The debate over the Affordable Care Act intensified following Thursday's Supreme Court ruling reaffirming the legality of the controversial law. UB health policy expert Nancy Nielsen says if the law had been overturned, "premiums would have gone up."
"If the ruling had gone the other way, you would initially, at first blush, think New Yorkers wouldn't be affected because we have our own state (health insurance) exchange," said Nielsen, Senior Associate dean of Health Policy in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
"It would have mattered. It would have thrown the insurance industry into chaos. It would have thrown some business decisions that employers are making into chaos as they are trying to figure out what to do to get their employees health care."
Republican Presidential contenders responded quickly to the court ruling. Most said that it will be up to Congress and a new President in 2016 to repeal the law, but Nielsen believes that may be difficult.
The public is growing comfortable with many aspects of the law, notably that children can remain on their parents' insurance until the age of 26.
"The longer this has become part of the fabric of American life, the more difficult it will be to undo."