Reporting Meghan McCorkell
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– An historic ruling. The U.S. Supreme Court upholds President Barack Obama’s health care law. Now, opponents vow to repeal it.
Meghan McCorkell has more on what this ruling means for Maryland.
It’s certainly a landmark ruling with the justices deciding in favor of the president’s health care reform plan.
Both supporters and opponents of the president’s health care law rallied outside the Supreme Court Thursday.
In a 5-4 decision, the court upheld the Affordable Care Act, including an individual mandate requiring every American to have health insurance or face a fine.
“Today’s decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold it,” the president said.
Despite the court ruling, opponents promised a fight.
Political opponent Mitt Romney in a news conference said, “We must replace Obamacare. That is my mission. That is our work and I’m asking the people of America to join me.”
Here in Maryland, there are an estimated 774,000 people who are uninsured. Many seek medical assistance from clinics like Total Health Care in West Baltimore.
“We are actually the safety net providers for a lot of patients in Baltimore,” said Rama Shakar, who helps run the clinic.
Patients WJZ spoke with said they support the Supreme Court ruling.
“It’s good for me because I need all the help I can get,” says Calvin Watson.
“A lot of countries don’t have health care, don’t have access to health care. We, as a country, we have access and everybody deserves the access,” Janice Corbin said.
Republicans are now vowing to strike down the law.
“You can’t do this to American liberty. You can’t do it to American freedom. You can’t do it to American health care,” Congressman Andy Harris (R-District 1) said.
And that could mean this case is far from closed.
The new law won’t take effect until 2014.
Governor Martin O’Malley released a statement on Thursday praising the Supreme Court’s decision, saying it gives considerable momentum to health care reforms in Maryland.
Maryland has already begun doing some of the groundwork to set up a Maryland health insurance exchange, where Marylanders will be able to compare rates and benefits of different insurance plans.