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Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown Divided On Health Care Ruling

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Sue Reilly couldn't help pumping her fist into the air Thursday morning as she learned the U.S. Supreme Court had upheld the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

“I think it's fabulous,” the Phelps Memorial Hospital Center employee said. “Everyone needs good, quality health care and as we are right now, we can't provide good, quality health care to everyone because not everyone is paying into the system.”

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the law and its individual insurance requirement, saying it was effectively a tax and thus constitutional. The law will continue to go into effect within the next several years. The Court took issue with the Medicaid portion of the bill, saying the federal government could not force states to comply with the program's expansion.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined with Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor in the majority. Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

Tarrytown resident Ann Fox said on The Tarrytown Daily Voice's Facebook page that she thought the decision made it was “a sad day for America.”

It's “more entitlement programs that don't create one additional job,” she said. “Let's just make the whole country dependent on government... After all, it has worked out well for Europe.”

Maria Muller said she doesn't think citizens should be required to purchase insurance.

“I was shocked and I am sure that that will be repealed,” she said. “The government cannot impose such a thing.”

Norm Forbes had stopped by the Sleepy Hollow Farmers Market at Phelps. Forbes thinks the health care law is great because insurance has been tied to jobs.

“If you lose your job, you're up a creek if something happens,” he said. “So to make it affordable so everyone can have access to something I think is great.”

Facebook reader Peter Pagano felt it was a good ruling, but said he had expected Roberts to slip in some limitations.

Sleepy Hollow insurance agent Linda Rey said in an email she thought the law could create more dissension.

“Since 2010, I have seen small business owners, including ourselves, struggle with limited choice, stringent eligibility and exorbitant increases in premium on an annual basis," she said. "Now that this is being upheld as constitutional as a tax penalty for not complying with the law, this could potentially create more frustration and defiance against government who thinks they are helping. I think it’s just creating more dissension. How this unfolds and how it impacts people remains uncertain at best.”

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