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Local Reactions: Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare

The Supreme Court announced its decision just after 9 a.m. Thursday.

Everyone from politians and healthcare providers to small business owners and average Joes were anxiously awaiting was Constitutional Thursday morning.

, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama last year. Dubbed Obamacare, the decision really rested on whether the "individual mandate" requiring all Americans to purchase health care was Constitutional.

Five of the nine justices agreed that the key to the mandate—the requirement that people either buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty—is a kind of tax, which Congress is allowed to impose using its taxing power, according to the Bloomberg News-operated SCOTUSblog.

Richfield Patch reader and long-time resident, Mike McLean, argued that the mandate was orginally not proposed as a tax:

"Now it seems that the Federal government can force us to buy any product them they want," McLean wrote on the Richfield Patch Facebook page. "I heard that the court deemed the individual mandate as a tax but Obama himself kept saying that it was not a tax and that was his selling point. Unless something in our country changes, we are headed right down the tubes like Europe......"

McLean continued his comments on a :

"This is just nothing but a further shredding of our Constitution......."

Jason Gabbert followed McLean's Facebook comment with: "Democrats will applaud the decision, Republicans will criticize it. That's the way the good old USA works. Citizens don't really have the ability to think for themselves anymore because the media is too busy telling them what to think. The reality is the government has very little impact on people's lives. ..."

(See Gabbert's full comment here.)

Change Is In The Air

Whether you agree with the decision or not, Dr. Tushar Vora, a cardiologist Fairview Southdale Hospital, told members that change was coming during a presentation at Wednesday afternoon.

"We're on the cusp of a very different kind of healthcare, but we're not there yet," Vora said. "It's a very complicated thing and I don't want to say I know everything about [Obamacare], but that's the way we are going."

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota also made this statement following the ruling:

“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota will continue the work we began more than two years ago of implementing the law in a manner that strives to serve the best interests of our members and all Minnesotans.

As the state’s leading health plan, Blue Cross and Blue Shield considers reform to be something that also happens outside of legislation. We believe the kind of systematic change needed to tackle rising health care costs and drive improvements in overall health can and is being advanced though innovative collaborations with providers, consumers, employers and other stakeholders – all of whom share our goal of creating better health solutions for the greatest number of people, and at the greatest value.”

Share your feelings on the ruling in the comments section below. If you would like to join the Minnesota Patch discussion, see our article.

Kevin O'Donovan June 29, 2012 at 07:18 AM
We need to elect Romney and a GOP Conservative majority in Congress to get this problem behind us. The good thing coming out of the Court's decision is that Obama will have to defend Obamacare. Romney because of Romneycare will be the least persuasive in arguing for a Free Market Health-care System. I hope he is successful. We need to end lawsuit abuse and offer our medical professionals, pharmaceutical industries,charities, religious institutions, schools, hospitals, and clinics reasonable protections that will lead to lower costs. We also need to have a free market for pharmaceuticals, not a price protected monster. I take two prescriptions, that in Canada, Mexico, or Europe without government intervention, are hundreds less. We need reforms in our system, and the cure is a free and open market with accessible information. Health-care consumers should know the true costs and shop wisely. Incentivize the consumer. This could lower insurance rates when paired with health care savings accounts. Quality control regulations that are similar to those imposed on food suppliers should be adequate. We have made the very simple to be overly complex. Even our state insurance regulations are onerous. I don't know why this is a partisan issue. It is a fact of life that anything the government becomes involves in becomes both more expensive, and complicated. We could do more with less.
Caitlin Burgess June 29, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Just spoke to Rep. Linda Slocum (D-Richfield). Here's what she had to say about the ruling: "I’m delighted. I think it is wonderful. I think Obama deserves a whole lot of credit for this really visionary healthcare reform. ... It pushes the insurance industry back and says, 'No you can not eliminate these people because they have a preexisting condition. ... It will be particularly good for older Americans, and younger Americans. It’s going to make a huge difference in people’s lives."
Donna Lawler June 30, 2012 at 02:35 PM
We have to pay Taxes, we have to pay for car license, we have to pay for our Drivers License,we have to pay for garbage pick up and also high priced gas. We the people who have insurance pay over 500.00 every month (above and beyond Medicare) just to make sure we have ENOUGH coverage. We're darn tired of paying for the rest of you who seek FREE care on my dime. Get it and weep---I care**%%*##$$%%
Kevin O'Donovan July 02, 2012 at 06:36 PM
If Obamacare is a tax, does that mean that tax exempt entities like The Catholic Church are themselves, exempt from Obamacare?
Kevin O'Donovan July 02, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Slocum is right. If Obamacare remains it will make a huge difference in everyone's lives. Slavery made a big difference too!!!

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