Yahoo! News asked Americans to write about how the Supreme Court's ruling on Thursday affects them. Below is one personal story and perspective.
FIRST PERSON | I am frightened and disappointed by today's Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.
This legislation will do nothing to make health care more affordable for my family. Our costs have risen more than 20 percent since its passage, and I expect costs to increase even more following today's ruling. The decision came at a particularly bad time for my family, as we may lose our health insurance in a matter of weeks.
In May, my husband lost the job he'd held for the last several years. He is interviewing for a new position today, but if he doesn't find work before his coverage from his old job ends, we will be uninsured.
Under the ACA, families like mine will be fined with a tax penalty if we don't acquire health insurance. But getting insured may not be possible until my husband finds a good job.
As a 40-year-old mother of three, I'd be crazy not to want health insurance for my family. But I already know what it's like to fall through the cracks. I work hard every day as a freelance writer to pay the mortgage while my husband looks for work. My income alone certainly puts our family of five under the poverty line. But because we were responsible and put away some money in savings, we don't qualify for food stamps, free phone service or any other type of social service. Our low income is irrelevant until we've spent nearly every dime we have in savings.
Our situation is complicated by the fact that our youngest daughter has a congenital heart defect. It breaks my heart to think we might not be able to provide health insurance for her even if only for a little while. But it infuriates me to think that our government would punish us for something we simply can't avoid. We have to eat and we need a roof over our heads. If it comes down to a choice, food and shelter trump insurance.
We live in Tahlequah, Okla., a small college town where many working-class people are self-employed or work for small businesses. I dare say everyone I know wants health insurance, but good jobs with great benefits are hard to come by here.
It's just not fair to tax people for not purchasing what they simply can't afford.