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Health Care Ruling Gives Families A Sigh Of Relief

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s not just politicians who’ve been waiting for this health care ruling.

As controversial as the law has been — for those with severe disabilities or pre-existing conditions, or for young people who have been able to stay on their parents’ health care until age 26 — the law has already had a profound impact, and this ruling is a welcome one in some circles.

Brandi Hamilton, 10, is in therapy several times a month at the Courage Center.

She was born with an auto-immune disorder that has left her with physical and developmental delays. Her lifetime medical bills have already topped $500,000. Brandi’s mom, Regina Watson, says the ruling that upholds the ban on lifetime caps on insurance policies is a relief.

“It’s a big deal to know that there won’t be a lifetime cap,” she said.

Watson says the ruling is a victory for families.

“To know that she will have continued coverage, absolutely, it takes a load off,” Watson said. “It gives me peace of mind to know that the care will always be there.”

For the Courage Center, the ruling also means they get to keep a $2 million grant to develop better treatments. And the center’s patients will no longer have to quit their jobs when they hit the lifetime caps on their private insurance.

“People were in an interesting trap of not being able to be working in order to get the benefits they need, and that is not good for families, or the economy long-term,” said Jan Malcolm, CEO of the Courage Center.

The Supreme Court ruling also upheld the portion of the law that allows young people under 26 to stay on their parents’ health care, and that is very popular at the University of Minnesota.

Phil and Sue Einspahr, of Rochester, say the ruling means their two kids, both in their early 20s, can stay on their insurance.

Student Sarah Nygaard welcomes the ruling because without it she might have had to go without insurance.

“It’s really helpful to young people, especially college students,” she said.

Still, others disagreed with the ruling.

“I don’t think the government should be involved in deciding if we need health care,” Parker Burshem said. “The government is going to take it over and then there’s no competition. How do we know what they’re going to do with it?”

Dave Magnuson is the owner of the Walkin’ Dog in downtown Minneapolis. He says when President Obama first proposed the law, it looked like he would have to layoff his part-time employee because he wouldn’t be able to afford the coverage.

“Now I don’t have to do that,” Magnuson said. “But I still feel strongly that the government should not have the right to demand that people have health care insurance if they have no means to afford it.”

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