The Supreme Court upheld the individual insurance requirement of President Barack Obama’s historical health care overhaul.
In a 5 to 4 vote, the decision will bring on a complete renovation to health care in the United States.
As far as how the ruling will affect Gordon County locally, in a statement from Adventist Health System, which owns Gordon Hospital, it said they are please with the ruling.
“We are pleased that the court has upheld the health care reform act and specifically the individual mandate. Without that provision, we believe that the other provisions such as elimination of pre-existing condition would become financially difficult to implement. We also believe that the uninsured problem would have continued to grow which would have put greater and greater pressure on hospitals to continue to subsidize care. We recognize that the health reform bill is not perfect, but it does much to lower the number of uninsured and to increase access to care. Our organization has provided health care for over 100 years. We will continue to work with others, including Congress, to create a system that reduces the overall cost of health care, builds a healthier state and improves outcomes and the patient experience.”
However, U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, called the high court’s decision “a dark day in our history.”
“While I’m disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision, I’m more resolved than ever to repeal this law in its entirety,” Graves said in a statement. “First the president told us the individual mandate was not a tax. Now, the high court is telling us it is a tax. What’s clear from today’s ruling is there are now no limits to how the federal government can tax the American people.
“House Republicans are firmly committed to removing this entire law. Once that work is done, and the nightmare known as Obamacare is fully behind us, we must engage in a thoughtful, common-sense approach to reforming health care in America. Any reforms we undertake pertaining to health care must let families make their own health choices and preserve the doctor-patient relationship. It’s time for a patient-centered, patient-driven, free market-focused solution for health care.”
According to the Associated Press, the decision means the huge overhaul, still only partly in effect, will proceed and pick up momentum over the next several years, affecting the way that countless Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care. The ruling also hands Obama a campaign-season victory in rejecting arguments that Congress went too far in requiring most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty.
With the Supreme Court’s ruling the Affordable Care Act can go forward with it’s goal to cover more than 30 million uninsured Americans, according to the Associated Press.
The justices of the court rejected two of the Obama Administration’s three arguments in support of the insurance requirement, but the court said the mandate can be construed as a tax, according to the Associated Press.
“Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness,” Roberts said.
The court found problems with the law’s expansion of Medicaid, but even there said the expansion could proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold states’ entire Medicaid allotment if they don’t take part in the law’s extension, according to the Associated Press.
The court’s four liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, joined Roberts in the outcome.
Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.
“The act before us here exceeds federal power both in mandating the purchase of health insurance and in denying non-consenting states all Medicaid funding,” the dissenters said in a joint statement, according to the Associated Press.
“Here in America, in the wealthiest nation on earth, no illness or accident should lead to any family’s financial ruin,” said Obama following the Supreme Court’s ruling.