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US Supreme Court decision allows Oregon to cover more of its citizens’ healthcare needs by 2014



Healthcare is changing. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on June 28 that the Obama administration’s overhaul of the healthcare system was constitutional — with two significant revisions.

First, the individual mandate, the most controversial part of the act and necessary to pay for it, was interpreted as a tax.

Secondly, states can refuse to participate in the expansion and have the option of continuing with their current healthcare, as is.

These are important alterations to the bill as passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama, but the decision allows the act to stand mostly intact and constitutional.

University junior Nikki Wyatt@@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&[email protected]@ thought the decision was “a step in the right direction.” She grew up in Massachusetts, the first state to mandate a universal healthcare system in 2006 under then governor Mitt Romney.@@we are using her as an ‘expert’ in this article? she is the only opinion on this matter, and it would be perhaps fair to say that this doesn’t accurately represent the effect of that law on that [email protected]@

“When I lived there, I used it, and now it’s taking care of my family big time because both my parents require treatment for various medical issues, and it’s entirely covered,” Wyatt said.

She appreciated the security of the healthcare coverage growing up in Medway, a town of 12,000 in eastern Massachusetts.

“Not all people believe this, but I believe health care should be a human right,” she said. “I think that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to be the healthiest they can be.@@and that system was the best? i think the statistics speak [email protected]@ Having a medical issue is hard enough, and no one should ever have to worry about paying for it as well.”

When she moved here in 2010 to go to school at the University of Oregon, that worry entered her mind.

“I don’t currently have health insurance, which is really frustrating for me,” she said. “I lost it when I moved away.”

Wyatt has joined the ranks of millions of young American adults who don’t have health insurance. Under the Affordable Care Act though, 3.1 million young adults up to the age of 26 may now receive coverage, according to the Obama administration.@@[email protected]@

Approximately 43,000 young adults in Oregon gained coverage under the law in December of 2011, according to healthcare.gov, which based its estimates on existing census data.

The extended coverage comes from a provision in the act that requires health plans to provide parents an option to keep their children on their policy up to age 26.

In Oregon, the court decision was received warmly by Governor John Kitzhaber. Bruce Goldberg, the director of the Oregon Health Authority, also supported the decision, saying in a press release that the decision “will make it possible for an estimated 180,000 to 200,000 more people to qualify for the Oregon Health Plan in 2014.” Currently, 600,000 Oregonians are uninsured.

Though the law has been ruled constitutional with changes, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has vowed to work with Congress to repeal the act if elected president this November.

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Daily Emerald

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