Americans react to historic health care decision

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CHICAGO (AP) - The mother of two disabled teens called Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling on the health care law wonderful because it bars insurance companies from setting lifetime limits for medical expenses _ a big help to her family.

But a retiree on Medicare called it a “sad day” and worries that the law’s new rules coming in 2015 will interfere with treatments doctors can provide.

Across the country, some Americans haven’t been dramatically affected yet by the law, which will take a few years to reach full force. But many others say they have felt its effects already and have strong opinions about it.

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Name: Becky Morefield

Home: Mahomet, Ill.

Age: 51

Occupation: Stay-at-home mom of two disabled teenagers

Insurance coverage: Private insurance through husband’s employer

As Morefield sees it, the health law allowed her son Tucker to die peacefully at home with private health insurance covering his care.

Tucker, one of three triplets with cerebral palsy, was always the most fragile of the siblings, Morefield said. Five years ago, he maxed out the $1 million lifetime limit in his family’s policy when he went into respiratory failure and was hospitalized for 12 weeks.

Hitting the lifetime limit meant the insurance company would no longer pay Tucker’s medical bills. The state of Illinois picked up the slack through a program for children with special health care needs. But the program put strict limits on certain medical supplies, leading the family to wash and reuse equipment meant for single use.

Tucker’s coverage was reinstated in 2011 because the health care law barred lifetime dollar limits on coverage. He lived another 15 months covered by private insurance. At the end, he had doctor visits at home, oxygen and enough pain medication _ all care that Morefield said would have been restricted under the state program.

“It was a blessing for us,” Morefield said. “People who’ve not had the ongoing medical things we’ve had don’t understand.”

Morefield reacted to the Supreme Court decision on Thursday, her birthday, with joy. She called it a great gift that will grant her and her husband peace of mind.

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