Local officials react to health care ruling

June 29, 2012 4:12:43 AM PDT
North Carolinians and healthcare providers are weighing in the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling to uphold President's Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

One local physician told ABC11 that the law is good.

"The Affordable Care Act is probably the best thing that could have happened to us," said Dr. Sharon Elliot-Bynum, of CAARE Inc.

Elliot-Bynum applauded the Supreme Court's dramatic five to four decision Thursday to keep an individual mandate requiring most Americans o have health insurance.

"People are really like calling me [and saying] 'What is this going to do to your free clinic," said Elliot-Bynum, who opened CAARE Inc. in 2007 to serve the uninsured.

Since then, Elliot-Bynum said the number of people she serves has tripled. She said the reform act will meet a lot of those needs, but a small percentage still won't benefit. That is where she comes in.

"Medicaid will not cover the undocumented," said Elliot-Bynum. "For people in Indian tribes, Medicaid will not provide services for them."

Meanwhile, a new wave of criticism over the law has surfaced. State House Speaker Thom Tillis blasted the health care plan.

Thursday, he issued a statement that said, "It means a future of higher costs, fewer choices and less control over our healthcare decisions, and is a huge setback for small businesses and job creators hesitant to hire new workers."

However, Elliot-Bynum thinks the law is a huge win for health care in North Carolina.

"We need to look at how we can become a healthier community and I think this is probably the first step," said Elliot-Bynum.

Local politicians issued the following statements Thursday following the Supreme Court's decision to uphold President Obama's health care overhaul:

Governor Bev Perdue

"This morning's Supreme Court ruling will be welcome news for the approximately 95,000 young people ages 19 to 25 who will be able to stay on their family's health insurance plan because of this law.

It's welcome news for the approximately 539,000 North Carolina children with preexisting medical conditions, because this law prevents insurance companies from denying these children coverage.

And it's welcome news for women in North Carolina, who will get preventative health services, like cervical cancer screenings, mammograms, well-woman visits and domestic violence screenings; for seniors, who will benefit from a stronger Medicare and from more affordable prescription drugs; and for families, who will no longer have to worry constantly about having their coverage canceled or about being harmed by lifetime caps on patient care.

I am committed to continuing to move forward, and to keep fighting to ensure that all North Carolinians have affordable, reliable health coverage that they can count on."


Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Pat McCrory

"Today's decision by the Supreme Court is disappointing and upholds a law that I believe is the wrong approach for the people of North Carolina. This decision reaffirms what we already knew: the national healthcare law supported by Governor Perdue and Lt. Governor Dalton is a tax on North Carolinians. It greatly concerns me that I hear from small business owners in North Carolina that they will not hire more workers because of the costs of this healthcare plan. Our state has one of the worst economies in the country and the last thing our small businesses need is another major impediment to growing their businesses. I hope Congress and our next President can successfully overturn the law and replace it with healthcare reform that is less partisan, divisive, and doesn't put the federal government between doctors and patients."

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