Here's what suburban Congressional representatives and candidates in the Nov. 6 election have to say about today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on President Obama's health care act.
Congresswoman Judy Biggert, a Hinsdale Republican in the 13th Congressional District:
"With or without the unpopular health mandate, the cost of care continues to rise, and it's up to Republicans and Democrats alike to work across the aisle on solutions. I'm disappointed that the Court did not put a stop to the government overreach. But Washington still has a responsibility to fix policies that are raising costs, hurting job creation, siphoning millions from Medicare, and placing an added layer of bureaucracy between patients and their doctors.
"Under the administration's law, too many families will lose the plans they have, and small businesses are afraid to hire new employees. We should go back to work on effective, bipartisan reforms that Democrat leaders ignored, like Association Health Plans for small businesses, allowing consumers to buy insurance across state lines, and medical malpractice reform. At the same time, we can and should maintain coverage for pre-existing conditions and young adults under 26."
Leslie Coolidge, Barrington Hills Democrat running in the 6th Congressional District:
"Today's Supreme Court decision is a victory for the millions of Americans who pay too much for health insurance, lack health insurance benefits and protections they deserve, or lack health insurance entirely. Thousands of families in the 6th Congressional District will benefit from provisions of the now-upheld law which prohibit insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, prohibit unfair caps on health coverage payouts, allow children to stay on their parents' health insurance until the age of 26 and ensure that preventive care such as mammograms and other cancer screenings are covered at no additional cost to consumers. This Supreme Court decision moves us toward an America where no family will lose their homes or face bankruptcy because of an illness.
"The leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives is taking the wrong approach in re-committing itself, in an intensely partisan fashion, to full repeal of the law."
Congressman Robert Dold, a Kenilworth Republican in the 10th Congressional District:
"This legislation fails to improve the quality of health care or the cost of healthcare for the American people. I believe we should put in replacement pieces and repeal the law as it stands right now. There are certainly problematic aspects of the law right now. ... I hope to get Republicans and Democrats alike to come together on a bipartisan basis for reform that makes sense."
Bill Foster, of Naperville, Democratic Congressional candidate in the 11th District:
"An independent Supreme Court majority appointed by presidents of both parties have come together to uphold a law that says children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied health insurance, insurance companies cannot drop your coverage if you get sick, and seniors can pay less for their medicine. Congress should come together on a bipartisan basis to do more to reduce the cost of health care for small businesses and middle-class families, but mostly, it's time for Congress to get back to the business of growing and investing in an economy that is built to last for middle-class Illinoisans, not spending another year re-litigating the new health care law."
Congressman Randy Hultgren, a Winfield Republican in the 14th Congressional District:
"Today, I'm disappointed for America. This entire law goes against American principles. Actions have consequences, we all know that. In this case the court has ruled that the government can tax you not only for choosing an action -- moving to a certain neighborhood, earning a certain amount, or having a certain number of dependents -- but for choosing inaction. This is unprecedented. ... This is a tax increase cloaked as health care reform. In this economic environment, I think that's a shame."
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Highland Park Republican:
"While I respect the court's decision, the health care law threatens our economic recovery by raising taxes, imposing new regulations and creating a drag on the economy. Congress should repeal the health care law and replace it with common sense, centrist reforms that give Americans the right to buy insurance across state lines and expand coverage without raising taxes, while blocking the government from coming between patients and their doctors."
GOP Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam, of Wheaton, representing the 6th Congressional District:
"The Supreme Court's ruling today examined the constitutionality of the health care law, but the justices could not take into account the practicality or effectiveness of a government takeover of the health care system and one-sixth of our economy -- on that score, the verdict was in long ago.
"It is clear that the rhetoric of the health care law does not match the reality. President Obama's takeover not only made our system more complex and expensive, but stalled our already tepid economic recovery by creating tremendous uncertainty for job creators and small businesses. ... The House of Representatives is as committed as ever to full repeal of the disastrous health care law, and replacing it with common-sense, patient-centered solutions that American families can afford. Unlike the Democrats, who drafted their law behind closed doors, Republicans will develop and present our reforms in the open, with input from the American people. We will take power away from Washington bureaucrats, and return health care decisions to patients and doctors. The American people deserve better than what President Obama's health care law provides. We can do better and we will do better."
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, an Evanston Democrat in the 9th Congressional District:
"Today is a historic day when the Supreme Court declared that the Affordable Care Act and the health security it brings is the law of the land. With President Obama's leadership, Congress enacted the most significant law in half a century. ... When Obamacare is fully implemented, exclusions for pre-existing conditions like cancer, heart disease, and AIDS will be a thing of the past. No longer will families be bankrupt because someone gets sick. People with mental illness will get the care they need. Today is a day for celebration. Tomorrow we will get back to work ensuring that every American can take advantage of the benefits of Obamacare and have access to affordable, comprehensive and high quality health care."
Congressman Joe Walsh, a McHenry Republican in the 8th Congressional District:
"I'm disappointed but I'm pretty resolute. It was a terribly ironic decision. Think about what the court just said. The court said the only way this passes constitutional muster is if it's a tax. Congress can't force anybody to get insurance, but Congress can tax people. ... This is going to be a tax increase on middle class Americans."
Tammy Duckworth, of Hoffman Estates, Democratic candidate in the 8th Congressional District:
"As someone who survived a serious health crisis I understand how important it is to have affordable and quality health care. The ruling today is a victory for children with pre-existing conditions who can't be denied coverage, women who can't be charged a higher premium, seniors who won't suddenly find themselves without coverage, and young adults who will be covered under their parents until they are 26. However, I'm still concerned that ACA places an unfair burden on employers, especially our small businesses. We will need to evaluate these provisions as we move forward. I look forward to getting to Washington, rolling up my sleeves and getting to work."