Texomans weigh in on Affordable Care Act

By: Victoria Maranan Email
By: Victoria Maranan Email

GRAYSON CO., TX-In a 5-4 vote, the Justices ruled nearly all of The Affordable Care Act constitutional.
Citing Congress' power to tax, conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court's four liberal Justices in upholding the Individual Mandate - the part of the law that requires every American to buy health insurance. Any repeal vote is not expected to get past the democratically-controlled Senate.
Here's what Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott had to say about the ruling..

"What we are going to see is the battleground shift from the courthouse to the ballot box in November where Americans get to decide," said Abbott.

"We are very conscientious that there are people in the state of Oklahoma that don't have the type of access to care that they want to have," said Fallin.

Victoria Maranan talked with a small business owner and several Texomans about what they think of today's decision to uphold the law and what it means for them. Most of the people we talked to said the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act takes away their freedom of choice.
According to the Wall Street Journal, those without health insurance could be penalized $95 a year to 1% of their income.

James Cookston has no insurance.

"I work paycheck to paycheck. I can't afford insurance, not even for myself," he said.

Cookston said he's not happy that the Supreme Court ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional--one of the most controversial provisions requires Americans to have health insurance.

"Honestly, it sucks. I mean, you know, they'll require us to have insurance. They're gonna force us to get insurance and if we don't get our insurance, they're gonna penalize us. Well, if we can't afford to buy the insurance to begin with, then what's the penalization gonna do?" He said.

Cheryl Maxam agrees.

"If they don't have the money to pay for insurance, what makes them think they can pay the fine?" She said.

The mandate also allows young adults to stay on their parents' insurance until they turn 26, those on Medicare will keep getting discounts on prescription drugs and it bans insurers from denying coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. That's something some Texomans back completely.

"Healthcare for young people, old people, the way they get their medicine, the health care that's provided. Why wouldn't everybody want that?" said Cliff Gibson.

Employers will also be required to offer health insurance to their employees and Grayson Small Business Development Center's Dr. Karen Stidham said that will mean more expenses for business owners.

"It's going to be an added cost to the small business owners and every time there's an added cost. Those funds will have to come from somewhere, so it's gonna be a burden to some extent," she said.

LawnMaster's Joel Scott said since he'll have to pony up more cash, so will his customers.

"My prices will have to go up as well, you know? So does a lot of people, because I don't think forcing healthcare is the right thing to do, it should be a choice," he said.

But Stidham says it's not all bad.

"On the other hand, it may give them an advantage at hiring, because they may find stronger employee loyalty. Many employees today are looking for jobs with health benefits," she said.

Dr. Stidham said they can provide budget assistance for businesses in Grayson and Fannin Counties.
The Affordable Care Act will go into effect in 2014.


