This showdown has been in the cards since March 21, 2010, when the Affordable Care Act passed Congress by seven votes. Now, it has been decided by the Supreme Court’s nine votes.
In a 5-4 ruling that astonished the entire political spectrum, the justices upheld the heart of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which aims to cover more than 30-million uninsured Americans by requiring them to have health insurance or pay a penalty.
The court’s ruling will ripple down to every single American –- this means you. The implications are tremendous in California, where an estimated 7 million people -– about 20 percent of the population – are not covered.
Let us know what the ruling would mean for you, and how it would affect your every day healthcare. Here are some of your stories, concerns and information on how the act will change things.
Students and young adult health care
The Affordable Care Act will allow young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 to remain on their parent's insurance.
"VERY happy about this. My mom is a cancer survivor and this means she'll have insurance. I have teenagers who will now have insurance while in college. They can require us to have car insurance, why not health insurance? Society is already paying for the uninsured. Health insurance is a right, not a privilege, and now our laws reflect this." -- Shanin Ziemer
"My son is one of the lucky ones to leave college and find a job. He's gaining large amounts of experience, but the company is tiny and does not offer health care. In the six months between the time he turned 21 and the time the health care law kicked in, he had a health scare he could do nothing about, because he couldn't afford his rent and a doctor visit. As soon as he was on my insurance, it was handled and he is fine. It was so relieving to be able to help, at last. -- Frances Nicholson
"I am so happy, couldnt sleep last night waiting for this desicion. I have two daughters that have autism and trying to buy insurance for them is impossible. Now we have a shot." -- Marilyn Interian
The long term unemployed
If you meet a particular poverty level, you may be eligible for Medi-Cal coverage on Jan. 1, 2014.
"Having been unemployed for almost 2 years from May 2009 to Jan 2011 and being denied Healthcare for a pre-existing condition....I AM ELATED!! Healthcare is a right!" -- Alessandro F. Russo
Listener Perry Frix:
Those with pre-existing conditions
If you have a pre-existing condition, you may be eligible for California’s Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan, which will cover you until the act starts in 2014.
"Once I was in between jobs. I have paid taxes all my life and have a masters degree. When I found out I was pregnant I went to a local free clinic and attempted to get medical care. I was rejected because I "made too much money". I ended up having a miscarriage in my own home because I didn't have health insurance. At the time too I was rejected from a private health insurance because I had a "history of anemia". Crazy!" -- Osmara Reyes-Osorio
"I've personally experienced this recently, when I was laid off from my job and after COBRA expired, private insurance refused to provide coverage for my partner under the personal plan due to pre-existing conditions. The whole point of the affordable care act and that of individual mandate is to pool the subscribers, everyone contributes to the pool whether coverage is needed or not so that coverage can be provided to those who need it." -- Lucas from Irvine
"Both my parents died of Cancer. Both were uninsured, and didnt have access to the resources and treatment they needed. After spending their entire lives dedicated to international community development, we lost our home of nearly 30 years to pay my moms medical bills...it boggles my mind that Republicans have justified trillions spent on ending lives in wars in other countries, but are so utterly resistant to preserving the lives of our own citizens....Thank you Mr Obama, and thank you SCOTUS for giving some love and hope to every child with a terminally ill, uninsured parent." -- Gabrielle Cesar-McBride
Against health care reform
What’s the pricetag of this ruling for you? What will you get for your money? Would you rather pay the fine than get insurance? And how much will this save taxpayers who now foot the bill for the health care that the uninsured do get? Call and find out.
Kavita Patel, board-certified internal medicine physician, former director of policy for the White House Office of Public Engagement & Intergovernmental Affairs, where she played a key role in designing the health care reform legislation and adjunct assistant clinical professor at UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine
@Patt_Morrison The formula for affordability more americans in risk pool of coverage, better oversight of insurance industry, more transparency— Kavita Patel M.D. (@kavitapmd) June 28, 2012
Robert Laszewski, president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, a consulting firm for insurance companies, HMOs and physicians groups, specializing in health policy and market change