Two State Senators – Both MDs – Say Don’t Repeal Healthcare Reform
Thursday, January 20, 2011
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Tuesday's party-line vote in the U.S. House to repeal last year's health-care reform is not popular with two doctors who are also members of the West Virginia state Senate.
Sen. Ron Stollings, who has practiced medicine in Madison for 22 years, says West Virginia badly needs more rural health care, and the reform will help. He says it's already helping streamline care at practices such as his by paying for the transition to electronic records.
"We'll be saving probably that much money in duplication of services. Then we can monitor our patients better. You come to me, you take your sugar pill, you take your blood pressure pill, you take your cholesterol pill. You save money that way."
Republicans in Congress have said the reform is costly and bad for the economy. However, analysis by the Congressional Budget Office and others say the reform would reduce the deficit and help the economy by improving flexibility for people who want to change jobs.
Stollings says it's much cheaper if the uninsured can get care in doctors' offices instead of emergency rooms, where he says many uninsured poor now go.
"Frankly, they're not paying the hospitals, so the hospitals are having to eat that. They end up dying at a much younger age. They have high cost. This is to try to get them to have ongoing good primary care."
Sen. Dan Foster is a Charleston doctor. Like Stollings, he's already seeing improvements from the law. He says repeal would mean hundreds of thousands of West Virginians would lose their insurance - or that coverage would cost more or cover less. He says he knows people already benefiting from the new rules.
"Young people who are on their parent's policies. Senior citizens who they have no co-pays for preventive care services. I also know businesses who plan to use the tax credits."
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