Thursday, June 28, 2012

Affordable Healthcare Act Upheld

I, like many Americans, am breathing a sigh of relief this morning with the news that the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the Affordable Healthcare Act and the individual mandate provision therein.

The ruling in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius was handed down at 10 a.m. (EST) and will dominate the news cycle for weeks to come. You can read the entire 193-page opinion in pdf format here.

There is so much to be said about the final split, the courage of Chief Justice John Roberts and the individual arguments made, but for me and millions of Americans, this is personal.

For the past two years, my only hope of acquiring health insurance has hinged on the constitutionality of President Obama's Affordable Healthcare Act. My entire adult life I have been either underinsured or  uninsured. When I wrote my support for a public option, I was underinsured. Today I am uninsured and I have held my breath since the AHA was passed. Now I can look forward to 2014 with the absolute certainty that a constitutional law will allow myself and millions of Americans to access healthcare despite our pre-existing conditions.

Is this good for President Obama and his campaign? Yes. Does that matter to me this morning? The politics aren't nearly as important to me as the personal consequences of the Court's decision. I care much more about policy than politics today.

Those of us in the frightening boat without health insurance and one diagnosis away from complete financial collapse dared to hope. We remain in that boat, awaiting 2014. But today, thanks to John Roberts, there is hope and help on the way.

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