[Updated at 10:59 a.m. ET] An Obama administration source says the White House really did not know what was going to happen.
They are a bit surprised Roberts ruled to uphold but not Kennedy. The only word for it is elation, this person emphasizes.
[Updated at 10:58 a.m. ET] Jeremy Lazarus, president of the American Medical Association, released a statement:
The expanded health care coverage upheld by the Supreme Court will allow patients to see their doctors earlier rather than waiting for treatment until they are sicker and care is more expensive. The decision upholds funding for important research on the effectiveness of drugs and treatments and protects expanded coverage for prevention and wellness care, which has already benefited about 54 million Americans.
The health reform law upheld by the Supreme Court simplifies administrative burdens, including streamlining insurance claims, so physicians and their staff can spend more time with patients and less time on paperwork. It protects those in the Medicare ‘donut hole,’ including the 5.1 million Medicare patients who saved significantly on prescription drugs in 2010 and 2011. These important changes have been made while maintaining our American system with both private and public insurers.”
[Updated at 10:57 a.m. ET] A key quote here in the decision:
"The Federal Government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance. Section 5000A would therefore be unconstitutional if read as a command. The Federal Government does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance. Section 5000A is therefore constitutional, because it can reasonably be read as a tax," Roberts said in his opinion
[Updated at 10:54 a.m. ET] House Speaker John Boehner renewed calls to reverse the Obama administration's signature health care overhaul after Thursday's Supreme Court decision upholding the act, saying the decision "underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety."
[Updated at 10:52 a.m. ET] House minority leader Nancy Pelosi declared the court's ruling a "victory for the American people."
"With this ruling, Americans will benefit from critical patient protections, lower costs for the middle class, more coverage for families, and greater accountability for the insurance industry," she said.
Pelosi further said that the Affordable Healthcare Act will prevent children from being denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, lower drug costs for seniors and allow students and young adults to stay on their parents’ plan.
“In passing health reform, we made history for our nation and progress for the American people," Pelosi said. "We completed the unfinished business of our society and strengthened the character of our country. We ensured health care would be a right for all, not a privilege for the few."
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