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'Landmark Victory;' Bay Area Lawmakers React to Obamacare Decision By U.S. Supreme Court Decision

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Bay Area lawmakers weighed in Thursday morning following the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to dismiss a challenge by Republican-led states to the Affordable Care Act.

The court ruled 7-2 that the states and two individuals who brought the dispute do not have the legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of the law's individual mandate to buy health insurance. The court did not address the constitutionality of Obamacare's individual mandate or whether it can be separated from the remainder of the law, the other two issues raised by the states.

The ruling from the Supreme Court is a major victory for President Biden and Democrats, who have fought to shield the Affordable Care Act from numerous attempts by Republicans to kill it both through legislation and in the courts.

"Once again, the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and the transformational protections it provides every American, no matter where they get their coverage," read a statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "Today's Supreme Court ruling is a landmark victory for Democrats' work to defend protections for people with pre-existing conditions against Republicans' relentless efforts to dismantle them. On day one of our House Majority, Democrats acted decisively to throw the full legal weight of the House of Representatives into the fight against this GOP lawsuit. We will never forget how Republican leaders embraced this monstrous suit to rip away millions of Americans' health care in the middle of a deadly pandemic."

East Bay congressman Rep. Eric Swalwell said in a tweet, "The Supreme Court has rejected the Republican war on quality, affordable coverage."

California Assemblymember Buffy Wicks called the Thursday morning decision "great news to start the day."

California Attorney General Rob Bonta called the decision "a victory for each and every American, our nation's healthcare, and the rule of law." His predecessor, Xavier Becerra - who as AG repeatedly filed lawsuits in defense of Obamacare - is now the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services which oversees the Affordable Care Act. President Biden and Becerra have vowed to expand the ACA.

California led a coalition of 20 states and the District of Columbia in the most recent defense of the ACA after the Trump Administration sided with a group of Republican states in arguing that the individual mandate was not only unconstitutional, but because that provision is central to the act as a whole, the entire 900-page statute should fall as well.



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