you will keep your health insurance -- this law will only make it more secure and more affordable. Insurance companies can no longer
impose lifetime limits on the amount of care you receive. They can no longer discriminate against children with preexisting conditions.
They can no longer drop your coverage if you get sick. They can no longer jack up your premiums without reason. They are required to
provide free preventive care like check-ups and mammograms -- a provision that's already helped 54 million Americans with private
insurance. And by this August, nearly 13 million of you will receive a rebate from your insurance company because it spent too much on
things like administrative costs and CEO bonuses, and not enough on your health care.
There’s more. Because of the Affordable Care Act, young adults under the age of 26 are able to stay on their parent's health care plans --
a provision that's already helped 6 million young Americans. And because of the Affordable Care Act, seniors receive a discount on
their prescription drugs -- a discount that's already saved more than 5 million seniors on Medicare about $600 each.
All of this is happening because of the Affordable Care Act. These provisions provide common-sense protections for middle class
families, and they enjoy broad popular support. And thanks to today’s decision, all of these benefits and protections will continue for
Americans who already have health insurance.
Now, if you’re one of the 30 million Americans who don’t yet have health insurance, starting in 2014 this law will offer you an array of
quality, affordable, private health insurance plans to choose from. Each state will take the lead in designing their own menu of options,
and if states can come up with even better ways of covering more people at the same quality and cost, this law allows them to do that,
too. And I’ve asked Congress to help speed up that process, and give states this flexibility in year one.
Once states set up these health insurance marketplaces, known as exchanges, insurance companies will no longer be able to
discriminate against any American with a preexisting health condition. They won’t be able to charge you more just because you’re a
woman. They won’t be able to bill you into bankruptcy. If you’re sick, you’ll finally have the same chance to get quality, affordable health
care as everyone else. And if you can’t afford the premiums, you'll receive a credit that helps pay for it.
Today, the Supreme Court also upheld the principle that people who can afford health insurance should take the responsibility to buy
health insurance. This is important for two reasons.
First, when uninsured people who can afford coverage get sick, and show up at the emergency room for care, the rest of us end up
paying for their care in the form of higher premiums.
And second, if you ask insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions, but don’t require people who can afford it to
buy their own insurance, some folks might wait until they’re sick to buy the care they need -- which would also drive up everybody else’
That’s why, even though I knew it wouldn’t be politically popular, and resisted the idea when I ran for this office, we ultimately included
a provision in the Affordable Care Act that people who can afford to buy health insurance should take the responsibility to do so. In fact,
this idea has enjoyed support from members of both parties, including the current Republican nominee for President.
Still, I know the debate over this law has been divisive. I respect the very real concerns that millions of Americans have shared. And I
know a lot of coverage through this health care debate has focused on what it means politically.
Well, it should be pretty clear by now that I didn’t do this because it was good politics. I did it because I believed it was good for the
country. I did it because I believed it was good for the American people.
There’s a framed letter that hangs in my office right now. It was sent to me during the health care debate by a woman named Natoma
Canfield. For years and years, Natoma did everything right. She bought health insurance. She paid her premiums on time. But 18 years
ago, Natoma was diagnosed with cancer. And even though she’d been cancer-free for more than a decade, her insurance company
kept jacking up her rates, year after year. And despite her desire to keep her coverage -- despite her fears that she would get sick
again -- she had to surrender her health insurance, and was forced to hang her fortunes on chance.
I carried Natoma’s story with me every day of the fight to pass this law. It reminded me of all the Americans, all across the country, who
have had to worry not only about getting sick, but about the cost of getting well.
Natoma is well today. And because of this law, there are other Americans -- other sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and
mothers -- who will not have to hang their fortunes on chance. These are the Americans for whom we passed this law.
The highest Court in the land has now spoken. We will continue to implement this law. And we'll work together to improve on it where
we can. But what we won’t do -- what the country can’t afford to do -- is refight the political battles of two years ago, or go back to the
way things were.
With today’s announcement, it’s time for us to move forward -- to implement and, where necessary, improve on this law. And now is the
time to keep our focus on the most urgent challenge of our time: putting people back to work, paying down our debt, and building an
economy where people can have confidence that if they work hard, they can get ahead.
But today, I’m as confident as ever that when we look back five years from now, or 10 years from now, or 20 years from now, we’ll be
better off because we had the courage to pass this law and keep moving forward.
Thank you. God bless you, and God bless America.
NAACP Applauds Supreme Court’s Decision to Uphold Key Provisions of Affordable Care Act
(Baltimore, MD) – The NAACP has released the following statement from NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock regarding the United States
Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
“The Supreme Court made a crucial decision today to uphold the core provisions of the Affordable Care Act,” stated NAACP Chairman
Roslyn M. Brock. “The NAACP has long supported the full and complete implementation of this law. Access to quality, affordable health
care is a civil and human right that should not be reserved for the wealthy or the few. The 32 million American men, women and
children covered under this law can now breathe easier.”
