Political reaction was divided Thursday to the Supreme Court upholding nearly all of the Affordable Care Act, president Barack Obama's health care law.
The split was straight down party lines - Democrats celebrating the historic decision and Republicans, disappointed, vowing to continue to find other ways to improve the health care system and, in the case of U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, a renewed commitment to repealing ''this government takeover of health care.''
Johnson in a news release called the law ''disastrous'' and ''full of broken promises covered in empty political rhetoric'' that continue to hurt the U.S. economy.
''Over 40 percent of small businesses are saying that this law is keeping them from hiring and expanding,'' Johnson said. ''The cost of this law has surged to almost $2 trillion and doctors are ALREADY (sic) limiting the number of patients they are seeing.''
U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Niles, issued a statement calling the ruling ''a victory for the American people. With the mandate upheld and the (law) left intact, we as a nation can get down to the business of providing medical coverage for all Americans.''
"Many in my district struggle every day with financial burdens as a result of chronic disease and illness,'' he said. ''Today we respect the final decision of the Supreme Court that moves us toward a more human health care system. And now we need to get back to the important work of getting the economy moving and helping small businesses compete in a global economy."
U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette was less critical than Johnson, although still disappointed in Thursday's decision.
''Now that the highest court in the land has spoken, I still worry the law takes away from the patient-doctor relationship and puts more decisions in the hands of bureaucrats,'' LaTourette said. ''I remain concerned that the law lacks common sense and does nothing to reduce cost for those who currently have coverage, and there are a whole slew of new taxes that are certainly not good for hardworking taxpayers."
LaTourette, R-Bainbridge, said he supports some things in the bill, such as covering pre-existing conditions and keeping children on their parents' insurance until the age of 26.