On June 28, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act in a 5-4 ruling. In the hours after, CNN’s audience was incredibly active in expressing their opinions on the decision.
Some CNN commenters and iReport contributors had personal stories to share:
As a cancer survivor… my life would have been over without health insurance. It's a necessary evil, but without it, hospitals would be closing their doors, and people would be dying. And don't blame Obama or any other political force because the insurance monster has been around for a long, long, time ruling patients, doctors and hospitals.
If you own a vehicle you are required to have it insured. If you don't you pay fines...I don't see the big deal, if they make it affordable I would jump at the chance to insure my family. I work for an attorney, and since it is a small firm, he does not offer insurance.
I have 62 employees currently, and since I will be mandated to provide healthcare, I have two options now: Cut deeply into the pockets of the company, myself and its employees, or cut my staffing down to 49 people so as to not hit that 50 person benchmark for mandatory coverage. So 13 people are gone, or 62 (plus myself) take cuts in vacation and or pay raises. I have not made the decision yet, but I won't let my company and all of its employees take such a big hit.
As a person with a pre-existing condition that was hereditary, I am glad. Maybe [now] I can purchase insurance. No insurance company will insure me. I have to use my state Medicare-type program. I don't mind paying at all. I still pay for my own prescriptions to the tune of $200 a month. I had no choice a few months back when I had gotten extremely ill and had to go to a regular local hospital. I stayed overnight and the cost was $6,000. Not an Obama fan either!
Many readers pointed out the potential benefits of the law’s implementation:
Most of you that have a problem with health care reform have no issues paying your Social Security and Medicare taxes on your paycheck. In fact, I'm sure the majority is counting down the days until they can take advantage of the Social Security and Medicare they have paid into. How is this health care as a tax any different?
People against this law have chosen to limit where they get their information about this law. Currently, when a person who has no insurance requires emergency care, tax payers pay for it, and the [federal] debt mounts. Now, all least the coffers will be replenished by all people, and all people get health care, preventative health care to boot. Thank you, President Obama, and everyone who worked hard to make this happen for all Americans.
I don’t like being forced to pay for wars I don’t want.
I don’t like being forced to pay for roads I don’t drive on.
I don’t like being forced to pay for schools when I don’t have kids....
But I accept the fact that I have to pay for all of these things that create a better community for all of us to live in.
I would be willing to pay more out of my paycheck to help fund others’ health expenses but not too much, obviously. Society works best when the least fortunate are uplifted instead of isolated and abandoned. Like most thinking Americans, I don't think this law is perfect... but at least it's something to build upon.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, some readers passionately denounced the court’s decision:
Why is it that even though I work and can barely afford the cost of living, I [must] be taxed further? I acknowledge that there are people who want to “help” those that are “less” fortunate. Good for you - why don't we take out more money from your paychecks? But what about the people like me who, despite actually working, will not be able to afford this increase in my taxes? Sorry if I'm not a humanitarian and feel like helping out people on welfare...even more.
As we near the day that represents freedom, the modern America has now dishonored the very foundation that Founding Fathers and those who risked their lives by signing the Declaration as well as those who have fought and died for freedom with this decision. Freedom is about "free choice" without government demands. If I work, drive a car, or own property, I must pay a tax or have insurance. I can choose to not work, drive a car or own property. If required to have healthcare or have to pay "a tax," what other choice do I have?
Our freedom to choose a medical plan (or even to not have a medical plan) is being taken away from us. At least – that is my personal feeling. I don't appreciate the government telling me what I have to do – it opens the door for precedence to take other of my freedoms away.
Some commented on the judges and how they came to the decision:
I think very, very few people commenting here have a better judgment than the nine best constitutional experts in the world. I trust these nine more than I trust any president. They discussed the law in every aspect and came to a conclusion by a democratic vote. Regardless of the outcome, another great day for the country.
So now using the "tax" loophole the government can make “we the people” buy anything they want us to buy. The next question: Since health care is ruled a tax, is it deductible?
The Supreme Court has in the past been accused by most democrats and particularly liberals as "right wing" conservative. However, with this decision today regarding the Affordable [Care Act], it has shown that perhaps at least Chief Justice Roberts has acted in a bipartisan way… and in doing so, he has given hope that future rulings will remain bipartisan. It's time for the country to reward elected members of Congress, both present and future, not for their party affiliation, but their desire to work for all Americans.
These readers zeroed in on the money:
I hope someone figures out if Obamacare is going to cost us or save us money in the long run. I've heard arguments for both sides, and so I still don't know what it is going to do economically. But bottom line, I don't trust the government. They can't even run Social Security, Medicaid or Medicare.
I still believe that this law is immoral in placing the cost of care on the backs of today's young. While the students cheered, they must have missed the fact that the removal of a risk-based policy means that their youth and health are now irrelevant to the cost of their insurance. Combined with an aging population and the retirement of the baby boomers — and the disparity of income between the young and the mature — the percentage their income requires for health care will skyrocket. To me, this is another attempt of the aged to take the cost of their comfort and health from their children.
Interesting that for two years proponents, including President Obama and the Solicitor General, argued vehemently that the mandate was not a tax on people (to sell the idea), but was allowable under the Commerce Clause. The Supreme Court concluded the opposite in upholding the mandate. One wonders what public support would be like if it proponents [had] called it a tax increase the entire time. Would it have passed?
Many weighed in on the ruling’s impact on the political arena:
Both parties play games and try to prevent the administration of the other party from accomplishing anything to help the country. They want to have the other party voted out in the next election. The greatest disservice either party has done to this nation is convincing most Americans that our ruinously expensive, unfair and inefficient healthcare system didn't need reform. The plan that was passed is very similar to the one the Republicans wanted when we had a Republican president. It does need improvement, and, in a more perfect world, both parties would work together for the good of our citizens. Too bad we don't live in a more perfect world.
As a true independent, I think everyone just needs to calm down until we see how this works out. Don't believe the over-hype on the left or the doomsday declarations of the right. If this law works out great, then a lot of politicians will have to eat crow. If it takes us down a path to disaster, then a lot of politicians will lose their jobs, and this will be repealed. It's not the end of the world.
What do you think about the Supreme Court’s decision about Obamacare? Do you have a personal experience that has shaped your thoughts on the controversial new healthcare plan? Sound off in the comments section below or via iReport.