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Residents react to decision

Thursday, June 28, 2012

St. Vincent Clay Hospital Administrator Jerry Laue [Click to enlarge]
On Thursday, many officials in Clay County offered their personal feelings on the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision to uphold almost all of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

The high court's decision will essentially allow an overhaul of the nation's health care system throughout the next several years. It will pave the way for millions of Americans to receive and pay for their own personal medical care.

Chief Justice John Roberts provided the additional vote needed for the decision to pass.

Roberts announced the decision, explaining the Supreme Court's stance regarding a mandate in the health law requiring nearly all Americans to have health insurance. He said since the IRS would collect the payment for insurance, it is essentially a tax.

On Thursday, Clay County Commissioner Paul Sinders told The Brazil Times he was "surprised" by the health care decision.

"I thought they would find part of it constitutional and part of it unconstitutional," Sinders said. "I didn't think they'd approve mandating insurance for anyone. I thought it could be a 5-4 vote, but I did not think Judge John Roberts would be the deciding person."

Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayer also voted with Roberts in the outcome, with Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas voting against it.

The four dissenting said they believed the law was "invalid." In a joint statement, the four added they believed the law "exceeds federal power both in mandating the purchase of health insurance and in denying non-consenting states all Medicaid funding."

Lynn Hostetler, owner of Lynn's Pharmacy, said he was also surprised by the court's decision.

"I'm against the government telling me I have to have insurance," Hostetler said. "I have insurance and I think it's a prudent thing to do.

"So many people will be affected (by this decision). I've seen retirees who have worked jobs with good insurance for decades and they're losing their insurance now because of this mandate, what it covers and the expense of it. We just lost a lot of freedom. If you let the government take care of all of your needs, you will be a slave."

However, St. Vincent Clay Hospital Administrator Jerry Laue said he was encouraged with the decision.

"Overall, I think it's a positive," Laue said. "I'm encouraged that good things will come out of this bill. It's not perfect.

"Our health care system is not sustainable. It's not sustainable because it costs so much. We have to find a way that it is not a burden on industry and the citizens of this country and that we can make it affordable. We really have to do that."

Laue said the health care industry must look at ways to be more efficient in the future.

"It's a great opportunity to create more access for people in the system," he said. "It is a great first step to try to look at how we can kind of reign in health care costs, focusing on quality, efficiencies and access.

"I think the first thing is (this) gives us a lot more clarity of where things are going as far as health care reform. It's hard to plan for the changes that were being discussed. Hospitals are going to keep on doing what they've been doing for years."

Indiana's 8th District Congressman Larry Bucshon -- a Republican -- issued a statement following the court's ruling Thursday, saying "I am disappointed but respectful of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold this near government takeover of our health care system that negatively impacts one sixth of our nation's economy.

"Further, the Supreme Court confirming the Obama administration's argument that the individual mandate is a tax violates the promise President Obama made to the American people. 'Obamacare' is a massive tax increase on the middle class both directly and indirectly through higher taxes on employers.

"'Obamacare' is bad for all Hoosiers and will continue to be a major impediment to job creation and getting people back to work. Along with a sluggish economy, these are the major issues affecting our country."

David Crooks, the Democrat running against Bucshon in the upcoming election, also issued a statement, saying, "Despite today's ruling that President Obama's health care law is constitutional, I am deeply concerned about the impact that this law will have on the future of Medicare. Washington has work to do to fix this law.

"This law places a tremendous amount of power in the hands of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel of appointed officials who will have the power to make changes to the Medicare program. Because voters will not be able to hold this board accountable, it poses a serious risk to the future of Medicare, and I believe that (the Independent Payment Advisory Board) should be eliminated."

Local businessman Ted Paris added he was a "little disappointed" in the court's decision Thursday.

"First of all, the health bill had some good stuff in it and some bad stuff in it," Paris said. "But I wasn't really surprised. I anticipated it. My thoughts were the Supreme Court would uphold it as some kind of a tax.

"I still think it's going to be up for discussion. This is a tough issue. It could affect small businesses."

Paris echoed Hostetler's sentiments about government.

"I like less government interference," Paris said. "I think we're getting way too many laws, way too many controls. I would prefer personal responsibility."

Brazil resident Mona Keyt agreed, saying she believed the government was overreaching.

"I think our government has too much control already," Keyt said. "I work for a living, and I can't afford healthcare. All these people on welfare -- I'm paying for their health care. If the government wants to have control, they ought to do something about all these people. They can go out and get a job."

Lynn's Pharmacy owner Lynn Hostetler [Click to enlarge]
Brazil Times' reporter Tiffany Fry contributed to this report.

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Republicans would have us believe this is bad for America. Is there any doubt that a Romney administration would favor the rich and increase the income gap in our country while leaving millions of our citizens uninsured and unprotected? Mitt is a pariah in Mormon Clothing and will stop at nothing to expand an empire of greed for the rich in this country. Can his sacred Mormon underwear gain him enough donations to buy this election? See for yourself as Mitt dons his tighty-whities sent from the Good Lord Himself at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/...

-- Posted by dregstudios on Thu, Jun 28, 2012, at 9:09 PM

Personal responsibility is great if everyone does the right thing every time. However, most people realize that rarely happens. Most people concentrate on how they are affected regardless of short changing someone else. The health care bill may have some problems...such as no public option for people, but it is a step in the right direction. Everyone must participate for the program to work. Besides, if some of these people that elect not to buy insurance get sick or hurt they still expect to be treated. That's not fair or right. It's time for everyone to man up and insure themselves so the cost is spread thru out the masses.

-- Posted by My opinion counts on Fri, Jun 29, 2012, at 10:49 AM

I have no problem paying this tax, good job SCOUS and Hoosier CJ Roberts. I salute you.

-- Posted by Combat VET on Fri, Jun 29, 2012, at 8:36 PM

After this vote maybe there is a little hope in our supreme court,republicans keep calling it Obama care but I see it as the decent thing for America to have and take care of its citizens.I will also look for a different insurance company after reading these comments, we all have that freedom and the freedom to have our own opinions.Congratulations to justice Roberts for his opinion I can only imagine the rathe he'll get from the republican party.

-- Posted by brzmm on Mon, Jul 2, 2012, at 11:31 AM

I agree. Sorry Lynn s That CPAP we bought there last year will be the last dollars you will ever get from Howa bout that for teabonic economics. I will miss your cherry sodas at the old fashion soda fountain :( shame on you a Dr that's against my Health Care! Oh no I'm sorry that's the congressman that's trying to take away my Medicare I served my country for.

-- Posted by Combat VET on Tue, Jul 3, 2012, at 11:12 AM

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