(If the Storify article does not appear below, you may click here to read it.)
Gov. Bill Haslam:
We will review the entire Supreme Court’s opinion to fully understand its impact on the State of Tennessee. From initial reports, it appears the individual mandate has been ruled Constitutional and has been upheld. My primary issues with ObamaCare are that it takes away the flexibility for states to encourage healthy behavior, will cost Tennessee hundreds of millions of dollars, and does nothing to solve the crisis of the cost of health care in America. What was unanticipated is the section of the opinion that says states cannot be forced to expand their Medicaid program. This particular portion of the ruling is significant, but it is premature to know the exact ramifications. Now it is up to Tennesseans and Americans to turn their attention to the November election. By electing Mitt Romney, we can be sure that the entire law will be repealed.
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey:
It is intensely disappointing that this court failed to recognize what constitutionalists and conservatives know deep in their hearts: A federal government which can coerce its people to buy a product is a government unrestrained and out of control. Democrat Governor Phil Bredesen called Obamacare the ‘mother of all unfunded mandates’ and stated it will cost Tennesseans 1.1 billion dollars in the next few years. However, the fight does not end here. The court may have made its decision today but the people have yet to speak. When they do, Mitt Romney will be elected president and I will do all I can to aid him as he fulfills his solemn promise to repeal this insidious law.
U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann:
The Supreme Court made the wrong decision today. The Constitution places specific limits on the government, and the court unfortunately did not recognize those limits in allowing Obamacare to stand. While the Supreme Court may consider the individual mandate a tax, the Obama administration repeatedly claimed that this was not a tax when they tried to pass Obamacare. Like many conservatives, I believe the individual mandate cannot be justified as a tax. Not only does Obamacare force Americans to buy insurance whether they want it or not, but it also forces Americans to subsidize birth control even if it violates their faith. Additionally, the law creates IPAB, the Independent Payment Advisory Board. This board is anything but advisory. It has the power to control Medicare payments, and its decisions carry the full force of law. The results of Obamacare are clear: Higher healthcare costs, hundreds of billions in tax increases, top down government control of healthcare, and a continuation of our massive deficits. Now, it is time for Congressional Republicans to demonstrate our commitment to smaller government, and continue the fight to repeal Obamacare. Our healthcare, our nation’s finances, and our national character demand nothing less.
U.S. House 3rd District candidate Bill Taylor (D):
That the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act this morning is “a victory for the common man,” said Bill Taylor, Democratic candidate for Congress in the 3rd District. “The ACA was created to stop the unfair advantage that insurance companies have gained over people’s ability to afford healthcare. “Our country currently ranks 37th in the world in terms of quality of healthcare. This decision will help us move forward in creating a system of affordable, quality care that is available to everyone.” Taylor noted that there is “still work to be done to make the healthcare system more efficient and workable. As an expert in healthcare, I can help to move this process forward in Congress in a leadership way.”
U.S. House 3rd District candidate Weston Wamp (R):
@Public_Interest Busy going door to door. The ruling is disappointing, but shows the need for people in Congress who understand Constitution
— Weston Wamp (@westonwamp) June 28, 2012
More will be posted as they become available.
You’ve seen the ads for Republican candidates U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann and Weston Wamp, which were released this week. But Bill Taylor, one of two Democrats running for the seat, says that he was advertising on television during the Belmont Stakes thoroughbred race. (Ed. note: the race took place on Saturday, June 9, not on May 9.) The press release follows:
3rd District Congressional Candidate Bill Taylor Opens Campaign Headquarter
Democratic candidate was also first with TV ads airing during Belmont Stakes
Bill Taylor, Democratic contender in the 3rd District Congressional race, today
announced the opening of campaign headquarters at 7047 Lee Highway, Suite
101 of the London Center. The headquarters will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30
pm Monday through Friday. Campaign materials will be available and volunteers
can register to help, schedule call time, and arrange canvassing territory. Noted
Taylor, “The campaign is gaining momentum with more than 15 events and
appearances scheduled before the end of June. These events are scheduled
in Monroe, Hamilton, Bradley, Roane, Anderson, Polk, and Union Counties.
And many events are already on the books for July.”
The candidate added, “We are very pleased with the response we are getting
from voters all over the district,” reviewing the travels of the last few months. Past
events have included two “Candidate Shootout Challenges” highlighting Taylor’s
support of Second Amendment rights.
Fundraising is also building for the campaign and will culminate this quarter with
the “Backroom Strategy Session,” an invitation-only event on June 28 at The
Bluewater Grille in downtown Chattanooga. “Our moderate, Southern Democrat
message is finding a receptive audience in the 3rd District,” Taylor said, “It’s a
reasonable approach to government the voters want.”
