Oklahomans talk potential positives of Supreme Court ruling on health care reform

TULSA - A momentous Supreme Court decision made Thursday will affect Americans nationwide and -- despite the state's protests -- Oklahomans.

Health care reform means many Oklahomans who were once denied insurance will be guaranteed coverage.  According to the White House, that insurance will be affordable.

Green Country resident Jennifer Eades has two children who don't have insurance. Both she and her husband have Medicare, but in order to cover her kids she would need to buy theirs separately.

"I wouldn't be eligible for it anyhow because of my disabilities," said Eades.  "It's just a catch 22."

With the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the health care reform and when all changes are in place in 2014, Eades' problem should no longer be an issue.

"The decision means that it's time for Oklahoma to move forward with the state-required provisions of the Affordable Care Act," said Kate Richey, policy analyst with the Oklahoma Policy Institute.  "It's our legal responsibility to move forward, and more importantly, it's the right thing to do."

Richey says there are 600,000 uninsured Oklahomans, many of whom cannot afford insurance.  Others have employers who don't offer insurance or they're ineligible for Medicaid.

Richey says even though there will be costs associated with implementing the plan in Oklahoma, the benefits will outweigh the costs.
   
While Eades admits she is still skeptical about it, she's hopeful the Affordable Care Act will deliver what it promises.
 
"Everybody needs insurance and it should be available to everybody," said Richey.

To read a breakdown about when and what changes you can expect with the Affordable Care Act, click here (http://1.usa.gov/9Cadrx).

To see how it could affect you individually, click here (http://wapo.st/bHzZao).

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