The 31-year-old doctoral student at Arizona State University reached his lifetime cap of $300,000 on his student insurance plan in January and spent most of his spare time raising money in order to meet the costs of his escalating medical bills.
Through his website, PoopStrong.org, Guha managed to raise $50,000 through selling bracelets, buttons and t-shirts with his PoopStrong logo on them to continue his medical care, but that money wasn't nearly enough to keep him out of medical bankruptcy.
So the Supreme Court's decision regarding the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was going to have a direct impact on the quality and quantity of his care.
How did Guha feel when he heard that the majority of the provisions would be upheld? Well, tired, for one thing. He was up until 3 a.m. the night before, too nervous to sleep in anticipation of this landmark decision.
“It is clearly a win for so many millions of Americans," Gupta told Stephanie Innes of the Arizona Daily Star. "Many others have been denied insurance, maxed out on their plans and would have been in pretty dire straits had the ACA (Affordable Care Act) not passed.”
“Before the health law it would have been easier for the insurer to charge me a lot more for a plan with no caps. They would have all the bargaining power,” Guha went on to say. “The law will force insurers to spend more of the premiums on care rather than on bonuses to executives and dividends to shareholders. It is essentially a shift in power to some extent from insurance companies to patients.”
The debate on this controversial issue is only beginning, as it is sure to be a major point of contention between President Barack Obama and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as the 2012 general election ramps up. But for the time being, patients in Guha's situation will be able to continue their medical care with far fewer obstacles standing in their way between them and a clean bill of health.
Read more about Guha's story at PoopStrong.org. It's well worth your time. And maybe while you're there, take a look at one of his buttons, because even though Thursday's ruling helps Guha keep his insurance, he still has some serious medical bills to pay.
• Health-care ruling personal for Arizona man (Arizona Daily Star, June 28, 2012)