How the health care ruling impacts you
As the nation reacts to the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, local providers and analysts weigh in on the implications for patients, health care providers and voters moving toward November’s general election.
Dr. Grace Terrell, CEO of Cornerstone Health, laid out some pros and cons associated with the law as she sees it through the eyes of a provider.
One pro includes concessions made for Medicare Part- D patients.
“When the donut hole was eliminated, and that’s been in effect for awhile, that really helped a lot of my older patients with access to appropriate therapy that keeps them out of the hospital,” said Terrell, who explained the donut hole made much-needed medication entirely too expensive for most of her patients.
The con, Terrell points out, still revolves around Medicaid, which is estimated to cost $619 million over the next decade. Terrell said states in worst financial situations than North Carolina would not be able to foot bill.
“If we’re able to get 20 percent of the cost out of the system, then we actually probably have enough in our current system to pay for everybody,” said Terrell, “but it’s going to be up to not the federal or state government, but those of us who actually provide care, to figure out how to do that.”
Terrell said her staff, as most of Americans, are on both sides of the fence when it comes to the law, but it does give them a clear roadmap to work with as providers.
“We can certainly have more assurance that a lot of things that we legislated in 2009 as it relates to accessibility for a lot of people that have not had access to healthcare is more likely to occur,” said Terrell. “and so we can prepare for that.”
The plan, as a whole, as been polled as unpopular with most Americans, while parts of the plan, like the ability for young people to hang onto their parents’ health insurance plan, has been received well.
Going into November, voters may or may not allow President Obama’s plan to be a sticking point at the polls. High Point University assistant political science professor, Dr. Martin Kifer, point out it is jobs and the economy, not health care, that statistically tops voters’ concerns.
“We’re going to have to see, again, if this is a rallying cry for Governor Romney supporters or potential Romney supporters, if this is something that crystallizes for some folks who either haven’t yet taken sides or hadn’t yet been motivated to get to the polls,” said Kifer.
“This could make a difference, but we don’t know (yet).”