WILKES-BARRE -- Deli owner Phil Rudy was serving customers on his busy lunchtime crowd at Circle's Emporium on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre. He just heard the news that the Supreme Court upheld president Obama's health care mandate for Americans, set to go into effect in 2014.
“I do offer health care to my employees and it`s an arm and a leg. If you get affordable health care available to the public it`s every business man`s dream. I can`t see why anyone would be against this,” said Rudy.
President Obama signed the health care reform law back in March of 2010. Opponents immediately challenged the law, calling it unconstitutional and questioned the amount of power the government can have over the people.
Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the health care law, if a person or small business owner doesn't have health care insurance in 2014, they will have to pay a penalty tax. Only the smallest businesses will be exempt if they don't provide insurance.
“This is going to make a huge difference in the way health care in this country runs. It`s too early to predict whether it`s going to create jobs. It will make more money available for jobs. Will it create jobs? Demand creates jobs,” said Rudy.
Other business owners disagree with the court's decision. They said the decision will hurt their financial resources and keep them from hiring new employees.
"I think this is the first chapter of several other chapters that will continue to be written as our health policy evolves,” said Professor Justin Matus of Wilkes University.
Matus teaches business and specializes in health policy at Wilkes Univesrsity. Matus said he agrees with the high court's decision, but said any changes are still far off.
“What will your average middle class citizen notice? Probably not a lot other than all the talking heads on the news programs in the next couple of days,” said Matus.