Carroll County Health Officer: 'I Would Like to See the Supreme Court Uphold the Law'
The Supreme Court is set to rule Thursday on the Affordable Care Act.
In a recent Westminster Patch poll, 60 percent of poll takers said they think the Supreme Court should overturn the health care law.
The Supreme Court’s decision will include a ruling on the constitutionality of the law's “individual mandate” requiring all U.S. citizens to buy health insurance.
Opponents of the mandate say it’s an unprecedented exercise of congressional power while Obama has argued that the commerce clause in the Constitution allows Congress to regulate health care, and that expanding coverage would lower costs, according to the Economist.
Carroll County Health Department Health Officer Larry Leitch said that there would be little to no effect on the Carroll County Health Department if the law gets overturned. However, he said that personally he would like to see the court uphold the law.
"I would like to see the Supreme Court uphold the law, because it would give the vast majority of Americans access to some level of health care coverage, which is one of the main tenets of public health," Leitch said.
Leitch said that health care in the U.S. needs a change that goes deeper than just one law.
"Of all the developed industrialized countries, the U.S. insists on treating health care as a business commodity to be bought and sold," Leitch said. "All the other countries have made the conscious decision to treat health care as a right."
Even upholding the law won't solve the problems Leitch said.
"Even if the law is upheld, I believe we will continue our trademark rationing system to some degree: if your are on the poor side, you will probably not get the amount of care you need - if you are on the more affluent side, you will probably get more care than you actually need," Leitch said.
In Maryland, about 750,000 people were uninsured between 2009 and 2010, according to Linda Bartnyska, chief of cost and quality analysis at the Maryland Health Care Commission.
Delegate Justin Ready, R-Carroll County, said he supports the repeal of Federal Health Care reform.
"There are areas of common ground that the American people agree with on issues like tort reform, pre-existing conditions, eliminating needless mandates and regulations, and giving individuals more control over their care," Ready said.
"Obamacare does not do most of those things, and even the things it does reform properly are not done in the most efficient way," Ready said.