“Many serious health issues are preventable,” Brock continued. “But far too often, patients who lack health insurance – especially
patients of color – enter medical facilities late in the progression of their diagnosis. This sad reality is costing lives and costing
American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in unnecessary health care bills. States can now move forward in implementing
health care reform with the knowledge that the Affordable Care Act is not going anywhere anytime soon.”
Statement by South Central Federation of Labor President Kevin Gundlach on the Supreme Court’s SB 1070 Decision
The U.S. Supreme Court today delivered its decision on Arizona’s infamous anti-immigrant law, SB 1070. The Court clearly rejected the
overreach in Arizona as unconstitutional, but disappointingly, the conservative justices failed to stop the current civil rights crisis and
did not protect the constitutional rights of Arizona’s families by leaving in place the most dangerous provision, the 2b “racial profiling”
Republican state legislators across the country have said that they would let the outcome of this decision influence their agenda for the
upcoming legislative term. But our political representatives in Wisconsin would be wise to oppose profiling and learn from the lessons
of Arizona and Alabama, where laws like SB 1070 have divided communities, subjected residents to suspicion because of the color of
their skin, and threatened their economic recovery. The path of Arizona and Alabama is unconstitutional and contrary to deeply-rooted
Rather than creating policies to fix the tough problems facing working families, congressional Republicans have blocked
comprehensive immigration reform at every turn. It’s time for Congress to put politics aside and get to work to pass necessary
legislation that offers a path to citizenship. Working families need a common-sense immigration system that protects the rights of all
workers and their families. Just as Wisconsin right-wing lawmakers have torn our communities apart, Arizona’s law and the Supreme
Court ruling divides our nation.
The people of Wisconsin have witnessed enough ‘divide and conquer’ politics. Working people in Wisconsin are committed to equality
and rebuilding our economy together. Our political representatives here in Wisconsin and nationally should do the same. Whether at the
ballot box, the bargaining table, or within the workplace, we will continue our fight to ensure fairness, economic opportunity and a voice
for all working families.
NAACP Statement on Supreme Court Decision to Uphold Key Provision of Immigration Law
The NAACP released the following statement on today’s decision by the Supreme Court to uphold one key provision of Arizona’s SB 1070
“Despite the mixed ruling, this remains a very problematic decision," stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. "By
upholding the ‘show me your papers’ provision of the Arizona Law, this court has in essence permitting and encouraging the
discriminatory and denigrating practice of racial profiling by law enforcement officials. Make no mistake, the notion that states may
racially profile, harass and detain approximately 11 million hard-working undocumented immigrants and others that simply meet the
physical profile is founded on a profoundly backward interpretation of equality and civil rights.”
“In Arizona, the NAACP and other civil rights groups will continue to work arm in arm with immigrants’ rights, labor, religious and
community groups to respond to this outrageous outcome, and make sure that similar racial profiling measures do not prevail in other
states,” stated Jealous. “We remain one nation, under God, and the NAACP is committed to making sure that our nation’s founding
values are upheld.”
Representative JoCasta Zamarripa Statement Regarding U.S. Supreme Court Decision to Strike Down Controversial Arizona Immigration
Today, Representative JoCasta Zamarripa (D-Milwaukee) issued the following statement in regard to the United States Supreme Court
decision to strike down most of Arizona’s controversial immigration law.
“While I am glad that the Supreme Court struck down most of Arizona’s controversial law, I am troubled that one of the most
controversial provisions was left intact. By allowing law enforcement to continue to check immigration status when investigating other
infractions of the law, it could lead to increased racial profiling.
Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court makes a clear statement that immigration is clearly a federal matter, and states ‘may not pursue
policies that undermine federal law.’ It is my sincere hope that this decision will finally get the U.S. Congress to pursue tough, fair and
comprehensive immigration reform.”
Supreme Court Decision on Anti-Immigration Law Sends Strong Rebuke to Arizona Racial Profiling and “Show Me Your Papers” Upheld
But Will See Future Challenges
MADISON, WI – Today the Supreme Court of the United States struck down three parts of Arizona’s anti-immigration law as
unconstitutional. But the court did not strike down the discriminatory “show me your papers” provision which condones racial profiling
and allows law enforcement to ask for immigration documents from lawfully stopped people. The decision is mixed, but ultimately sends
a strong rebuke to the state of Arizona for overstepping its legal authority in the realm of federal immigration enforcement.
The focus of the court’s decision was whether or not Arizona’s law was preempted by the U.S. Constitution, which gives the federal
government – not the states – authority to regulate immigration. In three areas, the court said it was unconstitutional for states to
criminalize working while undocumented, criminalize not being registered or carrying immigration documents, and for law enforcement
to make warrantless arrests of people solely on the basis of a suspicion of their undocumented status. Other states that have written or
passed similar laws must pay attention to the SCOTUS decision and repeal or stop attempts to pass anti-immigration laws.
