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Poll: What's Your Reaction to Supreme Court's Historic Health Care Ruling?

What do you think about the decision—will it impact you and how? Did you favor or oppose the Affordable Care Act approved by Congress?

The individual health insurance mandate is constitutional, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a 5-4 decision, upholding the central provision of President Barack Obama's signature Affordable Care Act.

The controlling opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, upheld the mandate as a tax. It found that the U.S. government may use its tax powers to push Americans to buy medical insurance, although it limits the Medicaid provision, the New York Times reports. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined Roberts in the majority.

Roberts wrote that the mandate provision "need not be read to do more than impose a tax. That is sufficient to sustain it."

As legal experts and pundits parse the ruling, and almost instant Republican threat of repeal (viewed unlikely given the Democratic senate majority and Obama veto power) here is a handy tool from Washington Post that allows you to check and see how this ruling affects you.

California will be impacted more than any other state simply because it's the most populous, but also because it has the highest number of uninsured residents, according to the California Endowment. The private, nonpartisan statewide health foundation was established to improve public health and increase health care access for Californians. The Endowment has invested in "a multimillion-dollar statewide education effort" to help people get enrolled.

Not only are Calfornians "less likely to be insured, receive employer-based coverage, or be able to afford coverage," an Endowment ACA background paper stated, "Californians are also at greater risk of being denied for pre-existing conditions than the rest of the nation."

For the Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of what's been dubbed Obamacare, the formally titled Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, these are the key points that were under consideration:

The Individual Mandate

Should Americans be required to buy health insurance? Viewed by many to be the linchpin of the entire act, it requires most Americans to enroll in a health insurance plan or be financially penalized. Polls say that most Americans oppose this part. Its opponents have argued that Americans should haven't to buy something they don't want and might not need. The Obama administration says that all Americans will likely need medical care at over the course of their lives and that the uninsured who are now getting free health care increase costs for the rest who pay.

Shared Cost of Medicaid

Should states have to carry a greater share of the cost of Medicaid or face losing federal money? Some states argued that the federal government is overreaching by imposing these kind of conditions being placed on federal funding. The federal government has said that it is within its rights to oversee how this money is spent.

The Timing of the Challenge

Is is too early for the Affordable Care Act to be in front of the court, given that the individual mandate isn't even set to go into effect for another year and a half? Under the Anti-Injunction Act, citizens are barred from challenging the legality of a tax until they've actually paid it. But there's been disagreement on whether that rule applies and whether a penalty under the act is actually a tax.

Health Reform, Minus the Mandate

If the court struck down the individuate mandate, can the rest of the law be constitutional? Both sides have said that the mandate is essential for the act to operate. But some saw room for separate rulings on guaranteed converage for all those who apply for insurance—even those with pre-existing conditions—and whether insurance plans would have to offer coverage at similar prices to all of their customers, regardless of risk factors.

More on Thursday's decision:

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Share in our conversation about this historic decision. What are your thoughts?

The Gorilla July 03, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Part One Gayle M you seem to be a real life part of your community as I am. We both have friends and family in our local areas. We both participate locally in social and clubs and socialize in our respective towns in real life. Gayle I even have a close friend in Belmont Shores that knows my kids intimately and I have visited your area . Then you have the Jeff Kleiners of the world that live outside both our counties and do not socialize at all in both areas. Yet they interject themselves into area politics as if they are a part of it. Is that strange? Jeff likes to use divorce accusations made 4 years ago and twist accusations into fact. The court took normal temporary precautions that are done in all cases where serious accusations were made . However in my case I fought back and gathered evidence. I have never been arrested or been in cuffs. Kleiner likes to lie about that based on his interpretation of records. I had my kids interviewed by the court and in mediation my ex threw up the white flag because of all the perjury with the end result being my win. My kids were found not to need therapy. As a matter of fact my kids are the judge of me. If anyone asked them how they viewed me they would say I was a great Dad. I told Kleiner if he had guts he would accuse me in public the same way he does here. I told him my daughter who is in high school has read his statements on here and has words for him. Kleiner twists this into a threat. How pathetic.
Gayle M. Montgomery July 03, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Gorilla, stick to ACA. I am through debating the merits of the two involved in the giant urine fest. You want to discuss ACA, I'm around. You want to talk badly about someone else on this venue to make yourself look good or justify your actions, I'm not down for that. There are just too many other things in need. Since my last post, I put up 23 sets of job leads to my 3.77K Museum Jobs Board, put up a volume of grant requests and leads to the Museum funders and administrators, and participated in discussions about politics within my own town. I'm not going to be party to these cow pie throws. If either of the participants wants to discuss health care in America and can do so intelligently, without name calling, whether I agree or disagree with their position, I'm interested. Other than that, don't call me, I'll call you, Gorilla.
The Gorilla July 03, 2012 at 10:38 PM
ACA is such a mess that the details of it don't matter. It needs total repeal. So vote Republican in November and take over the Presidency and Senate and repeal it with simple majorities. We don't need massive tax increases in a fragile economy and between ACA and Bush tax cuts expiring there is little doubt that keeping the Obama debt and tax machine in power is a huge mistake for America.
Gayle M. Montgomery July 03, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Gorilla, you cannot itemize specific items of ACA with which you take exception. You are broadbrushing it and throwing in other items not having to do with same. I shan't vote Republican. I do not share those values, though I have considered them in the past, and, if your arguments are what constitute Republicanism, I want none of them. I've never seen such hate mongering, fear tactics, some based on absolute racism, as I have over the last few years. It is divisive, disruptive, counter productive, and disgraceful.
Diana Swartz July 03, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Thank you for your contributions to this conversation. Comments are now closed. Patch will continue covering the Affordable Care Act's implementation and health care reform as an issue in the upcoming presidential election. If you'd like to continue sharing your opinions, please contact your local Patch editor about starting a blog.

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