Here is some local reaction to Thursday's historic :
State Rep. Scott Holcomb, D-81, whose state House district includes portions of Brookhaven:
"I think this case will be the defining moment for the Chief Justice and my sense is that he voted for the good of the Court, and the country, even though the decision was probably at odds with his personal views. I commend him for his courage. He did what we ask the Court to do - apply the law and respect the Constitution."
Sen. Fran Millar, R-40, whose state Senate district includes portions of Brookhaven:
“This obviously surprised a lot of people, and it’s disappointing. If its true that most people in this country don’t believe people should be required to buy health insurance, this helps candidate Romney.
"But regardless, this is going to cost a lot of money. Mandates costs money, and this will have a dramatic effect on those states teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. In Georgia, this is going to cost us $300 million.
"If I’m the president, I take this as a win. But the fact the Court upheld this on the basis of Congress’ ability to tax, does that mean it can tax anything? King George III had that ability, didn’t he?”
U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga, whose 4th congressional district includes Brookhaven:
“After more than a century of debate, the American people won an historic victory with passage of the Affordable Care Act.
“After decades of choosing between buying medications and putting food on the table, after decades of living in fear of bankruptcy caused by an unexpected illness, Americans are entering a new era of reliable access to quality, affordable health care. President Obama and Congress took the lead and did what no other Congress and Administration has been able to do – put health insurance in reach for the more than 50 million uninsured Americans and make it more affordable for everyone.
“Today, the Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of the law, and upheld these important protections. It is time to move on and focus on strengthening the economy, creating jobs and paying down our debt. This is a great day for looking forward and pulling together for the American people.”
State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-81, whose state House district borders Brookhaven:
"I'm very pleased that we can now move forward with a comprehensive plan for the delivery of healthcare, and we can now take the necessary steps to move forward. I'm reassured the U.S. Supreme Court has made a decision that is intellectually consistent with our history and not based on the politics of the day."
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson:
“I am sorely disappointed that the Court has upheld the individual mandate as a legal tax on the American people. Today’s ruling does not change the fact that there have been enormous problems trying to implement this terribly flawed law and that it must be repealed and replaced with a step-by-step approach that makes health care more accessible, affordable and competitive.”
U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss:
“I am disappointed in today’s decision. While I believe the individual mandate to directly contradict the Constitution, we must respect the decision of the court. However, this is not the final chapter in the healthcare-reform debate. I will continue to push to repeal the law, and urge Congress and the next administration to work to replace Obamacare.
“This law adds new taxes on an already overtaxed population, and adds regulation to an already over-regulated industry. We must address the skyrocketing costs of health care and its impact on individuals, families and small businesses while working together on transparent and measured reforms to ensure that everyone has access to quality and affordable care.”