Rochester, N.Y. – The Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling on Thursday on the federal health care law. The ramifications could affect millions of Americans.
The popular provisions, which have already gone into effect, include insurance coverage for preexisting conditions and coverage for adult children under the age of 26. The controversial component – the one most in danger of surviving – is the individual mandate requiring everyone to have insurance.
John Vito, owner of an East End eatery, had no health insurance when he found out he has kidney disease. The health care law created an affordable option for people with preexisting conditions.
“I was able to get somewhat of a reasonable insurance policy to make sure I can get the proper treatment and make sure I can get on the transplant list,” Vito said. “I’m not sure if there’s going to be any impact on the current policy that I have based on the Supreme Court decision.”
Krystina Melville, 21, just graduated from SUNY Brockport and is on her parents’ insurance policy while she looks for a job.
“I’d like to be able to go to the doctor if something is wrong without having to worry,” she said.
Experts say health care providers will be hard-pressed to roll back benefits that have already gone into effect. Many hospitals and insurance companies have already said they are committed to many of the law’s goals, including trimming costs and improving quality.
The question is how to pay for reforms if the court strikes down the individual mandate.
“I think the pressure would be to maintain those changes and figure out how we would fund them in the absence of a mandate,” said Dr. Tom Mahoney of Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency.