In a landmark decision, both legally and politically, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld President Barack Obama's sweeping healthcare law, including the central mandate that individuals must buy health insurance.
Pundits and politicians alike are already heralding the decision as a major political boon to Obama, whose supporters were concerned that an overturn of the law, or just the individual mandate, would harm the president's re-election bid this year.
"I do think the ruling of the Supreme Court was a good decision," Avon resident David Peña, a candidate for the 17th District of the House of Representatives, said. "It certainly gives the opportunity for the people who do not have health care some of the opportunities to find affordable health care, as well as many of the young people who are graduating from college. It gives them the opportunity to continue with their parents' insurance without having to worry so much about health care for themselves, especially in looking for jobs."
As a father of a 24-year-old, Avon Democratic Town Committee Chairman Daryl Worobow can relate, stating in an email that the plan helps his son's "health insurance needs."
"I am pleased and surprised that the court upheld the law in its entirety," Worobow said. "I believe Justice Roberts took the right position for the majority."
Others are not as pleased.
"The U.S. Supreme Court decision is a disappointing decision that will require the Congress to exercise its Constitutional rights to repeal and replace the Affordable Health Care Act," said Lisa Wilson-Foley, of Simsbury, who is running for U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy's soon vacant seat in the Fifth District, which represents Avon.
In a press release, the Avon and Farmington Valley businesswoman characterized the president's health care plan as financially burdensome for families and businesses.
"Health care is critical for every American, but the Supreme Court has, in effect, given Congress an unlimited ability to tax families and businesses to create a huge federally driven system. With a deficit of $16 trillion, it is hard to imagine how our economy can survive and create opportunity with this decision."
However, she did note some favorable sides of the plan.
"Some components of the law are positive - protecting patients with pre-existing conditions and allowing children to be carried on their parents plans," Wilson-Foley said. "Real reform will require leaders who understand health care from a clinical perspective and the impact it has on families and businesses."
Yet she advocated congressional leaders working together to improve the nation's health care to a point where most Americans are comfortable with it.
Obama's health care law, which also requires health insurers to provide coverage to children of policy holders up to 26 years old and bans insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, was challenged by several states who argued that some of its conditions, particularly the individual mandate, were unconstitutional.
Republicans also had vehemently opposed the health care law and their presumptive presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, has vowed to seek its repeal if he's elected.
Avon, Canton, Farmington and Simsbury Republican town committees are holding a "meet the candidates" event on July 28 and the public is invited to come discuss their views on health care with the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate candidates, according to Avon Republican Town Committee Chairman Brian Ladouceur. The even will run from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the .
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