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Rounds: Decision Leaves Questions For Congress

June 28, 2012, 6:20 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Rounds: Decision Leaves Questions For Congress
Mike Rounds


Former South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds met with President Barack Obama exactly three years ago just as the federal health care law was being crafted.

Back in 2009 Rounds had concerns about the mandate requiring states to expand Medicaid to more people or risk losing millions in federal funding.

That's the one portion of the law the Supreme Court struck down, but the rest was upheld and Rounds says that raises more questions.

"There is no such thing as a free lunch and there is no such thing as free health care," Rounds said.

Rounds, who is now the President and CEO of Fischer Rounds Insurance, says the law is now requiring insurance companies to offer more services and more coverage to patients without necessarily providing a way to pay for it and that's why he thinks premiums will rise.

"It's always good to talk about health care reform but somebody's got to pay for those if you're trying to expand the amount of coverage and the benefits and so forth," Rounds said.

By upholding the individual mandate that all Americans have health insurance but striking down the portion of the law that requires states to cover more people under Medicaid, Rounds says it appears there is a group of Americans now caught in the middle.

"I think the jury is still out with regards to what happens to those individuals who would have been covered under the expansion of Medicaid but who now are people without insurance," Rounds said.

Rounds thinks the U.S. Supreme Court has now put the decision about addressing those issues and moving forward with this law back on Congress.

"I think the court has told us that if we really want to fix this it has to be a political fix, it's up to Congress to fix the mess they've got us into," Rounds said.

Rounds believes the decision will energize both Republicans and Democrats for the upcoming November election; and that health care will be one of the top issues on the campaign trail this fall.

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