The Supreme Court ruled Thursday it is okay to require adults to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. Chief Justice John Roberts said that penalty is a tax and within the authority of Congress. Unless reform is reversed by the legislative and executive branches, it will move forward.
The bill, originally passed in 2010, does have some provisions already in place. For instance, children are already protected under the new health care bill and can stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26. They cannot be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, but their parents can be denied right now until 2014, when a new provision would protect them. Both are currently covered from out of pocket expenses for preventative care, like an annual physical.
“Health care is not going to go away, we presently have 40 to 50 million people in this country that are uninsured, that is not a good situation." Nebraska Medical Center President and CEO Glenn Fosdick says through all the layers of President Obama's health care plan there are positive areas. He says having a clear cut decision from the Supreme Court helps the health care system move forward.
"The law has been identified, we know what's going to take place in the next two years and I think that's encouraging, otherwise we'd be in limbo and it's a very complicated, very expensive limbo to be in."
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman opposes reform. Disappointed with Thursday’s ruling, the governor says it could result in cuts to state aid for education and could increase taxes for Nebraskans. "Reviewing this decision in a detailed, thoughtful and responsible manner will likely take weeks and months before a complete determination can be made on what this ruling means for Nebraska."
"It is very political and I guess the concern that we have is that politics confuse it even more because things that are said by both parties are not totally accurate and confuse the public, who doesn't understand this very complicated business called health care already,” says Fosdick.
He hopes both sides can work together to reach an agreement on what really matters, Americans' health. "It can be refined, it can made better than it's planned right now, but both sides need to put aside the politics and stop using it as a weapon and recognize its obligation to the people to get it fixed."
Gov. Heineman made clear he will not call a special session of the Nebraska Legislature to address the health care issue.