Top New York Leaders Hail Historic Supreme Court 5-4 Ruling Upholding Healthcare Law

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U.S. Supreme Court today ruled as constitutional the Obama
Administration's signature legislation, the healthcare reform Bill with
an opinion that recognizes the mandate aspect of the law as legitimate
taxation by government.

The ruling was 5-4 with Justice John G. Roberts siding with the majority.

known as the Affordable Care Act, and dismissed by many Republicans as
"ObamaCare," the law is intended to provide health care to about 32
million Americans who currently lack it.

The individual mandate,
widely derided by Republicans and conservatives, requires that almost
every Americans acquire health insurance. 
The reactions to the
ruling have been coming, fast and furious, to The Black Star News from
elected New York leaders and local and national union chiefs all day

"Thanks to the leadership of President Obama and his administration, particularly Secretary Sebelius, the Affordable Care Act will provide access to health care to millions of Americans nationwide and more than one million New Yorkers, and I am pleased the Supreme Court upheld this law," said New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. "We will continue to move forward with implementing the health exchange that will lower coverage costs for New York's businesses and help ensure that uninsured New Yorkers have access to health care. We look forward to continuing to work together with the Obama administration to ensure accessible, quality care for all New Yorkers."

“Today’s historic decision by the U.S. Supreme Court
 upholding President Obama’s Affordable Care Act ensures that
approximately one million New York City residents without health
insurance will no longer have to choose between buying the medication
they need and paying the rent," said the City's Comptroller, John C.

"New Yorkers will now benefit from increased access to
primary and preventive care, added help in finding and using insurance
coverage, and an overall focus on spending our healthcare dollars more
wisely. As implementation of the law continues and funding streams
change, the Comptroller’s office will be monitoring closely to ensure
that the Health and Hospitals Corporation has adequate resources to
carry out 
its critical mission of serving the City’s most vulnerable populations.”

more than two years, Republicans like Speaker Boehner, Congressman Paul
Ryan and Mitt Romney have put their political careers ahead of working
Americans struggling to afford and keep their healthcare," said SEIU
President Mary Kay Henry.

"Insurance companies and corporate
insiders have spent millions to take away the benefits of the law.
Today, the Supreme Court rejected their cynical approach and working
people won a resounding victory. Today’s decision means that Americans
like Dezeray Ybarra, a cancer survivor now in her teens, will have the
healthcare she needs as she grows to adulthood," she added. SEIU has
more than 2.1 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto
Rico, and represents workers in healthcare, public services and property

“The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable
Care Act is an historic victory for the tens of millions more Americans
who will be covered by health insurance," said New York Attorney
General, Eric T. Schneiderman, who in 2011, filed a brief in support of
the law. 
"Over a million uninsured New Yorkers will soon have access
to affordable coverage. This law will continue to provide a spectrum of
key consumer protections including keeping young adults on their
parents' plans, ending pre-existing condition restrictions, and
increasing consumer information about health care choices. My office
stands ready to enforce the Affordable Care Act to ensure that all New
Yorkers will benefit from the law's protections.”

"The Supreme Court
has spoken and President Obama's historic health care reform is now the
law of the land," said Hakeem Jeffries, who on Tuesday won the
Democratic primary for the 8th Congressional District in Brooklyn.,"I am
also hopeful that Congressional Republicans will end their
single-minded attempts to overturn or weaken this landmark law. With so
many other challenges facing us, Congress needs to,start its work on
issues that will move our great nation forward."

“The real
winners here are the tens of millions of Americans with no health
insurance," said Mike Fishman, 32BJ President. "With the legal battle
over, our nation can focus on putting the Affordable Care Act into
effect to provide affordable, accessible health care to the men, women
and children who need it most. As the basic need for health care is
finally met, we believe working families and the middle class will

He added: "At the same time, the heated rhetoric and fight
leading up to today’s decision further illustrates how crucial our
federal elections are this November – we know the right wing will use
this moment to ramp up their efforts to attack the Obama administration.
We have a choice between a right-wing agenda that favors corporations
and insurance companies over working families and the middle class, or a
society that believes everyone should be able to get the health care
they need without going broke. We must continue to fight as a union and
as working people to re-elect President Obama and other champions of the
middle class.”

32BJ is the largest buildings services union in the
country and the largest private-sector union in the state with more than
120,000 members, including 70,000 in New York.

“Today America’s
highest court handed down a decision affirming the legitimacy of the
Affordable Care Act. In so doing, the Supreme Court also has affirmed
the legitimacy of our form of democracy and the rule of law," said the
American Federation of Teachers President, Randi Weingarten. “At a time
when so many Americans are struggling to get by and students continue to
graduate from college with a mountain of debt and few job prospects,
this law puts healthcare within reach for working families, keeps our
communities healthier, and ensures that Americans can get the treatment
they need, when they need it, without battling big insurance companies.
Striking down healthcare reform would have dealt a devastating blow to
our recovering economy. Affordable healthcare should not be a luxury for
a few, but a promise to all."

Manhattan Borough President Scott Springer said: “This
landmark decision affirms the Federal Government’s power to take bold
action to improve public health. We must now work hard to ensure that
the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented in New York, where millions
have already benefited and millions more stand to benefit when the law
takes full effect in 2014.”

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