Perry, Neugebauer condemn health care ruling as local providers - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Perry, Neugebauer condemn health care ruling as local providers prepare


In a 5 to 4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to uphold the most controversial part of President Obama's Affordable Health Care Act, the individual mandate, requiring Americans to have health insurance.

The court rejected arguments that Congress went too far when they required Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty.

Rep. Randy Neugebauer was one of many Congressional members who were shocked after Chief Justice John Robert approved the act on Thursday.

"I am extremely disappointed with the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the individual mandate under Obamacare," Neugebauer said. "This is a dramatic shift toward more taxation, more government regulations, and fewer liberties for West Texans."

Governor Rick Perry expressed a similar feeling.

"This ruling will be a stomach punch to the American economy," Perry said. "Obamacare is bad for the economy, bad for health care, bad for freedom. Americans have made clear their overwhelming opposition to its convoluted, burdensome and overreaching mandates."

Although President Obama had promised this mandate would not be a tax, the Supreme Court made it clear that if no insurance was purchased, that individual would indeed be taxed.

According to the White House, this is a step in the right direction when it comes to fixing the country's broken health care system. Public statements from the White House say the Act will stop unreasonable rate increases:

"In every State and for the first time ever, insurance companies are required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more."

Some insurance companies say the ruling will increase rates. According to Cornell University, insurance rates spiked in New York and New Jersey when insurance companies were not allowed to turn down patients with preexisting conditions.

Will the same thing happen in Lubbock?

University Medical Center implemented a program centered on Thursday's ruling called the Medical Home Program. It assigns those who cannot afford insurance to a doctor in the community with space in their practice. Visits are just $10. UMC Spokesman Eric Finley says this program was established to help prepare for the individual mandate.

"Today's ruling means that Obamacare is constitutional, but it does not mean that it is good policy for our country," Neugebauer said.

Although Congress will vote to repeal the Act on July 11th, they will not have enough votes to override a presidential veto if President Obama is reelected.

The November election will be the ultimate deciding factor on whether or not the Affordable Health Care Act will stay.

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