The U.S. Supreme Court upheld nearly all of President Barack Obama’s controversial Affordable Care Act last Thursday and, depending on who you asked in Queens, the decision was either great news or a source of stress and uncertainty.
On the political front, the 5-4 decision to uphold the measure gave Obama, the Democratic Party and its representatives from Queens a reason to celebrate.
“We worked to put an end to runaway premium increases and arbitrary coverage denials, to improve and strengthen Medicare and to create options for individuals and small businesses to purchase quality and affordable insurance,” said U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), who heads the Queens Democrats. “I am pleased that today our hard work was validated.”
The ruling was a major blow to Republicans, who were particularly stung by the inclusion of conservative Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. in the majority opinion.
Crowley wasted no time in rubbing salt in the wounds of the GOP, urging the party not to waste time trying to repeal the law but instead focus on repairing the economy.
But attempting to repeal the act was exactly what the borough’s lone Republican congressman, Rep. Bob Turner (R-Middle Village), had in mind.
“Congress has already found many mandates in Obamacare that would hurt small businesses and kill jobs,” he said in a statement. “Several more taxes and burdensome regulations on small businesses are set to go into effect in the next two years. Congress must now rededicate itself to repealing Obamacare and replacing it with common-sense proposals that will lower health care costs for all Americans.”
The news was all the talk in Queens, although many in the borough were unsure about what the ruling would mean for them.
“I already have everything I need,” said Behije Ceka, 50, of Auburndale, referring to the health insurance provided by her job.