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Ossining Residents Hail Court's Health Care Ruling

OSSINING, N.Y. – Ossining residents and health care officials are praising the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Thursday upholding the Affordable Care Act.

“It’s a really good thing to do, because a lot of good people need health care,” Ossining resident Shakwanza Crafton, 19, said following the ruling. “I’m really happy the Supreme Court upheld it, because it’s going to do a lot of good things for people.”

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the individual insurance requirement at the heart of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. The Affordable Care Act, which includes a mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, will go into effect over the next several years. The court rejected arguments that Congress went too far in requiring most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty, according to published reports.

Ossining resident Robert Everett, 91, said it was about time that more people had health care and that the government stepped up to make it happen.

“It’s a really good thing for everyone to have health insurance,” Everett said. “I think it’s absolutely great that people are going to have insurance that didn’t before. And I like the limits on insurance companies, too.”

Lindsay Farrell, president and CEO of Open Door Family Medical Centers in Westchester, also praised the Supreme Court's ruling.

“We’re very happy,” Farrell said. “I think it’s great that the Affordable Care Act will make health care more accessible and hopefully of a higher quality for everyone.”

Open Door Family Medical Centers serves more than 40,000 patients in Ossining, Sleepy Hollow, Port Chester and Mount Kisco. The company’s mission is to “provide primary health care and human services at affordable prices to the entire community, particularly the economically disadvantaged,” according to its website. Farrell said she was initially worried that certain important provisions of the act, including changes to the public health trust fund, could have cut major funding to the organization.

 “The public health trust fund was an integral part of the Affordable Care Act and some of our funding was in that public health trust fund,” she said. “We were worried that it would be in jeopardy, but we’re very happy that it isn’t in jeopardy anymore.”

The Prevention and Public Health Fund was established by the act to provide federal grants to states for programs that promote preventive health care.

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