POSTED: Friday, June 29, 2012 - 9:00am
UPDATED: Friday, June 29, 2012 - 9:16am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Patients at the Kansas City Free Health Clinic listened intently as the news unfolded that the Supreme Court largely upheld the Health Care law.
The promise of improved access to health care was second to a very real fear for many uninsured Americans who will be required to purchase health insurance, or face a tax penalty.
"I'm having trouble with my house payment right now and I'm trying to picture having another payment to make," said Uninsured Patient Meryl Rowan.
"Many of the patients we deal with who are uninsured are truly the poor, or working poor, and would have trouble affording even co-pays from any type of insurance plan," said Dr. Craig Dietz, Medical Director of Kansas City Free Health Clinic.
Many Doctors say that they have seen benefits from the affordable care act's provisions already in place.
Major health groups including the American Heart Association, March of Dimes, and American Cancer Society released statements calling the Supreme Court's decision a victory for patients.
The law prohibits insurance companies from denying access to or raising rates for people with pre-existing conditions.
Hospital leaders say America's healthcare system has been in need of a major reform.
"We have a bigger population, we have an older population, we have more things we can do for people, and now we have to change the system in order to accommodate those changes," said CEO of Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Toby Cosgrove.
Many patients now are left wondering whether the affordable care act will really be affordable.