Asked his initial response to the on President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act, Dr. Brendon Cullinan was clear.
“Quite favorable,” the family physician said.
Cullinan, who also serves as executive medical director for all HealthEast clinics, said the ruling ensures expanded insurance coverage for a number of patients, along with improving access to primary care providers.
Five of the nine Supreme Court justices agreed that the key to the act—the requirement that people either buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty—is a kind of tax, which Congress is allowed to impose using its taxing power.
Concern about limited options for patients isn’t as much of an issue in Woodbury, Cullinan said, because of the strong supply of primary care providers here. Patient care should also be better coordinated under the so-called Obamacare program.
“For HealthEast, we’re in a really good position to meet increasing demand,” Cullinan said.
He also said Minnesota has already been moving toward better patient-doctor connections, noting the state’s Health Care Homes program.
Woodbury Patch blogger Dick Bernard
(Posted before the court’s ruling.)
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann
“I am deeply disappointed by the court’s decision. Today’s Supreme Court decision raises the stakes for the coming months. Since Congress passed Obamacare in 2010, I have made its repeal my top priority. After leading thousands to Washington to speak against its passage, I was the first to introduce the bill to repeal it. Obamacare represents the largest expansion of entitlement spending and a playground of left-wing social engineering in our country’s history and must be stopped. Now, the only way to save the country from Obamacare’s budget-busting government takeover of health care is to completely repeal it. I disagree with the court’s ruling and expansion of government power under the commerce clause. Government should never have the right to tell Americans what they must purchase.
“Under President Obama’s signature legislation, health care costs continue to skyrocket, and up to 20 million Americans could lose their employer-based coverage. Innovations in life-saving medical technology, a significant industry in Minnesota is threatened. Meanwhile, a panel of unelected bureaucrats now has the unprecedented authority to come between elderly patients and their doctors. Obamacare is socialized medicine that threatens the quality of our health care and worse, the foundations of our republic.
“We must replace Obamacare with a system that allows portability, allows individuals to purchase healthcare across state lines, allows individuals to purchase the plan of their choice, and includes tort reform. Real health care reform is about bringing down the cost of healthcare through free-market competition. Real health care reform is about giving families more choices, not less. It is not about empowering big government where doctors and patients have little to no say in the quality of care they receive.
“Every American should have the opportunity to provide health care for themselves and their family and the freedom to choose the plan that’s best for them. Health care reforms should ensure families and doctors make health care decisions—not Washington bureaucrats and politicians. Millions of Americans are still without access to affordable health care. The Supreme Court’s decision didn’t change that. Americans deserve real market based reforms, not big government, to increase access to the greatest health care system in the world.”
Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson
“Today is a great day for working Americans. The Supreme Court’s decision clears the way for millions of people to have the access to the affordable, high quality health care that had previously been denied.
“Seniors will continue to be spared from having to choose between paying for prescription drugs and putting food on the table. Parents can rest easier knowing their children are covered. Bankruptcies due to health care costs will soon become a thing of the past. Finally, nobody will have to avoid getting the health care they need due to costs.
“Minnesota’s union members worked hard to make this law a reality, and we are pleased the court affirmed its constitutionality.
“Now that this issue has been settled, we are hopeful our elected leaders will come together to craft policies that get middle class Americans back to work.”
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota will continue the work we began more than two years ago of implementing the law in a manner that strives to serve the best interests of our members and all Minnesotans.
“As the state’s leading health plan, Blue Cross and Blue Shield considers reform to be something that also happens outside of legislation. We believe the kind of systematic change needed to tackle rising health care costs and drive improvements in overall health can and is being advanced though innovative collaborations with providers, consumers, employers and other stakeholders—all of whom share our goal of creating better health solutions for the greatest number of people, and at the greatest value.”