Public, private groups praise, criticize SCOTUS ruling - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Public, private groups praise, criticize SCOTUS ruling

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Groups both public and private weighed in on the Supreme Court reaction on Thursday. 

Some, such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses, were critical.  Tom Underwood, the organization's Kentucky director, said, "While we're certainly disappointed, NFIB respects the decision to uphold the individual mandate by the Supreme Court. Clearly, this mandate has now become a tax on all Americans and a broken campaign promise from President Obama not to raise taxes."

Underwood went on to say that under the health care law, "Small-business owners are going to face an onslaught of taxes and mandates, resulting in job loss and closed businesses."  And he said his organization would fight for repealing the law.

The Kentucky Right to Life Association also opposed the decision, saying, "If President Obama wins re-election, it will mean massive abortion subsidies, and it will put the lives of millions at risk through systematic government-imposed rationing of life-saving medical care."

The Kentucky association, along with the national Right to Life organization, called for its supporters to elect a Congress and a president that would appeal the health care law.

Other groups, however, praised the decision.  Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, said, "The historic decision handed down today will benefit America's heart health for decades to come," saying that, "the nation's highest court has sent a clear message that patients should be the first priority in an ever-changing healthcare arena."

She said under the health care law, the AHA is providing more people with preventive care and medicines, including care patients need to recover after a heart attack or stroke.

More praise came from Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt:  "This is the first step in the right direction where we realize in this country access to healthcare is a right and not a privilege.  The Affordable Care Act is not just about insurance, it's about investing in prevention and a lot of prevention work will be administered through local public health departments."

There was even a group that criticized Thursday's ruling, but from the opposite direction politically than most Republicans.  Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare called the health care law, "a flawed attempt to solve the nation's health care problem. 

Its criticism of the law was that it includes private, for-profit health insurance companies as part of the system.  "Not only does this industry not provide an answer to many of the medical problems," the group said, "it is a major problem itself.  The insurance industry is responsible for extracting up to 31 cents of the American health dollar without providing any direct medical benefits."

The group called for a single payer system that would be what it called an "expanded and improved version of Medicare, but it would cover every age, every person."

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