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  • by Anonymous on Jul 17, 2012 at 04:26 AM
    "You speak of a time when manpower mattered...not machines and robots that took the place of hundreds of thousands of jobs". This is the most significant comment made in all of these posts. When these politicians talk about job creation, what are they talking about? If someone creates a job, someone else will create a machine or computer program that will eliminate it! The main reason is to keep from having to pay benefits or face legal issues because you hired a white healthy male rather than a minority with disabilities! Laws and lawyers have ruined this country.
  • by alan Location: oklahoma on Jul 15, 2012 at 05:54 AM
    This is how it will be. Once you get fined for no insurance, it will be like getting behind on paying your credit card. Once you get behind, there is no catching up.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 17, 2012 at 09:33 AM in reply to alan
      It'll be much worse than being late on credit card. It is exactly like being behind on paying your federal income taxes because the IRS is tasked with finding you and extracting your blood until you either die or pay what they say you owe your masters.
  • by AHCA Myfoot on Jul 13, 2012 at 09:47 AM
    As reported today on CNN from a report by the AHA, "An increasingly significant issue for hospitals is the increase in patients covered by Medicare and Medicaid -- 60% of all admissions. Neither program fully reimburses the cost of hospital care, the hospital association said." And some think MCA/MCD is the blueprint to the future. Try paying for only 60% of your gas the next time you fill up and see what happens. We cannot afford to be everything to everyone. Eventually us mules will stop pulling the cart and get in it with the rest of y'all.
    • reply
      by Logic on Jul 13, 2012 at 10:52 AM in reply to AHCA Myfoot
      Do you mean that medicaid/medicare argues about paying 12 dollars for an asprin or 6 dollars for a bandaid? Ever seen the prices on an itemized bill from a hospital? Yeah...I'd have problems paying that too!
      • reply
        by Ilogical on Jul 13, 2012 at 03:31 PM in reply to Logic
        "Do you mean that medicaid/medicare argues about paying 12 dollars for an asprin or 6 dollars for a bandaid" Medicaid/Medicare does NOT pay a penny more than what medicaid/medicare decides is their allowable, no matter the ACTUAL cost of that healthcare. You should really do some research. I think the point of the original poster (as well as the report) was that no one will work for .60 on the $1.00. Not you, me or those who provide our healthcare. Surely you see the problem, yes?
  • by mike Location: sherman on Jul 11, 2012 at 07:39 PM
    the goverement can not run any program as history has proved, now the under educated want them to dish out health care. we are in trouble now
    • reply
      by Logic on Jul 12, 2012 at 03:04 PM in reply to mike
      The government ran World War 2 just fine. The Manhattan Project. NASA and the Apollo Project. Eisenhower's Highway program and countless other public works. The rural electrification of the South and Southwest. And yes even the Postal System until email killed it. Ask your grandpa how they used to flock around the postman as a hero bringing letters home! Do I need to go on about the success and pride our government has brought? You see the government as some faceless Tax man out for your wallet...I see government as men and women..people...working to keep our civilization together. Do you think that WalMart, Exxon or whatever Corporation you care to name can step in for the US Government and take over? And your basic premise is false. The doctors, nurses, clinics and hospitals are ALL private..not government. The government isn't dishing you out even a bandaid!
      • reply
        by Mike H. on Jul 12, 2012 at 05:10 PM in reply to Logic
        The Government spent $15 million on the Louisiana Purchase, $25 million on the Texas/California purchase, and $7 million for the Alaska Purchase. The government then turned around and sold this land below cost, at considerable loss to itself. The Preemption Act of 1841, the Graduation Act of 1854 and the Homestead Act of 1862 all gave away land to pioneers for a song. The government also played a crucial role in developing these lands. When it came to connecting the Great Lakes to the Eastern seaboard with canals, the government funded or financially guaranteed three fourths of the $200 million project. It also gave each state 30,000 acres of land to build agricultural colleges. It would be difficult to overstate how important these colleges were in advancing agricultural education and techniques among the farmers. With their help, American farmers were quickly able to create a working agricultural economy. Meanwhile, the government provided mail services like the Pony Express that interconnected this economy. The story of the Montana Freemen is especially revealing. This is the radical anti-government militia that kept the FBI at bay in an armed stand-off that lasted for months. It turns out that they had stalled foreclosure on their farms for ten years by accepting $676,082 in government farming subsidies and loans!
