Today, Congressman Tim Walz released the following statement after the Supreme Court announced its decision regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
"At the core of our American democracy our Founding Fathers constructed a system of checks and balances that has worked to preserve our nation for over 225 years. After serving 24 years in the Army National Guard, I know this decision demands my respect.
"This decision ensures that nearly 50 million Americans, who before the Affordable Care Act couldn't afford to see a doctor, will continue to get the care they need. It ensures that children won't be denied health care just because they were born with an illness. It ensures that senior citizens will never be forced to choose between buying groceries or filling their prescriptions. It ensures that our future leaders won't be greeted on graduation day with a notice that they've lost their coverage. And it ensures that we will have a cost effective, sustainable health care system for generations to come.
"Health care reform is a journey, not a destination. And as we move forward, I will continue to work closely with health care experts, small businesses, and southern Minnesotans to ensure all Americans have access to the high-quality, low-cost care they deserve."
Others in the community also voiced their satisfaction with the Supreme Court's decision.
Dr. Patricia Barrier expressed relief in knowing that her patients will continue to receive the coverage they need.
"As a phsyican, I am relieved that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. It is relief to know that those that have been uninsured will be able to have coverage and get the care they need. And I am pleased to know that my patients will be able to keep their coverage and those with chronic conditions will be assured of health insurance even though they have ongoing health issues," said Dr. Barrier.
Hans Idso lives in Mankato and is 23 years old. Hans suffers from Crohns Disease and must maintain a substantial daily drug regimen to live a normal life. Even with the extensive drug regimen, he still suffers from occasional flare-ups that require hospitalization.
Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, he was dropped from his parents plan after his college career ended. Because of his pre-existing condition, Hans struggled to find health insurance and was forced to pay out-of-pocket for his medication, incurring significant amounts of debt that he is still working to pay-off.
The Affordable Care Act will work to ensure Hans will never be denied health care again.
"It was such a struggle to get the care I needed before the health reform act was signed. This decision gives me certainty in knowing that I'll never again be denied coverage because of my pre-existing condition," said Idso.
Peter Flick lives in Winona, has Multiple Sclerosis and is on a number of medications. He and his wife live on a fixed income and rely on Medicare to help cover the high cost of the prescriptions he needs. He's relieved in knowing that the Affordable Care Act is working to make prescription drugs affordable for senior citizens. In the first five months of 2012, nearly 10,000 seniors in Minnesota alone received a 50 percent discount on their prescriptions after they hit the so-called "donut hole" and Medicare no longer covered their prescriptions--an average savings of $644 per person. And ACA will work to close the donut hole by 2020.
"I've come pretty close to losing my prescription coverage before. My wife and I live on a fixed income, and with the rising costs of my medication, it would have been nearly unsustainable for us to have to pay out-of-pocket for my prescriptions. I'm relieved that the Affordable Care Act was upheld because I know that it is working to make my prescriptions affordable for me," said Flick.