Thursday, October 23, 2014

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NYC Political Reaction To Health Care Decision Mixed

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TWC News: NYC Political Reaction To Health Care Decision Mixed
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The city's public hospitals chief and Democratic politicians are praising Thursday's Supreme Court decision on the health care law, while Republicans and business groups are denouncing it. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.

When the news first broke in Washington, advocates and Democratic politicians erupted in cheers on the steps of City Hall.

They were not the only ones pleased by the ruling in New York. Alan Aviles, the president of the city's health and hospitals corporation, said the decision is good news for uninsured New Yorkers. Last year, the health organization saw about half a million patients who did not have health insurance.

"Many uninsured Americans will now have the opportunity for affordable health care," Aviles said.

The response from local politicians was predictably split along party lines.

"I really feel that the President of the United States misled myself and the entire country," said Rep. Michael Grimm. "He was very clear: this was not a tax. This was not a tax.

"The Supreme Court did not disgrace itself today and we can go on from here to legislate for the better welfare of the American people," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler.

Mayor Bloomberg said he thinks the health care system had already prepared for new regulations.

"It's hard to see that anything is really going to change tomorrow," the mayor said. "It's just now that there is no argument. This is the law."

The New York State Business Council said the ruling means businesses remain challenged and disadvantaged by the law.

Some supporters of the ruling, like Aviles, admit they are uncertain about what the future holds.

The affect on the bottom line of New York City's public hospitals remains to be seen. They do stand to make money by treating more insured patients. But Aviles notes that the health care expansion is paid for, in part, by taking federal money away from the hospitals he oversees.

"It depends on whether the revenue that comes in on the one hand offsets the very significant cuts to funding on the back end," he said. "And we will have to see how that plays out as we go forward."

It will be uncharted territory for local hospitals and for the rest of the country as well.

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