The Internet exploded with tweets, posts and comments on Thursday morning when the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act with a 5-4 vote.
The Supreme Court upheld almost all components of the act, including the government's right to compel Americans to buy health insurance or face a tax penalty.
"Today's decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of the law and the Supreme Court's decision to uphold it," said President Obama in a statement.
Here in California, lawmakers and law-abiders had some statements of their own.
(SCROLL DOWN FOR REACTIONS)
"Healthcare access is a basic right," tweeted California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. "[I'm] proud of Barack Obama for tackling the healthcare crisis in the first term. The Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act is a huge victory for the American people."
"California has been a leader in kind of aggressively implementing these health reforms," said California HealthCare Foundation Director Marian Mulky in an interview with KQED. "I think it leaves us on the pathway that we thought we were headed down, which is helpful in that a great deal of work needs to be accomplished on a pretty tight timeframe to get the broad coverage expansion expected in 2014."
The act will have substantial impacts in California where nearly 20 percent of residents are uninsured. The state stands to gain about $15 billion annually in federal funds for health programs.
Southern California Public Radio reported on some of the implications:
Research conducted by UCLA and UC Berkeley indicates four million of the seven million uninsured Californians will get health care insurance under the Affordable Care Act. One million people are expected to be ineligible because of their immigration status. Two million others won’t take steps to get insurance, but they will be subject to a tax that will be levied on their tax returns.
California already has two so-called "bridge programs" that were created to provide health care to people with pre-existing conditions and to low income individuals until 2014, when those portions of the federal law are scheduled to kick in.
Also in place is the California Health Care Exchange, a clearinghouse that will offer low-income Californians a smorgasbord of health insurance plans they can compare by price and benefits. Low income customers could qualify for subsidies to help them purchase a health plan.
The act will also provide small business tax credits for employee health coverage, extend coverage to young adults, offer affordable coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions and help support early retirees.
What do you think of the Supreme Court decision? Let us know in the comments section and check out some reactions from California lawmakers in the slideshow below:
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