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jul 12, 2012 at 06:11 PM in reply to Logic
        Have you ever posted a comment without factual errors? Your last two sentences were astoundingly ignorant of reality, even for you! As for the rest of it, does it escape you that all those programs are at least 4 decades old? When your government has debt that is over 100 percent of GDP, it is an abject failure and anyone with an ounce of common sense can look around and see that it is broken beyond repair. Delusion and denial are temporary states rectified by slaps of reality. Brace yourselves, you useful idiots.
        • reply
          by Logic on Jul 13, 2012 at 10:50 AM in reply to
          How am I ignorant of reality? Either the government is going to be prescribing medicine, treating patients, billing patients and insurance companies, and all the other PRIVATE matters that the current medical professionals do...or they are not. Which is it? Can't be both can it? And if the government IS getting involved in your health care down to these levels, explain how they plan to implement that? We gonna have Suzy at the DMV prescribing Metformin to a Diabetic? Is Billy the IRS man coming down from DC to triage a guy at TMC with a head wound?
      • reply
        by Illogic on Jul 13, 2012 at 07:02 AM in reply to Logic
        The current generaton is not the generation of old. You cannot compare the generations of the past with Generation Entitlement. There was a time when you did everything you could to stay off welfare, not everything you could to stay on it.
        • reply
          by Logic on Jul 13, 2012 at 10:03 AM in reply to Illogic
          This man said history has proved the government cannot run anything. I demonstrated that, historically, he is wrong. Period. You speak also of a time with about 1/4 of the population we have now. You speak of a time when manpower mattered...not machines and robots that took the place of hundreds of thousands of jobs. If welfare is more prevelant now it is because the population is bigger with less jobs available. There are 360,000,000 people now in the US. Not counting seniors and children about half are in their working years...so 150,000,000 give or take. You compare THAT to 1930?
        • reply
          by Obama all the way to the bottom! on Jul 13, 2012 at 11:05 AM in reply to Illogic
          NO, you compared it to 1930! Wow...In other words, logic, you made an irrelevant point and the point you wished to refute stands. When it comes to entitlement programs as Obamacare is destined to become, government is an abject failure in managing programs responsibly. Politicians promise benefits that are not funded and can not be afforded, so they borrow trillions and expect your vote. It's no more complicated than that. Already Obamacare is 2.4 TRILLION dollars in deficit in its first decade despite His O'liness assuring us that it could not exceed 900 billion... AFTER promising us he would not add one dime to the deficit. And all of those projections rely upon a robust economy with less than 5 percent REAL unemployment average and a workforce participation that is beyond reality! What is it going to take before you and your kind realize all these pie in the sky do gooder fantasies are just that, fantasies that only speed up the train wreck that can be clearly seen coming over the horizon? Bowles-Simpson plan was deemed too radical, to Draconian, and it would only serve to delay the coming disaster so we could work on a real solution! And how did Obama react? He completely ignored them and passed the biggest entitlement program since the '60's! Bush was irresponsible, but Obama appears to be intentionally putting that train throttle on turbo. Now it's just a matter of what world view takes the blame and which world view will prevail when the pieces are put back together.
    • reply
      by Joey on Jul 13, 2012 at 07:54 AM in reply to mike
      What entity could run its business well if half of the board of directors insisted on one thing, and the other half insisted on the opposiste? Or if half were dedicated to destroying the company, or bent on ruining various projects the company had undertaken? With respect to our government, Congress is infested with those who wish to destroy, not fix. They add water to the oil, and claim the engine was at fault. They p*&& down your back, and tell you it's raining.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 10, 2012 at 10:15 AM
    Do we, as a society, really feel so bad that we need to spend all our time visiting a doctor? You talk about control! These guys control everything people do. To many spend more time seeking a doctor's appointment than planning to go to work! When an employer provides insurance, he's granting his employees time away from work! I think if you don't work, you don't get paid! We don't need better medical services we need an attitude adjustment!
    • reply
      by Logic on Jul 12, 2012 at 06:50 AM in reply to
