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Talking The Talk: Swift Responses To The Supreme Court’s King V. Burwell Decision

Whether echoing through the halls of Congress or bubbling up from health policy think tanks, reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision came quickly Thursday. Here’s a sample:

“I think it’s important to note that Republicans that worked on this legislation, they admitted that the legislation’s drafters never planned on withholding subsidies. I think the public has had it with Republicans taking away subsidies. Enough is enough. Let’s move on.” — Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

“Clever judges can find ambiguities that others aren’t able to find. … We’re going to have to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something better.” — Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah

“We’re going to continue our efforts to put the American people back in charge of their health care, and not the federal government.” — House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio

“It would be nice if we could get beyond the unfortunate commentary that has gone on for too long that, somehow, providing affordable health insurance for Americans is going to be the end of our country.” — Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.

“For too long, the debate over health care has placed politics over the best interests of patients. No matter the court’s ruling, it’s time for Democrats and Republicans to deliver what the president promised but ultimately failed to do.” — Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.

“Full repeal probably isn’t in the cards, but the public is still not happy with large portions of the law, and you’re still going to see efforts to make changes.” — Michael Tanner, senior fellow, Cato Institute

“The ACA is already deeply entrenched and will be more so in 18 months when the opportunity for legislative action will occur. You won’t see any opportunity for legislation until 2017, and at that point more than 30 million people will be receiving coverage in one way or another under the ACA. And hospitals, drug companies, device manufacturers will all have new customers under the ACA, and it will be politically risky to roll it back to any significant degree.” — Henry J. Aaron, senior fellow, Brookings Institution

“You’re going to see now a doubling down in Congress and in the states that, really, the law needs to go. This case doesn’t stop the train from derailing. It’s still going to face obstacles and another dead-end moving forward.” — Nina Owcharenko, director of the Center for Health Policy at the Heritage Foundation

“With this decision, the law has bought itself another couple years to become further entrenched and enroll more people, so that if a Republican president is ever elected, it will be much harder to undo. With each passing year, attitudes about the law will have shifted.” — Topher Spiro, vice president for health policy, Center for American Progress

“I just hope that with this threat going away, and the fact that it is clear the law not going away, that we can see the other states move forward on Medicaid. As we celebrate, that’s the other thing we have to work on.” — Judy Solomon, vice president for health policy, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

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