Harford County Reacts to Decision to Uphold Health Care Law
The Supreme Court voted Thursday to uphold the Affordable Care Act.
UPDATED (4:30 p.m.)—State Senator Nancy Jacobs said Thursday's Supreme Court ruling that mandated the purchase of health insurance shakes Harford County to its core.
"It is a diverse area. If you look at this county, I believe this county is built on a bedrock of small businesses," Jacobs said in a phone interview with Patch Thursday. "I truly believe this is a great county and we have hundreds of small businesses under 50 employees, and this is going to hurt every single one of them that wants to expand."
Glen Glass was fed up.
The Republican state delegate for District 34A in Harford County said he thinks his constituents will be up in arms, too, following Thursday's Supreme Court ruling to uphold the individual mandate that requires the purchase of insurance as a tax.
"I think most of the people in my district will be pretty upset with this. I don’t think they want the federal government telling them what to do," Glass said in a phone interview with Patch Thursday morning. "I thought we were free as Americans, but it doesn’t look like it anymore."
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"I’m sick and tired of the federal government—they want to take more and more of our freedom and our liberty. And I have a problem with that," Glass said.
Glass went on to say the ruling likely would stir up the republican base, potentially giving conservative presidential candidate Mitt Romney a wave of support.
"Our economy has gotten worse ever since President Obama took over. Now, if people, the citizens of Harford County choose not to buy health insurance, they’ll be penalized $2,500 in the worst economy of our lifetime."
In an email from a spokesman Thursday morning, Harford County Executive David Craig declined comment, but issued a statement at the end of business that same day.
"Just because a law is deemed to be constitutional does not mean it is good policy," Craig said in the released statement.
The statement went on to say, "Obamacare represents another step in the unraveling of the personal freedoms that our Founding Fathers fought to preserve. While proponents hail this legislation as providing greater accessibility, the fact is that it provides more access to less – less personal choice, fewer resources, and lower quality care."
Jacobs, also a Republican nominee for Congress in District 2, wrote in a release: "Time and time again we were told that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would not be a tax increase. However, today’s Supreme Court ruling told us what we already knew; the ACA is another massive tax bill being pushed on middle class Americans."
She said Democratic Congressman C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger—the incumbent in the seat for which Jacobs is running—"voted for this bill and openly supported it."
Jacobs added: "It will be one of my priorities to repeal these tax increases on the middle class when elected to Congress and replace them with common sense reforms."
In a release, Ruppersberger said: "This ruling is not about a victory for Democrats or a loss for Republicans. It’s about providing all Americans with access to quality, affordable healthcare."
Gov. Martin O'Malley released a joint statement with Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown:
“President Obama and Congress chose to pass the Affordable Care Act because the status quo was hurting our ability to create jobs, expand opportunity, and protect the health of our children and parents.
“In upholding the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Supreme Court chose to protect the lives of millions of Marylanders and millions of Americans. American businesses will be more competitive in the global economy with lower health care costs and a healthier workforce. Parents will be able to keep their children on their health care plans until age 26. Seniors will avoid the Medicare Donut Hole. And by 2014, no American will be denied health care coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
“Today’s decision gives considerable momentum to our health care reform efforts here in Maryland. What it does not – and indeed must not – do, is give us license to take our eye off the ball or slow our progress. Moms, dads, and kids throughout Maryland are counting on their elected leaders to continue the mission of lowering costs, and improving the quality of care.
“We remain as committed as ever to moving forward on behalf of our families. We must move forward, not back.”
President Obama is expected to make an address at 12:15 p.m. Thursday.
Stay with Patch for updates to this story and comments from more officials throughout the day.
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