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Published June 28, 2012, 06:46 PM

As Health Care Law Survives Court, Local Reaction Mixed

(WDAZ-TV) - In a highly anticipated-ruling, the United States Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate in President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

(WDAZ-TV) - In a highly anticipated-ruling, the United States Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate in President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

The five-to-four decision keeps the mandate requiring Americans to buy health insurance or be fined.

Most people can agree that health insurance is a good thing, but support for President Obama's health care law has been mixed at best.

"I think it's plain old, honestly stupid what they're doing," Joshua Owens, who doesn't have health insurance, said.

Owens says he can't afford it on a minimum wage salary. The Supreme Court's decision today doesn't sit well with him.

"There are so many people that can't afford health care, and having to be possibly fined for it," Owens said.

Paul Von Ebers with Blue Cross Blue Shield North Dakota says affordability is about to become more of a problem.

"The law includes a tax on health insurance, which will raise the price of an individual policy by about $60 a year, and will raise the price of a family policy by about $200 a year," Von Ebers Said.

"I don't know if I would necessarily personally use the word 'punishment,' but I think that we all need to step up to the plate and we all need to be united," Devils Lake resident Jessica Ramey-Gillam said.

Supporters say the benefits of the mandate outweigh any negatives.

"A healthy nation requires healthy citizens," Ramey-Gillam said.

The mandate is controversial, but other parts of the health care law, like allowing children to be covered by their parent's insurance until age 26, are popular.

"With kids, they should be able to stay on it until they're at least like 25 or 26," Dylan Boley said.

But no matter how beneficial the health care law might be, some people just don't want more government regulations.

"People should have a right to make their own decisions, not get told what they have to do," Boley said.

The court's ruling states it's actually unconstitutional to force people to buy health insurance, but they ruled Congress can tax people who don't buy insurance, essentially enforcing the mandate.

Even North Dakota Democrats were mild in their enthusiasm for the decision.

Both Senator Kent Conrad and Senate Candidate Heidi Heitkamp say they approve of the decision, but say parts of the health care law should be changed.

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