September 17, 2014

Gov. Heineman says voters will have last word on healthcare (AUDIO)

Gov. Dave Heineman addreses a news conference in his office, along with Attorney General Jon Bruning

Gov. Dave Heineman today said the Supreme Court might not have the last word on the federal healthcare law.

Heineman said the voters, not the Supreme Court, will have the final say on healthcare.

“As a result of today’s Supreme Court ruling, it is now more important than ever that Mitt Romney be elected president of the United States,” Heineman said as he opened a news conference to react to the healthcare decision.

Nebraska has completed preparation work to implement the health exchanges authorized by the law, but wanted to wait for implementation until the court ruled. Now, he wants to see the voters weigh in; moves he says are justified by how the law is viewed in Nebraska.

“The vast majority of Nebraskans are opposed to Obamacare. I believe one United States Senator is retiring, because of it,” Heineman stated. “Nebraskans have spoken loud and clear what they think about Obamacare.”

Heineman said he has no plans to call a special legislative session to consider healthcare issues.

Nebraska spent $25,000 from the Attorney General’s budget as part of the 26 states that challenged the constitutionality of the healthcare law.

Attorney General Jon Bruning, who spoke at the news conference held in the governor’s Capitol office, defended the expenditure of time and money in fighting the law.

“We came out on the wrong side of this and I’m extremely disappointed and I hope it’s fixed in November. But, do I think it was worth it? Absolutely, No question about it,” Bruning said. “I mean, this is one of those conversations that had to happen. We had to test the limits of the Commerce Clause. Was that worth $25,000 to the people of Nebraska? There’s no question, it’s worth it.”

Bruning said he’s pleased the court ruled Congress doesn’t have authority through the Commerce Clause to force people to buy health insurance. The court did rule, though, that Congress can use its taxing authority to enforce the individual mandate in the law.

AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]

AUDIO: Gov. Heineman holds news conference with AG Bruning, reacting to Supreme Court ruling. [23:30]