care, released the following statement following the release of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold the nearly all the provisions of the Affordable Care Act:
"I am pleased that today's U.S. Supreme Court decision leaves intact nearly all of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, most importantly the "individual mandate." This law is a milestone towards expanding affordable health coverage to all Americans, regardless of age, income, or preexisting condition. Young Americans can continue to stay on their parent's polices until they are twenty-six, seniors will not be pushed back into the 'donut-hole', and health insurance companies will not be able to put a lifetime limit on your health coverage.
"This is a win for Americans across the country. While the debate over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act has been divisive, as we begin seeing more of the provisions come into effect, more Americans will realize how important this law is and how it helps them, their families, and their neighbors.
"Due to the Affordable Care Act, 7,200 young adults in my district now have health insurance. In addition, 6,000 seniors in my district are currently receiving prescription drug discounts worth a total of $3.5 million, an average discount of $580 per senior. The law banned insurance companies from establishing lifetime coverage limits for 200,000 residents. These are all forward-thinking and necessary reforms. The United States currently spends more money on health care than any industrialized nation; it is imperative that we continue to improve the quality of the health care that we provide in this country.
"The legal challenges have focused primarily on the "individual mandate" provision. During the past 2 years, I have maintained that this "mandate" is in fact simply a tax measure. This is the same differential that occurs when someone receives a tax credit for having a solar panel -- those with a solar panel get a tax credit and pay slightly lower taxes than those without. This is not a "mandate" to get a solar panel. The so-called "individual mandate" is the equivalent of not receiving a tax credit for having insurance. If you carry insurance, you will pay less in taxes. If you don't have insurance, your tax liability will slightly increase. Today, the Supreme Court, using the same logic, ruled that this tax measure is constitutional. If, on the other hand, the Court had ruled it unconstitutional, the same logic would have put Social Security and Medicare in jeopardy.
"I will continue to fight efforts to repeal this legislation, which provides access to affordable health coverage not only to those in Virginia's 3rd Congressional District, but to all Americans."