Health Advocates React to Supreme Court Health Care Ruling
The Supreme Court's health care ruling may be a victory for President Barack Obama, but health advocates say the real winners are the millions of uninsured.
Two professors from the University of Virginia's Department of Public Health Sciences say they're looking at the issue from who it helps, not which party gains or loses ground.
"I think everybody won a little bit and everybody lost a little bit," said Professor Carolyn Engelhard.
Health care supporters say the high court ruling is an obvious victory for President Obama, but more so for nearly 32 million uninsured Americans.
"We're all subsidizing those people everywhere," said Dr. Arthur Garson Jr. "Our health insurance premiums are higher to subsidize the people right now who don't have health insurance. Well that's not good for anybody either. So getting rid of the uninsured, insuring people is important."
Engelhard calls the ruling balanced giving a small victory to states as well.
She said, "So states won because if they decide they don't want to expand their Medicaid programs because they think it might be too expensive for them, then they don't have to.
But what surprised many in the health community is how the court ruled the measure constitutional. The justices found the mandate constitutional as a tax instead of under the Commerce Clause.
"Although it's a tax, that's a great bargain," said Margaret Riley, a UVA professor of law. "The price that one pays if one is not going to participate is minuscule compared to the cost of health insurance."
The word "tax" will most likely give ammunition to opponents during the campaign season, but Garson sees it as an opening for both sides to work together.
"What can we do together in a bipartisan way actually to now figure out what it is about, the act that does work, and ways that it doesn't work for the detractors now that its constitutional, nonetheless ways to improve it," he said.
Even though states are not required to expand Medicaid, people in the health community believe most will because the incentives are there. They also acknowledge the presidential race will play a key role in all of this.
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Natalie Wilson joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in April 2012.Full Story
Natalie Wilson joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in April 2012. She is a proud alum of Howard University and is currently pursuing her Master's in Communication at Johns Hopkins. Email/ Full Story