Supporters of the Affordable Care Act collected at the Capitol today to talk about what the Supreme Court ruling means for Utah. Judi Hillman, Executive Director for the Utah Health Policy Project, says that changes included in the ACA can now move forward in Utah – including insurance for those with pre-existing conditions.
"It means that insurance will be there for all of us in our time of need," Hillman said. "What’s historic about today’s ruling and frankly unexpected is that we have the tool – the mandate – the M word – for all these changes to work properly. It would have been very, very difficult to make changes of that magnitude without a mandate."
Dr. Charles Pruitt is a pediatric emergency medicine physician in Salt Lake City. He says all Utahns pay a price for the uninsured.
"This decision today is a victory for my patients, for my fellow taxpayers. And this decision is a victory for civil society such that we can return to the good old days when we lent a hand to those of us less fortunate than ourselves," Pruitt said.
The Utah Hospital Association also applauded the ruling, saying it allowed formerly uninsured patients to pursue primary care instead of waiting until they are in an emergency situation to be treated in the ER. Census data shows nearly 14 percent of Utahns, or 386,000 residents, don't have insurance.