Transcript: Press conference Q&A with Senate Democrats on the Supreme Court health care ruling

Edited by Jenny Jiang

Transcript of press conference Q&A with Senate Democrats on the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act on June 28, 2012:


“[Inaudible] On state Medicaid expansion…”

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.): 

“Every governor in this country who is part of the plan will sit and make their state a better state. And I think those governors that are now saying some things they – if they continue along this idea they’ll wish they hadn’t, then they will not have the ability to help their constituents like those states that have it.”


“The President has said on numerous occasions that the individual mandate is not a tax. Do you think the individual mandate in the health care law is a tax?”

Sen. Harry Reid: 

“I’m not here to give everyone my limited knowledge of constitutional law. I am here to say that the law has been upheld. It’s good for the country. It’s good for my people in Nevada. It’s something that now we can look at – I don’t have to now worry about a child that’s born with a cleft palate. I don’t have to worry about a child who shortly after birth develops diabetes or, as kids that came to see me today, have cystic fibrosis that develops. I don’t have to worry about them anymore.

“And very, very soon, all adults – not just those that are under age 18 – will be entitled to insurance even though they have a pre-existing disability.

“The people that stay on their parents’ insurance policy – 6 or 7 million of them – are benefitting from this law.

“The millions and millions of senior citizens who are having a donut hole filled because of what we did in this health care law. Millions of these senior citizens now can get wellness checks that they can never do before.

“So I’m not about here to give you all a dissertation on constitutional law. The law has been [upheld], and I’m very happy that it has been.”


“If the House takes a vote – even if it passes the House, even if it passes the House in the new Congress – given the 60-vote requirement for legislation in the Senate and the President’s signature, isn’t it a waste of time really – is it a waste of time for the House of Representatives to repeal the law?”

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.): 

“Yes, they should be spending that time focusing on jobs. We have millions of people who are under-employed or unemployed. That’s why we’re here today telling each of you that we’re focusing continually on job creation and we need the Republicans to join with us.

“America needs economic help. And just like our small business jobs bill we’re going to vote on the week we get back, employers around America want that to happen. They want that to happen. It’s good for all Americans – a tax credit to increase our payrolls a little bit. Not only that, buy new equipment they can write it off now and not have to depreciate it over the years.

“So the answer to your question – it’s a waste of their time; they should be spending it on jobs.”


“Gov. [Mitt] Romney said the first thing he would do if elected President is to repeal the health care law and in her opinion Justice [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg repeatedly cited the Massachusetts health care law [inaudible]?”

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.): 

“At one time in my life I was really good with a yo-yo. And Gov. Romney must be really good at yo-yo because we never know where he stands from one time or another. One time he’s up, one time he’s down.

“So as we’ve seen with Gov. Romney, one thing that’s consistent about him is his inconsistency.”


“[inaudible] Are you concerned about how he could repeal it by executive order?”

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.):

“We’ve passed a law. You can’t repeal it by an executive order. But we’re here to talk about jobs, not about Romney’s inconsistency.”


“Some Republicans in the Senate are already saying that if they were to take the majority in November that next year they would seek to repeal as much of the law as possible with budget reconciliation, which would only require a simple majority.”

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.):

“All the more reason that the American people should understand we want to focus on jobs, not taking away benefits that millions of Americans have today for sure. There’s no more uncertainty. So we’re focusing on jobs. Let them focus on taking these good things away from the American people. And if they repeal this, it’s a loss of 400,000 jobs. Not 4,000. Not 40,000. 400,000 jobs. And we are here focusing on saving those 400,000 jobs and creating more jobs.”


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3 Comments on “Transcript: Press conference Q&A with Senate Democrats on the Supreme Court health care ruling

  1. Pingback: Transcript: Sen. Harry Reid's statement on the Affordable Care Act | What The Folly?!

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