The Taylor for Congress campaign was the first to begin television advertising
with multiple ads airing during May 9’s Belmont Stakes on WRCB/Channel 3.
A few town hall-type sessions and meet-and-greets are in the works this week.
The Chattanooga Tea Party is hosting a Liberty Forum at Abba’s House in Hixson on Saturday, February 25 from 1-4 p.m. Many candidates and elected officials are expected to be there, including headlining presidential candidate Rick Santorum.
On the same day, Hamilton County Commission District 3 candidate Mitzi Yates is holding a town hall meeting at the Hixson IHOP at 3:00 p.m. From the candidate’s website:
I am very interested in hearing from the residents of the district. This will be an informal discussion of the things that impact our lives every day. Come and participate in an open forum where your concerns, needs, ideas, and solutions can be heard.
On Tuesday, the Tennessee Valley Republican Women will host state party chair Chris Devaney, who will go over the process by which the president of the United States is elected. More details here.
And on Thursday, Democratic candidate Bill Taylor, who is running for his party’s nomination to the 3rd District congressional seat, will host a meet-and-greet from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Here’s the press release info:
Bill Taylor, candidate for Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District, will meet & greet with community members on Feb. 23, 4 to 7 p.m., at STYLEBar in downtown Chattanooga.
“Rose Riley’s journey in starting her business, STYLEBar, is quintessentially American—and is exactly what those in Washington should be doing everything they can to encourage,” said Taylor. “She opted to train for a vocation and then worked in her chosen field for several years before deciding to open her own business. Since this was in 2008, banks would not lend to her, but she persevered, finding private financing, and now operates a successful salon, providing employment for several others besides herself,” Taylor noted.
“If elected to Congress, one of my key goals is to level the business playing field for entrepreneurs like Rose. We need to get the banks back in the business of lending money to those who can create the jobs Americans need,” he said.
What: Bill Taylor, Democratic Candidate for the 3rd Congressional District, Meet & Greet
When: 4 to 7 p.m., February 23
Where: STYLEBar, 191 Walnut St. (at East Aquarium Way) Chattanooga
For more information: (423) 756-2718
From a press release issued by the Bill Taylor for Congress campaign:
On Jobs: “The United States has the highest quality, most productive workforce in the world. Yet there are 3.5 million jobs going unfilled right now in this country because there are not qualified people to fill them. We have been sliding into an employment problem for 20 years. Education is the key to success. We need to support our educational system, developing programs to train people for jobs in the 21st century. This strategy includes strengthening training programs provide by organized labor and improving student counseling and guidance in our middle schools and high schools so students are aware of the opportunities available.”
On Business: “We should also continue the streamlining of federal agencies that help American companies sell in foreign markets, and bring outsourced jobs back to the United States. Our trade policy should include safeguards to restrict outsourcing to countries that do not protect children, workers’ safety, the environment, and intellectual property. We should also cut the red tape imposed on small- and medium-sized businesses, as they create the bulk of new jobs.”
On Taxes: “There are 165 deductions, exemptions, preferences, and loopholes that cost the Treasury $1 trillion per year. Each of these items needs a close review. Some are important to many Americans, such as deductions for home-mortgage interest and charitable contributions. Others are not. All need review to see if they are still needed and fair; not just favoring a few privileged individuals.
“Tax rates do not need to be increased as the United States has some of the highest rates in the world. But revenues need to rise by eliminating preferences and loopholes that do not support growth and an expanded economy.”
On Healthcare: Medicare should be protected and elected officials in Washington should be required to join it. The notion that the government should “outsource” Medicare to insurance companies will not save costs. It will reduce access, inappropriately deny payments to providers, and increase paperwork and overhead at every level in the system. Medicare can and must be better managed. For instance, we must require Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. There are other areas as well where cost can be saved without cutting benefits or access.
“The Affordable Care Act should also be further developed. Initiatives such as the 80 percent medical loss ratio, covering kids to age 26, community rating, no pre-existing conditions, and purchasing cooperatives are all good things in the existing law. But some things should be strengthened. For instance, the cooperatives need teeth to require the insurance companies to participate. Additionally, we need to reexamine the funding of the Medicaid expansion, as the states will have difficulty picking up the additional cost.”
On Social Security: “As a society and a government, we have made promises to our seniors. It would inappropriate to change the rules for those people already receiving Social Security. If we can continue to grow our economy, Social Security as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product is not a problem as some have suggested.”