(CHATANOOGA, Tenn.) -- Legislators and political officials from Tennessee, have unleashed angry reactions after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the individual mandate requiring nearly all Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty.
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., criticized Roberts' majority opinion that a penalty for not buying health insurance "may reasonably be characterized as a tax" and therefore something the Supreme Court has no authority to forbid.
"Congress should repeal the law and then proceed step-by-step to reduce the cost of health care so more Americans can afford to buy insurance," Alexander said in a statement.
"Most American lawyers aren't surprised by today's Supreme Court decision, nor am I," U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, a Nashville Democrat, said in a statement. "It turns out that Obamacare, Romneycare and Robertscare are the same thing -- and constitutional."
Bill Taylor, a Chattanooga businessman said the Supreme Court's affirmation of the law does exactly that."The Affordable Care Act was created to stop the unfair advantage that insurance companies have gained over people's ability to afford health care," Taylor said. "This decision will help us move forward in creating a system of affordable, quality health care that is available to everyone."
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., released a one-sentence statement advocating repeal and replacement "with common sense reforms that our nation and its citizens can afford."
Republican officials said there was only one way to make that happen.
"Getting rid of Obama-Care is now in the hands of the American people and we can accomplish that by electing Mitt Romney president in November," Tennessee GOP Chairman Chris Devaney said in a prepared statement.
Tennessee Young Democrats President Sean Braisted stated, "The 2010 Affordable Care Act allows for hundreds of thousands of young Americans to stay on their parents' health insurance throughout college and as they start on their own," Braisted said. "This provision alone has saved thousands of lives of people who previously could not have afforded care for chronic illnesses or emergencies."
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