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Maryland Reacts To Supreme Court's Decision On Health Care

Affordable Care Act supporters celebrate in front of the Supreme Court after the justices upheld the law June 28.
Armando Trull
Affordable Care Act supporters celebrate in front of the Supreme Court after the justices upheld the law June 28.

Maryland lawmakers largely heralded the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act today, although some conservatives in the state sided with their Republican counterparts in decrying the decision.

Bill supporters, led by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) applauded the Supreme Court's ruling to uphold the health care reform bill. In a joint statement, O'Malley and Brown said Thursday it gives considerable momentum to health care reform efforts in the state.

"In upholding the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Supreme Court chose to protect the lives of millions of Marylanders and millions of Americans," the two leaders said in the statement.

Sen. Ben Cardin, who voted in favor of the health care law, was similarly jubilant. "I thought it was a good day for America. The policy allows us to move forward with quality, affordable health care for all Americans."

Maryland has passed legislation to create a health care exchange, setting up standards and regulations to run the program and creating the framework for a marketplace where individuals and small businesses can buy coverage.

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler heralded his state's early action on the exchanges during an appearance on WAMU 88.5's Kojo Nnamdi Show today.

"In Maryland, we've been going forward assuming this was going to happen from the beginning," Gansler said. "It's going to be a good thing for Marylanders, it's going to bring down cost of health care and it's going to bring down hospital visit costs as well."

But Rep. Andy HArris (R-Md.), also speaking on the Kojo Nnamdi show, maligned the ruling, saying the Affordable Care Act is "hamstringing" businesses and harming the American people. 

"I don't think people like the idea of taxes right now," Harris said. "I think they resent that this was the backdoor way of imposing this mandate on people."

Gansler, however, argued that it will actually save people money on their health care. 

"We need to have a solution," he said. "They may not love this solution, but it's a solution and it'll save taxpayers and people in Maryland a lot of money down the road." 

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