June 28, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Medina residents give their 2 cents on health care law

MEDINA — Reactions to the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a controversial section of President Barack Obama’s health care law, known as the individual mandate, were mixed in the city.

In his written opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts viewed the mandate as a penalty for people who do not purchase health insurance.

Ben Vallen

Ben Vallen, 30, an Akron resident who works as a law clerk in Medina, said he disagreed with the court.

“I thought it was a horrible decision,” he said. “I believe that it was an unconstitutional and unprecedented expansion of government power.”

Vallen was taking a lunch break on Public Square with his wife and two children Thursday afternoon.

Taking a differing view, Mary Jones, 32, a social worker who lives in Medina, said she was pleased by the decision.

“I’m in favor of it,” she said. “I think it eventually will reduce a lot of costs for people who are uninsured. I think it helps a lot of people.”

The law is expected to extend health care coverage to more than 30 million uninsured.

Nels Swanson, 39, a Medina accountant and Jones’ fiance, said he had a more moderate view about the health care law in general.

“I don’t think that it’s in the best form right now, but at least it’s a starting point,” he said. “I want a fair and balanced plan that we can pay for. I don’t want to run up huge debt.”

Jerry Spears, 69, a retired General Motors worker and Litchfield Township resident, said he was disappointed by the court’s decision.

“I’m just concerned it’s not going to work,” he said of the health care law. “It’s going to take away from what’s good.”

Spears said he still planned to vote for Obama, even though he did not agree with the health care reform plan.

Contact Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.