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Congressman Dingell: “I know my father who started this fight is smiling from up above"

Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

It’s no doubt a historic day for Michigan Congressman – and the U.S. State of Representative’s longest serving member – John Dingell with today's U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of the federal Affordable Care Act.

As NPR’s Julie Rover noted in a story on Dingell in 2009:

“Dingell's quest for universal health care began in 1932, when his father, John Dingell Sr., was first elected to the House from Michigan. The elder Dingell quickly became one of the architects of the New Deal… In 1943, the elder Dingell, along with Senators Jim Murray of Montana and Robert Wagner of New York, introduced the first national health insurance bill. The so-called Wagner-Murray-Dingell bill was fought over for years, though it never became law. And when the elder Dingell died in 1955, John Dingell Jr. took over not only his father's seat, but also his quest for national health insurance.”

In a statement released shortly after today’s Supreme Court decision Dingell said:

“Today, the Supreme Court came to the right decision, the fair decision, the decision that is best for our citizens. By upholding the Affordable Care Act, the Court affirmed to the American people that quality, affordable healthcare is their right; that they live in a country where basic human rights are valued above all else. This ruling guarantees that 17 million children can no longer be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. It ensures 105 million Americans no longer have a lifetime limit on their health insurance, and more than 6 million young adults now have health insurance through their parents’ plans. Today, because of this avowing decision, more families will receive free preventive services, small businesses have more capacity to attract the highest quality employees with the ability to offer comprehensive health insurance, and seniors will be able to afford vital prescription drugs. Furthermore, those men and women with pre-existing conditions, who need health care the most, will not be able to be denied health insurance. With this milestone case behind us, I look forward to collaborating with the State of Michigan as it develops a health insurance delivery programs tailored specifically for the needs of Michigan.”

A tweet from Dingell’s twitter account this morning read, “I know my father who started this fight is smiling from up above.”

Zoe Clark is Michigan Radio’s first Political Director. In this role, Clark guides coverage of the state Capitol, elections, and policy debates.
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