Health Care Reform: Local Impact

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Lawmakers move one step closer to repealing the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare.

The Senate today voted to advance the bill to a full floor debate.

The details of the bill still have not been hashed-out but it is likely to contain billions of dollars in cuts to Medicaid, something at least one health provider said would limit “access to quality health care.”

Lawmakers are reminding the American public that health care reform is hard. That is why outside of the Affordable Care Act passed seven years ago not much has been done in recent history, though many have tried.

If the Senate approves the bill, a compromise would still have to be worked out with the house bill that passed two months ago.

The major medical organizations in the U.S., including the American Medical Association and American Hospital Association, all oppose the current bills being debated in Washington.

Count Baptist Saint Anthony’s hospital among them, citing the main reason is the billions of dollars in Medicaid cuts.

Those cuts, would, in turn, increase the number of uninsured by tens of millions, decreasing access to quality healthcare.

BSA’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Lamanteer told us reform is needed but it needs to be the done the right way.

“Any new legislation must preserve insurance coverage for all Americans who have coverage today including those who obtained coverage under the Affordable Care Act,” said Dr. Lamanteer.

Each of the proposals passed or being debated would increase the number of uninsured by an average of 23-million people.

Even though the debate is going on in Washington, Dr. Lamanteer said proposed cuts would affect a significant portion of local patients, especially those with diabetes, cancer, the elderly, and those with disabilities.

Dr. Lamanteer said the higher number of uninsured would also put more of a strain on their emergency room.

The uninsured tend to use the ER as a doctor’s office rather than seeking preventative care, driving up the number of ER patients.

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