Uninsured residents react to health care ruling
PHILADELPHIA - June 28, 2012 (WPVI) -- The health care law will touch almost every American in some way. Action News sampled local reaction from some of the area's uninsured.
Many people without health insurance believe the new law will give them that push to finally get health insurance just in case they need a doctor or an emergency room. But others called it government overreach at its worst.
When it comes to uninsured Americans and the new health care rules, there are those who can't wait to get coverage.
"What if something happens to me? I work a very physical job so, God forbid, something happened to me, what am I going to do?" said Christina Kelly.
But there are some who say they don't need it.
"I don't like government-mandated anything let alone government mandated healthcare," said Michael Diorio.
Retailers, waiters, hair stylists, all jobs where people typically get health insurance on their own or roll the dice and remain uninsured.
Center City hair stylist Christina Kelly along with 30 million other American will be figuring out what the best option will be for them to avoid being penalized.
"I would like to have my own, but if I don't and I can't, I will probably go under the Obamacare," said Christina.
Michael Diorio at Mike's Pizza in Manayunk has been without insurance for 15 years.
"Once every two or three years, I get a cold, something that over the counter can fix. If I need an antibiotic or something, but I would rather pay $65 once a year than pay $65 every month for the rest of my life," said Diorio.
Diorio says he is not rolling in the dough and there's no way he will be able to afford the new health care requirements.
"I'm barely surviving as it is, barely getting enough hours in here; barely making rent, making bills," Diorio said. "How am I supposed to pay for something extra that I can't afford if it's mandatory for me to have it."
While Diorio and many others feel they can live without it, college students under 26 are thrilled they will be able to stay on their parents' insurance.
"My life would be completely different if I had to trade that off for education. Having to choose between insurance and education, I would probably choose education," said Amanda Mallory.
Republicans against the new health care law say it will take away money from Medicare.
They also call it a jobs killer because companies with more than 50 workers must provide insurance. By some estimates, that will cost $500 per employee.
Action News crunched the number of just how many uninsured Americans live in our region.
In Pennsylvania: 1.37 million people are not covered, that's about 11 percent of residents.
In New Jersey: 1.3 million people are not covered or about 15 percent of the population.
In Delaware: between 100,000 to 110,000 residents are without health insurance, also around 11 percent.
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