Here are local reactions to today's U.S. Supreme Court5-4 ruling upholding President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

Congressman Rob Wittman, R-Westmoreland, said he "will continue to support limiting the federal government's reach."

"As this law passed two years ago, my main concerns were that this massive overhaul did not reduce individuals' health care costs and that it added hundreds of billions to the federal deficit," Wittman said. "Today's ruling did not change those outcomes, and in fact, underscored the law's added burdens: more taxes for middle class individuals and families and small businesses working to survive in this tough economy. The requirement that all individuals must purchase health insurance or be subject to a tax may have been found constitutional with a 5-4 decision, but it is still unaffordable and unworkable for individuals and this country. I have and will continue to support a repeal of this law and action to replace it with commonsense solutions that lower costs while increasing access to care. I will continue to support limiting the federal government's reach, to protect the patient-provider relationship, and to advocate for solutions promoting affordability and accessibility of health care.


Adam Cook, the Democratic candidate challenging U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman in the 1st Congressional District, said it's time for Republicans and Democrats to move forward together "to fix the parts of the law that are broken."

"With today's ruling, Obamacare has now been approved by all three branches of our government, having garnered majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate, been signed into law by the President, and found to be constitutional by the Supreme Court," Cook said. "It is now time for Republicans and Democrats to stop the partisan gamesmanship and work together to fix the parts of the law that are broken while improving upon those that provide real benefits to the American people. While I believe Obamacare has real flaws, I do not support repealing the law in its entirety and replacing it with nothing, as proposed by many of the law's opponents. To do so would strip coverage from countless young men and women who are now able to stay on their parents' insurance until the age of 26, increase prescription drug prices for seniors, and provide no solutions for those uninsured Americans with pre-existing medical conditions. Instead, if elected I would seek to be part of a constructive, bi-partisan effort to improve the law as necessary and successfully reform our health care system."


U.S. Sen. Mark Warner said he is ready to move "forward in a bipartisan way on how we can further bring down the costs of health care."

"I am pleased the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of health reform," Warner said. "I have always felt the Affordable Care Act was weighted more toward the issue of coverage and not enough toward cost containment.

"I look forward to now moving forward in a bipartisan way on how we can further bring down the costs of health care. We must focus the health care system more on outcomes than simply on the volume of services provided."


Congressman Scott Rigell, R-Virginia Beach, said the decision was "deeply disappointing."

"Like the underlying legislation that it addresses, today's 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is lengthy and complex," Rigell said. "I will be reviewing the decision thoroughly so I can fully understand the practical implications of the ruling.

"A cursory review, however, makes it clear that much of the PPACA has been ruled constitutional. This is deeply disappointing because it sets a legal precedent that greatly expands government's ability to "mandate" other aspects of American life. For the first time in our history, Americans will be taxed not for what they purchase, but for what they have not purchased. That is wrong, and in my view, unconstitutional."


The National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) today applauded the U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and its important insurance coverage protections for patients, including the elimination of pre-existing conditions as a barrier to coverage, the elimination of annual and lifetime caps on insurance coverage and the capping of out-of-pocket health care expenditures.

"The protections under the PPACA are especially important to the patients served by the Patient Advocate Foundation, because each of them determines, first, whether a patient will have access to important health services, and second, whether a patient can afford the health care they require," said Nancy Davenport-Ennis, founder and CEO of NPAF, and CEO of the Patient Advocate Foundation in Hampton. "We are pleased that the Supreme Court has opted to maintain these key provisions by upholding the PPACA, and we look forward to working with policymakers and the broader health care community in making certain that these patient protections continue to assist the millions of Americans that they were intended to help."


Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling said the "court's decision does not change the fact that Obamacare is bad policy."

"I am very disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the constitutionality of Obamacare," Bolling said. "It was my belief that the President and Congress overstepped their constitutional authority in requiring American citizens to purchase a product like health insurance, and I am disappointed that the Supreme Court reached a different conclusion. However, the court's decision does not change the fact that Obamacare is bad policy. Obamacare is too costly and we cannot afford it. In addition, Obamacare increases the cost of doing business and makes it harder for American businesses to hire workers. Finally, Obamacare limits American's health care choices and intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship."