Obamacare Upheld, NJ Hospitals, Businesses React [POLL/VIDEO]
The New Jersey health care industry is reacting to Thursday's U.S. Supreme court decision on the landmark Affordable Care Act.
"The Supreme Court ruling will allow the much-needed reform of our healthcare system to continue, and that's great news for uninsured Americans and healthcare consumers across the country" said Betsy Ryan, president of the New Jersey Hospital Association.
The Medical Society of New Jersey said they continue to have concerns about whether New Jersey has the physician capacity to treat all patients who will become eligible for Medicaid with expanded eligibility requirements.
The New Jersey Hospital Association, agrees. "When you insure a lot of people overnight, there are increased wait times, so we are trying to plan ahead to make sure we have nurses, physicians, etc, to provide access to the people who will get the insurance" added Ryan.
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital said in a statement, "We are pleased that nearly one million New Jersey residents will enjoy the promise of health insurance."
But the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons said, "Obamacare is an unworkable law that will bankrupt the nation."
Small Business Community Reacts
With Obamacare upheld, New Jersey's small business community is divided.
"This day will go down in history as the day when Americans lost a part of their freedom - the freedom to choose what to buy with their own money." said Karen Harned, Executive Director of National Federation of Independent Small Business' Legal Center.
NFIB State Director Laurie Ehlbeck said the ruling guarantees that New Jersey residents will have their most personal health care decisions made by politicians and bureaucrats in Washington and in other states whom they've never met and whom they'll have a hard time influencing in the future.
"The decision removes a great deal of the uncertainty surrounding the federal healthcare law," said New Jersey Business and Industry Association President Phil Kirschner said. "Businesses now know that they must comply with the new federal law, and they will. But the issue of very high health insurance costs remains, and until it is addressed in a meaningful way, it will continue to be a drag on our economy."
"Employers are the ones who have to pay for the rising costs of health care and this will continue to inhibit job growth. Much still needs to be done to control the costs that employers and employees pay, especially small business owners. The Affordable Care Act does not do that" said Tom Bracken, president of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.
But many small businesses in the state, have a different view.
"This is a good day for small businesses in New Jersey and across America," said Kelly Conklin, owner of Foley-Waite Associates in Bloomfield. "We've been working hard to make health care reform work for small businesses. Today, we should take a minute to celebrate - and then get back to the work of implementing the law."
"Small business owners knew we couldn't afford to go back to the nightmare scenario that health care was for us before reform," said Henry Passapera of P & R Trading in East Rutherford. "The Supreme Court's decision means we won't have to. Instead, we can keep looking forward."
"Provisions of the Affordable Care Act - from rate review to the value for premiums rule to the guarantee that there's somewhere to go for coverage even if you have a pre-existing condition - are already making a difference for small businesses, and there's more to look forward to," said Odette Cohen, M.D., of Son Light Pediatrics in Willingboro. "Now that the court case is behind us, it's time to put politics aside and get down to implementing the law to maximize the benefits for small businesses."
"All New Jerseyans scored a major victory today. For the first time, everyone now has a right to high quality, affordable comprehensive health coverage and will no longer have to worry about going bankrupt to pay for medical bills," said Raymond Castro, senior policy analyst for New Jersey Policy Perspective.