Awaiting Supreme Court's ruling on President Obama's health law

Awaiting Supreme Court's ruling on President Obama's health law

It is one of the Supreme Court's most closely watched cases in years, and Thursday a ruling is expected on President Obama's controversial health care reform law.  While Obama calls it necessary, many call it unconstitutional.

March 23rd, 2010 - President Obama signs into law the signature achievement of his presidency: the Affordable Care Act, the landmark and controversial health care overhaul.

Within hours, states across the country filed lawsuits challenging the law: including Louisiana.  Louisiana Attorney General Senior Counsel, John Sinquefield said, "The federal government does not have the power to order any United States citizen to buy a product, in particularly a federal health insurance product."

Perhaps the biggest and most controversial change would be the individual insurance mandate that would require insurance coverage for every American or be slapped with a $695 yearly penalty.

CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital Administrator Donald Lloyd talked about the potential effects we could see locally.  "Each of us would have to assume some personal responsibility for providing insurance coverage for ourselves," he said.

Lloyd read all 2,700 pages of the new healthcare law and says it is extremely difficult to sift through and grasp all of the proposed changes.  "Just the magnitude, the scope of what Congress approved and the president signed into law is so expansive," he said.

Lloyd added that health care across the country is already undergoing a radical transformation to cut costs and increase quality, but the question at the center of it all is should the government have a say in that.  "What level does government mandate access to care and what kind of care does government mandate?" said Lloyd.

That answer from the Supreme Court will affect the lives of every American and how they receive health care for years to come.

The outcome is likely to be a factor in the presidential campaign, with President Obama ardently defending his federal health care overhaul and republican challenger Mitt Romney adamantly opposing it.

There is a neat tool from the Washington Post that allows you to see exactly how you would be affected by three different possible scenarios with Thursday's decision. Click here to check it out.

Copyright KPLC 2012.  All rights reserved.