      When an employer provides insurance, they are ensuring their employee can continue to come to work healthy and deal with any medical problems that arise to ensure they can continue to work. The time this employee spends away from work is incidental. I suppose if your employer was Ebenezer Scrooge passing out a single lump of coal a day to save on heating expenses while poor Cratchit freezes, your scenario might apply. And if that's the case, I doubt this employer has many employees that stay with them to even qualify for medical! I bet this employee has more lost time and productivity training the constant flow of new employees replacing the ones that quit. Employers have every right to limit their employees pay and benefits. Even offering NO benefits. They just don't have the right to make them stay!
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jul 13, 2012 at 09:00 AM in reply to Logic
        As usual your comments are logical. There is always intent and then reality. Turn over is a killer. I just can't accept that people really want to work! I really think we have evolved into a society wishing pay and benefits for nothing!
        • reply
          by George B Shaw on Jul 13, 2012 at 03:34 PM in reply to
          “A government with the policy to rob Peter to pay Paul can be assured of the support of Paul.” Welcome the Generation Entitlement, may I steal your coat?
  • by Anonymous on Jul 10, 2012 at 07:34 AM
    The insurance rebate will have an effect on coverage. It takes away efficiency incentives and instead incentives spending. When a insurance company can't increase profits by cutting costs, they increase profits by spending more and that is what is going to happen. It works the same way in government agencies that have a 'spend it or lose it' budget. And we know how well that works.
  • by Mork Location: Ork on Jul 9, 2012 at 05:03 AM
    You mean they are going to send me money if I got Insurance? Really? When do I get my 1st check? I'm voting for Obama! If they are going to start sending me money then they got my vote! Maybe everyone was wrong. If this Obamacare is going to send me a check then why wouldn't we want it! Are they going to start giving away cars and free vacations too! I love America! How often are they going to send these checks and how much will they be? I could use a new hunting knife and I'll buy my wife a new terrycloth short set from Walmart! This is really good news!
    • reply
      by Logic on Jul 9, 2012 at 12:05 PM in reply to Mork
      The amount of the checks will be according to how much you overpaid on your premiums vs the actual costs you used for medical expenditures. Everyone with insurance is getting the rebates, mostly applied towards future premium payments. So if you are getting a 500 dollar rebate, that will be 500 less you pay on your insurance premiums throughout the next year. Yes..it is awesome. But you can keep the money and STILL vote for Romney..this is Texas..Obama doesn't have a chance of winning here!
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jul 9, 2012 at 06:10 PM in reply to Logic
        Except that the 'rebate' will soon be spent on higher premiums to compensate for children to 26, no refusal, etc.....you thought that extra cool stuff was 'free', didn't you? It was a crass political ploy to make you think you were given something when what actually happened was your expenses just went up....but AFTER the election!
        • reply
          by Logic on Jul 10, 2012 at 09:04 AM in reply to
          Our company signs yearly contracts on our Insurance. Our rates are locked. AND our company increases THEIR part before raising ours. And the fact that you CAN keep your children on your plan until 26 is WORTH the increase...duh!!!!
        • reply
          by Illogical on Jul 10, 2012 at 11:56 AM in reply to
          " And the fact that you CAN keep your children on your plan until 26 is WORTH the increase...duh!!!!" Only to those who have children
        • reply
          by They are killing me on Jul 11, 2012 at 06:05 AM in reply to
          I'm self employed and you wouldn't believe what I pay for insurance for my family. I don't have anyone to 'pick up the slack'. With what I see in the future I'll be be paying more in tax, paying more in insurance premiums, and putting less money in my pocket. I didn't get that from FOX news I have eyes and ears and I don't like what I hear and see.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 8, 2012 at 05:29 AM
    Get focused. Any health care is secondary to money made. To many people live to be under a doctor's care. Legal drug trafficers. Doctors, pharma, and lawyers rule. It's all about money.
  • by Flatlander Location: Sherman on Jul 5, 2012 at 01:47 PM
    There is absolutely no CARE built into ObamaCare. Plus given the SCOTUS ruling on expanding Medicaid exchanges, there likely never will be. But, there certainly is one giant TAX BOMB built into The ObamaTAX & REGULATION Plan. This tax bomb is specifically targeted at the middle class in this nation. Folks making as little as $12,000 will be forced to pay these tax increases. And, when you examine the employer mandate structure, you will notice how the poor will pay a lions share relative to their ability to pay. Not only in new taxes, but very likely in lost jobs and wages. Because someone has to pay that employers mandate, and it sure isn't going to be the employers. Make no mistake, the Democratic Party is 100% responsible for these new taxes, regulations, loss of freedom, and loss of jobs associated.
