What This Day Meant to Me: A personal take on the ACA ruling from outside the Supreme Court
The following account was written by Mental Health America intern Lida Momeni. The views expressed below do not necessarily represent the views of Mental Health America; this is the personal account of the author. To view MHA's official statement on the Affordable Care Act, go here.
What a memorable day! Today marks a victory for all Americans, especially for those with chronic health conditions. I would have been ecstatic and overjoyed by the news no matter where I was; however, standing in front of the U.S. Supreme Court made the experience even more unforgettable. Today was a day that gave me and the others with me hope for our country; hope that proper health care will be provided to all Americans.
While standing in front of the Supreme Court, we could feel the excitement and emotions. Many people held signs, shouted their opinions and chattered nonstop. All types of people were present, and many opinions were represented in the crowd. People held signs in favor of and against the Affordable Care Act. Some even held signs requesting Medicare for everyone. As time passed, our anxiety and nervousness increased. A couple of us were even shaking. The crowd got bigger and louder, and it did not help that it was sweltering hot! Even though it was extremely hot and sunny, people were excited to be there.
At about 10:08 a.m., a man on a megaphone announced that the Affordable Care Act was not upheld because it was unconstitutional. For a split second we were confused, but we held onto our hope. We knew to wait until we heard official news. We kept watch of our phones; we kept checking Twitter, news sites and anything else that could possibly give us information. The large crowd caused poor cellphone reception, making it harder for us to get online and get news on the decision. We kept trying to send pictures of the scene to the MHA office with little success.
With a swarm of confused people, we had no idea what was going on. We were in the dark about the decision for at least a couple minutes. One of the interns opened the SCOTUS blog and found out that the Act was upheld. We were still unsure and did not want to excite ourselves only to be disappointed. We waited. Another intern got a call from her dad telling her that MSNBC announced the Act passed. We finally cheered with excitement! We could not believe the great news and remained in disbelief for a while.
On our way home we discussed what this day meant to us. We all agreed that today was one of those "where were you when" moments. We will always remember this monumental day, and that we were together in front of the Supreme Court when it happened. I know this will be a story I will tell my grandchildren!
Today was a great day for parity, and I am proud of our country for doing what is right for the American people.