THURSDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- Supporters of the Obama administration's health care reform law said Thursday that the U.S. Supreme Court's decision upholding the landmark legislation protects the health of millions of Americans, but critics claim it does so at the expense of key civil liberties and exacts a high economic toll.
The 5-to-4 ruling "means millions of Americans can look forward to the coverage they need to get healthy and stay healthy," Dr. Jeremy Lazarus, president of the American Medical Association, said in a statement.
"This decision protects important improvements, such as ending coverage denials due to preexisting conditions and lifetime caps on insurance, and allowing the 2.5 million young adults up to age 26 who gained coverage under the law to stay on their parents' health insurance policies," Lazarus said.
Already, about 54 million Americans are benefiting from expanded preventive and wellness care coverage, Lazarus noted.
But many of those who oppose the legislation fear the federal government is intruding into the lives of private citizens.
"I'm disappointed that the Court is willing to give the federal government the power to tell you what has to be in your health care plan down to your contraceptives and mammograms," said John Goodman, president and founder of the National Center for Policy Analysis. "That's a great deal of power."
Economically, the Affordable Care Act "is one reason economic recovery has been so anemic," he suggested. Although hours worked across the United States are now what they were before the recession, hiring is not at pre-recession levels, he said, attributing that lag to "Obamacare" insurance requirements.
"The mandates come with a big price tag for employers and employees," Goodman said. The cost of family coverage works out to $6 an hour, he added.
Whether for or against the law, expe
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