Local reactions to the Supreme Court's ruling

Friday, June 29, 2012

On Thursday the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to uphold most of the key provisions in President Barack Obama's health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act. The Southeast Missourian asked prominent local political party members and health care and insurance professionals for their thoughts on the ruling.

"We're obviously very disappointed in the ruling today. We believe this is going to mobilize the Republican voter base. We know the majority of Missourians, 78 percent of them, voted against the mandate two years ago. This is the largest tax increase on Americans in recent history."

-- Evan Trump, chairman of the Cape Girardeau Republican Committee

"I think it was the only legal decision they could make; any other decision would have been a political one. I'm thrilled because my husband just scheduled his colonoscopy and it'll save us about $2,000."

-- Bekki Cook, prominent Cape Girardeau Democrat and former Missouri Secretary of State

"We believe it is important that patients have access to care in the most affordable and appropriate environment. All should have coverage and access to health care services."

-- Steven C. Bjelich, president and CEO of Saint Francis

"SoutheastHEALTH will continue to move forward with our unwavering commitment to providing the best quality health care available at the most economical price close to home."

-- Wayne Smith, president and CEO of SoutheastHEALTH

"I'm not pleased, but I hope it will energize the Republican party to elect a Republican president and get larger majorities of Republicans in the House and a Republican Senate so the law can be repealed. Obamacare is the wrong way to go, but we certainly can't return to the status quo either. I've been disappointed that, with the exception of Ron Paul, Republicans haven't been more articulate in what they would do instead if Obamacare was repealed. We need to go to market-based factors back into health care."

-- Dr. Michael Wulfers, a family practitioner at Cape Physician Associates

"There are things I agree with and things that I don't agree with. I'm not in agreement with the individual mandate, but I support that people with pre-existing conditions are able to purchase insurance. In the past, that has shut a lot of people out. I don't know how this will affect the state of Missouri through the legislature, but I guess we'll find out. I'm concerned about the welfare of my constituents."

-- Rep. Steve Hodges, D-East Prairie

"I haven't delved into the thousands of pages of the law, but I know the purpose of Obamacare is to try and make insurance better for the general public. From an insurer's perspective, it's having a very negative effect on premiums. Insurance companies are having to raise premiums like crazy just to cover expenses. For every dollar brought in, we have to pay out at least 85 cents in claims, which can mean poorer customer service. Commissions have been cut, which results in less of a focus given to this portion of my business since I need to maximize my time."

-- Nick Hogan, State Farm insurance agent

-- Compiled by Robert Overmann

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: