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Pelham Split On Supreme Court's Health Care Ruling

PELHAM, N.Y. – The reactions of Pelham residents and those of neighboring communities ranged on Thursday from thrilled to disappointed over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Obama’s Affordable Care Act by a decision of 5-4.

“I personally wanted the Supreme Court to uphold it because I know what the costs for health care are to everyone else when we’re caring for the insured, who absolutely deserve health care,” said Margaret Monahan, a Pelham resident and nurse at New Rochelle’s Sound Shore Medical Center.

Monahan said something needed to be done with the United States health care system because “it’s been broken for a long time.”

“It’s a new tax – I wanted the mandate out,” said Robert Law, referring to the individual mandate that requires Americans to have health care. He said he would have been happier if the court had struck down the individual mandate and does not believe the country is headed in the right direction.

“I’m not surprised at this point what’s going on,” said the Pelham resident. “I think the country’s just blowing up right in front of us.”

A disappointed Tom Helm of Pelham said the decision was wrong and that the Supreme Court made a mistake.

Anne and Joe Prisco of Mount Vernon were “very much in favor” of the judgment.

Anne Prisco said she’s “totally thrilled because we have too many Americans that don’t have any way of getting health insurance. People are always afraid of a big change and this is a big change for them – that’s basically it, but things do have to change.”

Her husband felt that the government had to do a better job of explaining the health care law.  “I don’t really think that the higher-ups in office have really given enough time and exposure to explain in an educational way exactly what this health care plan is going to do and is not going to do,” said Joe Prisco. “That’s a problem, so that’s what’s causing the fear is confusion. They feel like they’re going to lose things, so that needs to be straightened out.”

Pelham Manor resident Angelo Matera said “the court should be very careful in not overruling the people when their legislator – their representatives – creates laws.”

Residents were split when it came to the ruling’s effect on the November election between Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

“I think it was so close that it probably doesn’t make that much of a difference,” said Monahan. “Despite what the Supreme Court said, it’s the voters who are really going to make the difference.”

Robert Law believed the health care ruling would help Romney, but Helm said it was hard to tell.

“It could go either way – it could make the Republicans come out stronger or it could give Obama the impetus he needs to get reelected,” he said.

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