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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