    • reply
      by Logic on Jul 5, 2012 at 02:38 PM in reply to Flatlander
      Someone making 12,000 is well below the poverty line, easily qualified for Medicaid and cannot be taxed.
      • reply
        by Tax payer on Jul 9, 2012 at 09:48 AM in reply to Logic
        Well if they are making $12,000 then they should pay tax at the same rate as everyone. That's the problem, nobody should get out for free and I'm sure every good American will want to pay their share to help out. If we're going to go European then let's go all the way with an across the board flat tax that every American pays at the same rate regardless of how much you make. Then we all pitch in at the same percentage and everyone will feel good.
  • by Ashley on Jul 4, 2012 at 04:31 PM
    I am looking forward to my 250 dollar rebate check my insurance company will be sending me in August. Got the letter last week. Insurance Companies now have to spend 80% of YOUR premiums on actual health care costs...not CEO salaries and "overhead". This law is already in effect and everyone with insurance will be getting rebate checks this summer. Just another awesome part of Obamacare! To think, before Obamacare, they spent 40% of your premiums on actual medical costs and 60% on bureaucracy and CEO salaries. 80% now. BIG change right there!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 6, 2012 at 07:41 AM in reply to Ashley
      "To think, before Obamacare, they spent 40% of your premiums on actual medical costs and 60% on bureaucracy and CEO salaries. 80% now. BIG change right there1" To think you actually believe those numbers when the truth is just a google search away.
      • reply
        by Logic on Jul 6, 2012 at 08:32 AM in reply to
        Well? Post a link. You do know that people are getting rebate checks now from insurance companies (us too) as compensation for past misuse of their premiums right?
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jul 6, 2012 at 06:11 PM in reply to Logic
          "The health-care sector is absurdly profitable. According to this data at Yahoo Finance, the sector-wide profit margin is 21.5 percent. But the insurance industry is one of its least-profitable parts: Its profit margin is at 4.54 percent. Hospitals are also a bit strapped, with an average margin of 3.5 percent." http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/02/health-insurance_industry_stil.html 4.54 cents of every dollar is profit. Not 60 cents. One can argue semantics regarding what "bureaucracy" is, of course.
        • reply
          by Logic on Jul 9, 2012 at 12:01 PM in reply to Logic
          @ Anonymous Well, your article does shed some light into WHY Medical Device Makers will be getting that 2.4% Tax, which you tried to get us to believe would cause loss of jobs and companies moving overseas...which won't happen because they STILL have to pay the tax to sell their products back in the US. Regardless, insurance companies are sending the rebate checks now. If you have insurance, when you get yours you will see how much you overpaid on your premiums to services that did not directly benefit YOU, the policy holder. Remember when you guys tried to argue that our premiums were going up from Obamacare? Well with my rebate coming my premiums have gone DOWN...they are deducting my rebate from future premiums rather than sending a check. So who do I believe? Right-wing media pundits or my "lying eyes"?
        • reply
          by Joey on Jul 9, 2012 at 02:16 PM in reply to Logic
          "Profits" are an elusive concept, Anonymous. They represent what is left over after expenses, and those expenses include astronomical salaries and commissions paid to those in the health insurance sector who do nothing to provide actual medical care. With respect to hospitals, their "profits" are not only affected by the uninsured freeloaders who choose not to pay their bills, but also the relatively high salaries and bonuses they pay.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jul 9, 2012 at 06:12 PM in reply to Logic
          OH, so the high costs of medical care are because of that evil capitalist cabal of providers and executives! Let's make them work for free to provide the masses with their right to healthcare! What a bunch of useful idiots.
        • reply
          by Joey on Jul 10, 2012 at 04:12 PM in reply to Logic
          Well, SOMEONE is making all the $. I mean, it's not the patients. Doctors, nurses, insurance execs, medical device companies, whomever. The fact is, if medical costs are regarded as being so high (and I believe even you think that, but maybe not) someone is making a ton of money on it. So who is it then. The liberals? The poor? Wait, I was wrong. You beleive medical care is under priced (although you did mention "the high costs"), and everyone should be happy with the staus quo. Sorry, but you aren't even a useful idiot.
        • reply
          by JoieE on Jul 13, 2012 at 07:05 AM in reply to Logic
          Joey said "Wait, I was wrong" . Not the first time and won't be the last.
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