In Wisconsin, Representative Don Pridemore (R-Hartford) drafted a bill that included a “show me your papers” provision, language
allowing law enforcement to make warrantless arrests, and also criminalized the refusal or failure to show proof of legal status which
could lead to detention. Today’s Supreme Court decision should show Wisconsin lawmakers that attempts to authorize state police to
enforce federal immigration law run afoul of the constitution.
“The Wisconsin Legislature wisely did not hold hearings on a bill similar to Arizona’s,” said ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director Chris
Ahmuty. “While the Supreme Court decision rules out much of the Wisconsin proposal, states that allow ‘show me your papers’
provisions will open the floodgates to further litigation and will hurt law-abiding citizens in Wisconsin. The ACLU of Wisconsin will
collect stories and evidence of racial profiling and any effort by law enforcement to detain residents unlawfully. The discussion on
Arizona’s law will not end today.”
The national ACLU has amassed an $8.6 million war chest to mount an aggressive response against Arizona’s SB 1070 and other
states’ racial profiling laws. It will help underwrite continued litigation against these measures, lobbying efforts and public education
programs. Any laws that encourage racial profiling, undermine local law enforcement’s priorities and sow a climate of fear that pits
neighbor against neighbor will be stopped.
Supreme Court Upholds Racial Profiling in Arizona, Strikes Down Rest of SB-1070; Civil Rights Activists and Immigrant
Communities Ready to Fight Back
From Voces de la Frontera
While the US Supreme Court ruled today that Arizona's SB 1070 violated the supremacy of the federal government in immigration law, it
failed to uphold fundamental civil rights protections.
The US Supreme Court upheld the dangerous provision of Arizona's SB1070 (Section 2b) by allowing law enforcement in Arizona to stop
pedestrians who they suspect may be undocumented and check their immigration status- a move ensuring that racial profiling remain
legal in Arizona and which paves the way for other states to do the same.
In the ruling, the court specifically rejected the broad authority that the government of Arizona tried to establish by striking down three of
the four provisions of SB-1070:
-- Authorizing police to conduct a warrant-less arrest of anyone they suspect could be deported
-- Making it a state crime for "unauthorized immigrants" to be undocumented (fail to carry registration papers and other government
-- Criminalizing work for undocumented immigrants (forbidding those not authorized for employment in the United States to apply, solicit
or perform work)
"Even before today's decision, Wisconsin constituents have recognized the damage Arizona's SB 1070 has had economically, socially,
and morally. Wisconsinites have successfully called on elected leaders of both parties to halt an Arizona copycat bill and pass a county
resolution this year that reforms Milwaukee County's ICE detainer policies. The Supreme Court's decision today reverses some of the
damage SB-1070 has done, and begins to re-balance the scales of justice in Arizona once again. But it's a dangerous mistake to allow
the legalization of what amounts to racial profiling," says Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera.
"Immigrants and Latinos who have legal status in Arizona will continue to face tremendous persecution, being broadly targeted based
on the color of their skin. SB-1070's racial profiling provision undermines public safety and community trust with law enforcement. We
anticipate that this provision will be blocked and challenged in the courts."
NAACP Outraged by Supreme Court’s Decision to Continue Sanctioning Unlimited Corporate Spending in Elections
(Baltimore, MD) – The NAACP has released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Montana’s
longstanding state law restricting corporate funding in elections without hearing oral arguments:
“The Supreme Court has salted the wounds of our electoral process by allowing unfettered corporate political spending in federal, state,
local and judicial elections,” stated Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP. “It is unacceptable that, without hearing
an oral argument, the court overturned decades of settled campaign finance law.”
“As the last several months have revealed, Citizens United has opened the floodgates for millionaires and billionaires, often under the
cloak of anonymity, to unfairly shape our nation’s political contests,” stated Jealous. “With 72 percent of spending by outside groups on
political ads in 2010 coming from groups prohibited from doing so in 2006, this decision puts our nation further down the wrong path.”
Remarks by The President on the Supreme Court Ruling on the Affordable Care Act
THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. Earlier today, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality
of the Affordable Care Act -- the name of the health care reform we passed two years ago. In
doing so, they've reaffirmed a fundamental principle that here in America -- in the wealthiest
nation on Earth – no illness or accident should lead to any family’s financial ruin.
I know there will be a lot of discussion today about the politics of all this, about who won and
who lost. That’s how these things tend to be viewed here in Washington. But that discussion
completely misses the point. Whatever the politics, today’s decision was a victory for people all
over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court’s
decision to uphold it.
And because this law has a direct impact on so many Americans, I want to take this opportunity
to talk about exactly what it means for you.
First, if you’re one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance,