|Legislators react to healthcare|
|Thursday, 28 June 2012 15:56|
An estimated 105,000 people in South Dakota do not have health insurance. That figure comes from the federal government but it could change by 2014 if the law praised by Senator Tim Johnson takes effect.
Johnson says, "I have always believed healthcare reform was constitutional. Critically the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate. The United States is the only industrialized country in the world without comprehensive healthcare coverage."
Others in South Dakota politics highly disagree. South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard says he's disappointed in Thursday's announcement. So is Attorney General Marty Jackley who was one of 12 attorneys general to first sign on to battle the feds over the healthcare overhaul. Representative Kristi Noem says she's voted numerous times to repeal and de-fund the law. Now she and Senator John Thune promise to keep fighting to repeal it.
Rep. Kristi Noem says, "We know that businesses are contemplating dropping coverage for their employees in favor of just paying the penalty instead. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, 20 million Americans could lose their employee sponsored healthcare coverage in 2019."
Thune says, "What they found to make it constitutional is the fact that the individual mandate was tax - something that the President of the United States made abundantly clear in his words, absolutely clear that this is not a tax when they were trying to pass this. If the American people had known that this was going to be a big tax, I think there might have been a different vote where it went through the House and the Senate two-and-a-half years ago."
Governor Daugaard says now that the lawsuit is behind the state, they'll study all the available options and make an informed decision that minimizes the damage he believes the law could do to South Dakotans. The state spent about $8,252 on the federal lawsuit.