The Supreme Court's recent Affordable Care Act ruling has ignited a host of differing opinions. The Act, rife with controversy from those of all political persuasions – both before and after the vote – was upheld by the nation's highest judicial officials.
"Presidents, for the last 70 years, have been trying to reform healthcare. We think that what has taken place via the Supreme Court has given us some clarity," said Policy Director Ryan Barker, of the Missouri Foundation for Health.
The Foundation is pleased with the vote and outcome.
"Twenty years from now, I think we'll come close to having health coverage for everybody," he said.
Barker's organization has taken part in town-hall-style meetings and has attempted to inform the Missouri public concerning their viewpoints.
"There are misconceptions about the Affordable Care Act. One is that benefits will be cut for seniors on medicare. This is untrue. Also untrue is that employers will be forced to offer insurance to their employees across the board," he said.
Brad Lager, candidate for Missouri Lieutenant Governor, along with many opposed to the Act's upholding, believes that a tax increase, in effect, has been passed without the consent of voters.
"I'm disappointed in the Supreme Court's ruling today that upheld the single largest tax increase in the world. I believe that we should work more for our families than we do for government. I believe that the best government is one that governs least, not one who seeks to tax our behaviors," said Lager on the day of the Supreme Court vote.
"We now know that our public leaders failed us once again due to the fact they simply did not read the legislation. Our President said this was not a tax increase and today we now know the truth. While there have been many politically motivated lawsuits, the only way to defeat this policy is to elect competent conservative leaders that will fight for our values," said Lager.
Senator Kurt Shaefer, of the 19th District, is concerned both about what is known about the ACA and what is unknown – future costs involving medicaid and like programs.
"One of my biggest concerns is what this will cost taxpayers in Missouri. Right now, the federal government, in this situation, pays 60 percent, whereas the state pays 40. A large percentage of the population is eligible, but has never signed up. When those that are eligible do sign up, no one knows what the cost will be. We're talking about possibly an additional $100-150 million – and that's before we even get to the expansion discussion," said Senator Shaefer.
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt released the following statement, post-vote.
"In 2010, Missourians overwhelmingly rejected the individual mandate and sent a clear signal to Washington that Americans oppose Obamacare. Elections matter, and this decision underscores the fact that we need new leadership in the White House and the Senate. This decision does not change the fact that ObamaCare will lead to higher health care premiums, increased federal spending, and greater uncertainty for small business owners nationwide," the Senator said.