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Who the Health Ruling Impacts Most

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the key provisions of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act will benefit two groups the most, experts say: older Americans and the self-employed.

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The court found the individual mandate, the requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance, is constitutional. Signed into law two years ago, the sweeping reform is expected to give 30 million more Americans access to health insurance by 2014, making preventative care available to many who in the past avoided seeking treatment until absolutely necessary. It also requires insurers to give people free access to blood pressure, cancer, diabetes and cholesterol tests. “This is the biggest change in health care in this country in a generation,” says Susan Nash, a partner in the law firm McDermott, Will & Emery.

That said, the law will impact certain groups more than others. Younger and healthier Americans who have had cheaper premiums and higher deductibles will be forced to pay more, while the expansion of Medicaid will benefit poorer and sicker Americans who couldn’t afford health care until now, says Wendell Potter, former vice-president of corporate communications at Cigna. Of course, even experts say it’s unclear how quickly some of these changes will take hold; for example, some question whether all states will be able to roll out online “exchanges” designed to allow people to shop for individual insurance plan by 2014.

Some things may not change much at all. With or without Obamacare, most analysts say that health insurance premiums will continue to rise. “Consolidation within the industry means that people will have less choice,” says Alex Morozov, a senior health care analyst at Morningstar. In fact, the two largest insurance companies have a 70% market share in nearly half the 50 states, according to the American Medical Association. In 54% of metropolitan markets, at least one insurer had a market share of 50% or more, the report found.

Here are some  of the likely consequences of the court’s decision for five key groups – and what might have happened had the decision gone the other way:



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    • I have one question? If we have to spend more of our hard earned dollars on Health Care (that we can not afford now) and more taxes, Where will the extra money come from? Will my salary be raised? I do not think so. So how is someone to pay for living expenses, food, car payments etc and not make more money. Do they really think they can take and take and take, without We The People making more.
      It makes sense to Them on the Hill, why? because they make tons of money

    • obama and the supreme court can kiss my patootie. I can’t afford to buy their forced health care and darned sure can’t afford to pay their mandates either. The government is sadly mistaken if they think they can draw more money out of me. my supply of money has dried up and withered away

    • The last sentence of this article. What does that mean? Does it mean that 30% of the 50-64 year olds spend 10% or more on health insurance? Or does that mean they spend exactly 10%? You need some more details here to make an argument one way or another.

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