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Reaction Mixed To Supreme Court’s Ruling On Affordable Care

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Sonji Wilkes and Mark Rogers (credit: CBS)

Sonji Wilkes and Mark Rogers (credit: CBS)

AURORA, Colo (CBS4) The Supreme Court upheld key provisions of the Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (PPACA). That has some people relieved because they feel they’ll have better access to medical care, others worry about covering the costs associated with the Act.

At a local Aurora restaurant, the cost of business goes up under the PPACA. Mark Rogers owns the restaurant in Aurora and another in Colorado Springs. He employs about 170 part-time workers who clock more than 30 hours a week. The National Restaurant Association estimates it’ll cost $2500 dollars per employee to pay for health insurance. For Mark Rogers that could total as much as $425,000 dollars.

“Restaurants are going to have to find a way to still make money and to still stay open so what they’re going to do is to cut people and cut hours,” Rogers told CBS4.

Also under PPACA, restaurants will have to comply with the Menu Act. They’ll have to list the calorie and nutrition contents of their meals.

“Each restaurant has to spend thousands to tens of thousands of dollars to find out the calorie counts in every single item that they sell,” Rogers explained.

Sonji and Nathan Wilkes are parents to three kids and they’re relieved by the Supreme Court ruling. Their son, Thomas was born with severe hemophilia, a condition where he blood doesn’t clot. Thomas, 8, has to get injects of blood clotting factor every day. One treatment costs about $4,000. For the Wilkes, access to medication and health care is critical.

“We’re in a doctor’s office almost weekly,” Sonji told CBS4.

Before Thomas was 4 years old, he went through $2 million in health care expenses. He’d hit the lifetime cap with two insurance companies. His parents talk about times when they were having to ration his care because of costs. Under PPACA, he’s had comprehensive care with fewer worries.

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“For me the Affordable Care Act was more about access to care and being able to ensure that he had no lifetime cap, and that he could stay on our plan until he was 26, and that there was no pre-existing clauses anymore,” Sonji explained.

For this family, PPACA means financial freedom, but at the same time Rogers is worried about financial ruin. It’s the cost of providing health care access to everyone.
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- Written for the Web by CBS4 Special Projects Producer Libby Smith

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