LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Marian Anderson has lived between Frankfurt, Germany and Sulphur, LA throughout the year since her husband was stationed at Fort Polk over 30 years ago, giving her the opportunity to experience the differences in healthcare affordability and accessibility.
"When I was single and I had to work here, I realized, it's a problem" said Anderson. "You have to pick a plan, you don't know what type of plan you have, it's mind boggling" she said.
Anderson believes that Thursday morning's Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act which includes the individual healthcare mandate is a step in the right direction.
"It gives me hope that every industrialized nation in the world has a healthcare plan for it's citizens" said Anderson.
Not everyone agrees.
"I don't have health insurance because... first of all I can't afford it" said Lake area resident, Rebecca Rowland. "I have pre-existing conditions my health insurance is more... even if I pay for it privately it's still more expensive" Rowland added.
Rowland doesn't have healthcare and is prepared to face the consequences of being taxed yearly, after the law takes effect in 2014.
"They're going to tax me and I'm going to have to make a choice between what I pay and I'm not paying that before I feed my kids."
For Rowland and others who oppose the bill, the issue is affordability. But according to the Wall Street Journal, the law will allow low-income individuals to receive federal subsidies to help pay for coverage. Two percent of Americans, or about 7.3 million people will have to buy new coverage without any federal help.
"It's not only going to affect people that have no income it's also going to affect people who have income" said Rowland. "They can't carry the load."
Another issue is that small businesses will suffer by having to supply health insurance to their employees. A tax credit will be given to those owners who choose to pay premiums or some may be exempt. Lake Charles council man and small business owner, Marshall Simien believes the charges incurred by business owners are just a part of the game.
"I think it's just another cost of doing business" said Simien. The employees I hire I have to pay a portion of their medicaid and social security costs anyway... a number of things that benefit them down the line... this is just another thing" Simien said.
He and Anderson agree in thinking that the law is a result of a long time coming
"I think people need to get on board and just go with it" Simien said. "If not, then let's work it out... everything starts from somewhere" he added.
Some FAQ's on what the healthcare ruling means from the Wall Street Journal: