Americans must have health insurance or pay a tax. After months of hearings, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
That means starting in 2014, citizens without health insurance will pay a penalty of $285 per family or 1% of their income, whichever is greater.
States will also have to set up their own health insurance exchanges and Medicare will be expanded to cover an extra 16 million low-income people.
“As a hospital, what it does for us is it gives us certainty,” said Brian Davis, VP of Marketing at Edward Hospital. “What we know is it’s going to be giving us more insured patients and that’s a good thing. We also know we’re going to be held more accountable. So it’s incumbent upon us to deliver more efficient, more effective care to meet the demands of healthcare reform.”
Local residents have mixed feelings about the ruling.
“There’s problems in the legislation that need to be worked out but to have passed it is a step in the right direction,” said Susan Nerlove, a Naperville resident.
“It means affordable healthcare for many Americans that didn’t have it, especially our young people who didn’t have it and can now stay on their parents’,” said Chris Wolak, an Aurora teacher.
“I think it’s great,” said Larry Bowlin, a Naperville resident. “It’s long overdue.”
Other parts of the law, including mandating insurers cover children of those they insure until age 26 and people with pre-existing conditions were also upheld.
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