LOCAL CONCERNS: Healthcare Debate

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The fate of the Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama two years ago, is in the hands of the justices of the Supreme Court. Next week, the nation's highest court will begin 3 days of oral arguments considering the constitutionality of the bill. The closer it gets to that day, the stronger the debate becomes locally.

Ross Daniels said on a trip to the boundary waters in Minnesota last year; his wife Amy accidentally swallowed some lake water. Two months later she was in the hospital fighting for her life.

“Who in Iowa or Minnesota hasn`t gotten a mouth full of lake water at some time? you don`t think that is going to put you in the hospital for three months, and two months in intensive care,” said Daniels.

Amy had contracted a rare fungal pneumonia, and ended up slipping into a 6 week coma. On top of it all, just keeping her alive was costing the couple millions of dollars in medical expenses.

“The thought of having my wife wake up after being asleep for 6 weeks and having to explain, honey we`ve lost everything, we`re going to lose everything,” said Daniels. But he explained that because of the Affordable Healthcare Act that didn't happen. He continued, “Two years ago with the passage of the affordable health care act, lifetime maximums on insurance payouts per lifetime were uncapped.” Daniels said it is what saved them bankruptcy.

Not everyone agrees with the legislation. “The cons definitely outweigh the pros,” said AJ Spiker, with the Republican Party of Iowa, “It’s much more expensive than what they were originally told."

According to Spiker, the average family pays over $15,000 for a healthcare plan, and that amount of money can translate to big trouble for small businesses. Several local business owners say offering health coverage to employees could potentially put them out of business.

“We need a repeal that`s what we really need. We need Obama care ripped out from its root because the individual mandate is unconstitutional,” said Spiker.

Daniels says his wife did have insurance, but that wouldn't have mattered. What saved them was the uncapped limit on lifetime insurance.

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