Hoosiers react strongly to health care ruling 

COURTESY OF OZINOH VIA FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS
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By Kendra Rhonemus

To Michael Brown of Fishers, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Thursday to uphold a federal health insurance mandate "was wrong for America."

"One can't help but wonder where have our individual liberties went?" Brown said.

But to Stephen McCaffrey, president of Mental Health America of Indiana, the decision was the right one.

"It will make sure that people with mental health and addiction disorders will receive health care and that's something that they've never been sure of at any point of their lives," said McCaffrey. "It's a great day for people with mental health and addiction concerns."

Across Indiana - and the country - people were talking about the court's controversial health care decision, which upheld the insurance mandate but struck down a provision that essentially required states to expand Medicaid programs.

Many Hoosier appeared to be frustrated by the court's decision. That's not a surprise. The nonpartisan Pew Research Center found in a poll this month that the public probably wouldn't be happy with the court's decision on the health care law, no matter what it ruled.

Sandy McAndrews of Johnson County became emotional when she learned about the court's decision.

"I think it's terrible," she said. "Go to an immediate care center and find out what insurance does for you, nothing. Nothing."

Dave Scott of Chicago, who was visiting downtown Indianapolis on Thursday, said he disagreed with the court's decision and said it essentially endorses a national health care system.

"I think it was a bad idea," he said. "I'm disappointed Congress passed it."

Pic Russell of Greenwood also said the ruling was a mistake.

"I think the private sector can take care" of health care, he said. "And I don't think the government should be mandating health insurance to the people of the United States."

But Sharon Miles of Indianapolis said she is relieved that some parts of the law will remain in place.

"I'm just glad to see that people will still be covered on their parents' policy until they're 26 because it's hard for a lot of young people to stay on insurance when they get out of college," Miles said.

Still, Brown - the opponent of the ruling from Fishers - said he's frustrated when he considers the health care ruling with one the court made earlier this week that struck down parts of an Arizona immigration law.

"America, to me in my eyes, is kind of going downhill," said Michael Brown of Fishers, Indiana. "And so the ultimate issue is where do we stand?"

Kendra Rhonemus is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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