Health Care Stands; Alabama Leaders Divided

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the majority of federal health care reform legislation, dubbed “Obamacare, ” winning praise from some quarters, anger from others.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley was among the first to express his dismay at the ruling, quoted in the Tuscaloosa News calling the Affordable Care Act “the single worst piece of legislation to come out of Congress.” State Attorney General Luther Strange said he planned to join other states in seeking to overturn the ruling, saying the work could be done by a conservative president and Congress.

Bloggers and commenters on news websites were more divided. A letter to the editor in the Birmingham News called the ruling “legally and morally correct.”

Institutions that provide low-cost health care generally applauded the ruling.  Cooper Green Mercy Hospital in Birmingham issued a statement in support of the ruling, saying, “This ruling will give additional Americans and Jefferson County residents access to high quality, affordable health care. Cooper Green has always believed in this philosophy and stands ready to meet the task at hand. We believe in the long run the ACA will benefit not only the citizens we serve, but improve the sustainability of the hospital.”

The Alabama Hospital Association, while basically neutral on the overall topic, issued a statement that “eliminating only sections of it would have been disastrous, as many of them are dependent on others.” The association says that Alabama’s hospitals are committed to delivering improved care at reduced costs and that Alabama ranks number one for improvement in CMS quality and patient safety.

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By Nedra Bloom

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