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Democrats declare health-care victory

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The first Minnesota reaction to today's U.S. Supreme Court health care act ruling came from the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party chairman, who used it to seek donations.

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"Victory" is how DFL leader Ken Martin headlined an email to party members seeking contributions to protect the law that Republicans dub "Obamacare."

On a 5-4 vote, the court upheld the entire Affordable Care Act, as it is officially known. Ironically, it was Republican-supported Chief Justice John Roberts who cast the deciding vote to uphold Democrat Obama's plan.

"Today, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, which will expand health coverage, lower out-of-pocket costs and end insurance industry abuses like denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions," Martin wrote in seeking donations. "The Supreme Court did not bend to political pressure from the right -- they did what was right."

Martin said Minnesotans owe justices their thanks, but also need to keep Democrats in office to preserve the health law.

"Let's come together and say thanks by standing with them in November," Martin said. "If we don't, Republicans will surely undo the progress we've fought so hard to achieve."

A few minutes later, Minnesota Republican leaders sent their own email seeking donations, with the simple message: "The Supreme Court has upheld Obamacare, and there's a lot of work for us to do in order to ensure that Obamacare is repealed."

Former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, a conservative Republican congresswoman, was the first Minnesota politician to opine on the ruling and to no one's surprise said she would fight to repeal the health act.

"I am deeply disappointed by the court's decision," Bachmann said moments after the ruling was released. "Today's Supreme Court decision raises the stakes for the coming months. Since Congress passed Obamacare in 2010, I have made its repeal my top priority."

Bachmann reminded Minnesotans that she brought thousands of Americans to Washington to speak against its passage and was the first to introduce a bill to repeal it.

"Now, the only way to save the country from Obamacare's budget-busting government takeover of health care is to completely repeal it," she said.

Bachmann, chairwoman of the House Tea Party Caucus, was in the courtroom as the opinion was read.

U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., was quick to release a statement praising the court action.

"Two years ago, I was proud to vote in support of the Affordable Care Act," she said. "Today's historic Supreme Court decision affirms President Obama's leadership to extend healthcare coverage to millions of Americans.

"It is now time for Republicans in Congress to end their vitriolic repeal campaign and work on effectively implementing this law to the benefit of the American people."

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