House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who served as speaker when she championed the president's health care reform through the House of Representatives, called the Supreme Court's ruling today "a victory for America's families" and promised that as Democrats work to implement the rest of the provisions of the law, "the best is yet to come."
"It was a victory for America's families when we passed the Affordable Care Act and the president signed it into law," Pelosi, D-Calif., said. "Now we can move forward to the full implementation of the law, and when that happens, for the American people, the best is yet to come."
But House Republicans quickly promised that after the Independence Day recess, they will move to once again repeal the law in its entirety on July 11 after the House returns to legislative business.
"We are committed to making sure that we can return to patient-based health care in this country, where we can keep costs low and we can increase access," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said.
In one of the first acts of the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives 18 months ago, the House first voted to repeal the health care law, Jan. 19, 2011, passing the measure 245-189. At the time, just three House Democrats - Reps. Dan Boren of Oklahoma, Mike McIntyre of North Carolina and Mike Ross of Arkansas - joined the House GOP in supporting repeal. A month later, repeal failed in the Democrat-controlled Senate 47-51.
House Speaker John Boehner was asked why it is necessary for the House to act again, particularly since there are not enough votes in the Senate to repeal it. While Republicans are overwhelmingly disappointed in the ruling, Boehner said it will only act to strengthen his party's resolve.
"The real outcome of today's decision is to strengthen our resolve to make sure that this law is in fact repealed," Boehner, R-Ohio, said. "We're going to work every single day between now and Election Day, and the American people then will get an opportunity to make their decision on Election Day because elections have consequences. The election in 2008 clearly had a consequence that most Americans disagree with."
Pelosi conceded that Republicans are free to "make their own decisions," but she said moving to repeal the law again is a sign that the GOP is beholden to special interests.
"Even with a decision by the Supreme Court and the law passed by the Congress of the United States, signed by the president, upheld by the Supreme Court, they're still fighting a fight that, We have always been and will continue to always be the handmaidens of the special interests in our country," Pelosi seethed. "They take a loyalty oath [the Taxpayer Protection Pledge] that's not bringing revenue rather than … protect and defend the Constitution. They fight for the health insurance industry over and over again at the cost to the taxpayer."