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Montgomery County Officials Cheer Supreme Court Health Care Ruli


By Tiffany Arnold and Greg Cohen, Germantown

Montgomery County officials Thursday enthusiastically supported the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act.

Del. Sam Arora, Dist. 19, Montgomery County, called the decision "historic."

“No longer must any American fear that he or she is one accident or illness away from bankruptcy," Arora said in a statement. "While some will focus on the political fallout, the most important result cannot be overlooked.

“The decision is better than historic, it is caring,” Arora said. “People now can get the care they need without the fear of financial devastation.”

Dr. Ulder Tillman, Montgomery County health officer, said shortly after the decision, "This is very exciting news for us."

Del. Kirill Reznik, Dist. 39, Germantown, said, "I am thrilled."

Rachel Baye, Montgomery County reporter for the DC Examiner, tweeted from a meeting of the county Health and Human Services Committee:

"MoCo Council Health and Human Services committee just cheered ‪#scotus‬ decision on healthcare."

"Now the MoCo Council Health and Human Services committee is having a hard time getting back to their discussion. Berliner looks giddy."

Tillman said the county had been taking its cues from the State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

"Maryland is way ahead in terms of implementation," said Reznik, a member of the Health and Government Operations Committee.

Reznik said Maryland was designated as a fast-track state, which mean it received grant money to put structures in place to implement the health care act.

Reznik said the Maryland Health Insurance Exchange, which will allow individuals and businesses to compare insurance plank, would be on track to be in place by Jan. 1, 2014.

Earlier, Reznik summarized the premise of the act in a Patch blog:

"A healthy society, where everyone can get access to affordable medical services, is a society where people can obtain services when they first need them, not when the illness is the most expensive or most difficult to cure.  It is a society where workers are more productive, students learn better, and dealing with financial hardship due to a significant illness is a thing of the past. However, to achieve this type of society and maintain a consumer-based health care system, insurance companies that pay for most of these medical services need to balance the risks of ensuring the sick by also insuring the healthy. "

In an informal Patch poll in Montgomery County this week, a majority of those who voted said the high court should not overturn the law.

One commenter said asking a simple poll question was unfair because "not even Congress seems to have a full grasp" of the law's consequences. Still, the reader said, it's reasonable to expect a national health plan despite criticism "mostly from well-to-do people who HAVE health care coverage, telling us that this is socialism."

Another reader was surprised at the high percentage of uninsured in Montgomery County.

About 12 percent of Montgomery County residents are uninsured, slightly lower than the state average of 13 percent and higher than the national average of 11 percent. 

Want to know more about the ins and outs of the ruling?

Check out the Huffington Post coverage and Scotusblog, which purports to be President Obama's source for Supreme Court news.

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