03.27.12

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy Following Today’s Supreme Court Arguments On The Affordable Care Act

“I was fortunate to be able to attend today’s arguments in the Supreme Court about the Affordable Care Act with Senator Grassley, and to watch in person and in real time.  Hundreds of thousands of Vermonters, and millions of Americans across the country, who benefit from the Affordable Care Act were not. The Supreme Court’s decision in this landmark case will affect every American.  I think that every American should have had a chance to see it, and the Supreme Court should open its proceedings to television and radio.

“This historic law will protect some of our most vulnerable citizens by eliminating discriminatory practices by health insurers, ensuring that patient’s gender is no longer a pre-existing condition, reducing the cost of prescription drugs for seniors, and ensuring access to health insurance for young adults.  I hope that the Supreme Court will not undo the progress we have made.  Doing so would call into question the social safety net we built over the last century with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

“The Court should uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.  Congress considered this question when debating the law, and rejected that challenge.  I would not have supported passage if I did not believe it was constitutional, nor would a majority of the Senate.  I hope the Supreme Court will uphold the law and not seek to substitute its policy preferences for the legislative judgments of the people’s elected representatives.”

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