Photo by Jim Massara
Tyrone Campbell of Jonesboro said he agreed with the court’s decision and that “everybody should have health care.”
JONESBORO — Reactions in Clayton County were fast and plentiful to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday upholding most of President Obama’s health care reform law.
“My gut reaction was that I was pleased,” said Dr. Ron Fuqua, who teaches health-care management in Clayton State University’s College of Business. “I think any effort to attack the problem and to make an effort to reduce cost is an honorable initiative. To have it stall at this point would be destructive.”
Fuqua predicted the law would lower cost, improve quality and increase access to medical care. He added, though, that with widespread changes like this “some entities might carry more of the cost than others.”
While Clayton County’s Department of Public Health declined comment, a statement from Clayton’s largest health-care provider, Southern Regional Medical Center, said the legislation’s focus on preventive care affirmed its decision to partner with Emory for such service.
Opinions on the street ranged from approval to reservations to befuddlement to outright anger.
Several people interviewed Thursday evening at a QuikTrip on Tara Boulevard confessed complete ignorance of ObamaCare, but a few who said they understood it liked the decision.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Tonyier Brown, of Jonesboro, speaking from the driver’s seat of her Chrysler 300. “Everybody deserves the same amount of insurance. He (Obama) is trying to make it better.”
Tyrone Campbell, of Jonesboro, said much the same thing while filling up his pickup truck. “I think everybody should have health care,” he said. “I totally agree with the decision.”
Not everyone was on board, though.
“I think there’s good parts to it, but I think they still have to work out a lot,” said Miracle Wilson.
Others were even less positive.
“It has its good points and its bad points, but I think overall it’s not going to be a good thing for our economy,” said Mary Pape of McDonough. “The people who work are going to be footing the bill for everyone, and it’s not fair to those who don’t have a job to have to penalize them if they can’t get health insurance.”
“I really don’t know enough about it to make a comment,” said Gilda Hatcheson, interviewed while watching shooting of the movie “The Devil’s Knot” in Morrow. “I’m really confused.”
Her friend Jane White, on the other hand, wasn’t confused in the least.
“I don’t like the idea at all,” White said. “There is just too much government intrusion about how we should spend our money on our bodies and health. That should be more of a personal decision.”
Chris Reed of Morrow was even more blunt: “I’m not for it.”
But perhaps most direct of all was Carl Swensson, Clayton County GOP chairman.
“This is darn near a call to arms,” Swensson said, speaking by phone from his business in Stockbridge.
Swensson termed the law “unconstitutional” and said that it demonstrated the disregard that politicians like Obama show to him and fellow Republicans.
The bottom line for Swensson, though, is that it will make him think twice before hiring more help for his computer sales and service company.
“I keep it small,” he said, “because I will not subject myself to the taxes that are built into the plan.”
Staff writers Jeylin White and Brian Paglia contributed to this article.