There was quick reaction today in Rhode Island from both sides of the health care debate.
Supporters are praising the Supreme Court decision, while opponents say the fight is not over yet.
Not long after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, health care reform supporters in Providence reacted by saying more people here will get medical care:
Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, (D) Rhode Island says, "Probably around 120 thousand Rhode Islanders who will be eligible for subsidy or newly enrolled in medicaid over the next 18 months."
ABC-6 Political Reporter Mark Curtis says, "Of course the big debate in all of this was whether the government could force people to buy health insurance. And proponents always pointed out that most states, for example, requires driver's to have auto insurance."
People can certainly choose NOT to drive and avoid that insurance mandate. But the Supreme Court says the government can mandate health care, even if people don't want to buy it. A law professor tells us the court ruled the new penalty for not buying health insurance was not ruled to be a penalty.
Prof. Jarod Goldstein of Roger Williams Law School says, "This is a tax on people who lack health insurance, when they could afford it. And so they said, this is effectively a tax and that falls within Congress's broad power to impose taxes."
Opponents of forcing people to buy health insurance have only one recourse. The can undo it by getting enough opponents elected to Congress and the White House
State Rep. Doreen Costa, (R) Rhode Island says, "It is huge. It is extremely critical. And my advice to everybody is to vote Mitt Romney, you know. He's our only hope to get this thing repealed."
Much of the health care law will not take effect for another two years.