Some quick food industry reaction to the Supreme Court decision on the individual mandate of the health care law.
Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif
“There is no other agricultural organization in the nation that has been as actively involved in the federal effort to reform healthcare,” Nassif said. We have spent the last three years advocating on behalf of ag and then anticipating every possible outcome of the law and the challenges made to it in court. We were prepared for today’s ruling, although I was surprised that the Supreme Court ruled the individual mandate was constitutional under the taxing powers of government.”
“Our mission going forth will be to work with federal regulators to acknowledge the unique needs of ag employers and workers, including those improperly documented individuals for whom the ACA has no provisions,” continued Nassif. “Congress and the Administration need to finish the work of the Act by making changes that truly recognize the legitimate healthcare needs of this population. We began many of those discussions in the last two years and will pursue them with greater urgency now. Our work has just begun again.”
American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman
“Farmers, ranchers and rural residents need affordable and accessible health care. We remain concerned that mandating individuals and businesses to buy insurance will impose an expense that creates economic hardship, particularly for self-employed individuals and small businesses.
“We believe one of the primary goals of health care reform should be to reduce costs for participants. The plan reviewed by the Supreme Court would impose a new financial burden on our members. As the legal and political interpretation of this ruling is further analyzed and debated in the weeks and months ahead, it is important to remember that access to affordable health care eludes many American families across the country.
“Farm Bureau has always supported market-based reforms as the best way to control costs and increase options for people and small businesses that purchase insurance for themselves and their employees. Moving forward, we encourage Congress and the President to work together to address our remaining concerns on this issue that affects millions of small business owners and individuals throughout rural America.”