Folks divided on court ruling

Published 9:33 pm Thursday, June 28, 2012

People in Suffolk hold strong opinions on the Supreme Court’s affirmation of President Obama’s health care law Thursday.

A random survey outside Sentara Obici Hospital found public opinion on the law and the court’s decision fairly evenly split.

Williams Burrows, 60, considers that Obama has done a “pretty good job” after the highest court in the land supported the law that is his signature domestic achievement as president.

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Asked whether he believes health insurance premiums will now rise for everybody, Burrows said, “everybody’s going to get taxed sooner or later — I think the system’s all right.”

Mandy Smith, 27, of Southampton County, said the government should not be mandating health care.

“I think the government needs to provide assistance to those in need, but those able to provide for themselves, they should do that,” she said.

Smith hopes part of the law can be repealed by Republicans in Congress, although she also said, “There’s parts of the bill that I think I could live with.”

Susan Folk, 45, said that though she doesn’t know “all the ins and outs” of the law, “I know there’s something definitely needs to be done. I can’t afford insurance for myself. I think it will be beneficial for people like me. I’m not expecting a handout, (but) I want help with my own health care. I can’t afford it, and I’m working my tail off for it.”

According to Larry Soblotne, 64, the court has erred in a big way. “I thought the Supreme Court had more going for it than that,” he said. “To require every citizen to have health care, now they have opened the floodgates, they can require the citizens to have anything, and that’s socialism.”

Jean Brown, 59, a Medicaid recipient, said she should be able to see any doctor she wants, and hopes the court’s decision will help make that happen.

“We shouldn’t be limited to doctors we can see,” she said. “We need to be able to see any doctor for our sickness; one doctor can’t treat us.”

Leo Whitaker, a 50-year-old chaplain from Chesapeake who spends a lot of time ministering in Suffolk, said America has a responsibility to provide universal health care for its people.

“So many people are in need, and if we are going to be the leading nation, we have to lead in health care like we lead in other areas,” he said.