Saturday, May 1, 2010

Letter to the Editor, Virginia Free Press

Just a quick note that I had a letter published in the Virginia Free Press.  No surprise, it's about health care reform.  The content probably won't surprise you, either:


With all the noise, hot air and controversy concerning the health care debate over the last year, it is no surprise that folks might not know what the recently passed health care legislation actually includes.

As a physician, I am concerned that many people believe the “sky is falling” scenarios that they are hearing about the health care bill. My primary concern is the health of my patients, and making sure they understand their health care options are of key importance. My job is not helped by the misinformation that abounds concerning the recently passed legislation.

As I tell my patients, in the next six to nine months the health care law will have immediate benefits
that may directly affect their access to health care. The law will allow access to insurance for uninsured patients with pre-existing conditions and will eliminate pre-existing condition restrictions for children. Small business tax credits will be made available for purchase of health insurance. There will be $250 rebates for seniors caught n the Medicare Part D doughnut hole. The bill will immediately end cancellations of coverage and eliminate lifetime limits. Adult children can stay on parents’ insurance plans until they turn 26, making insurance available as they begin their professional careers or extend their education. Insurance plans will be required to provide key preventive and
wellness services. Finally, this bill will strengthen public health and community health centers to improve care to many of the most vulnerable Americans and will start addressing
the looming shortage in primary care physicians to care for the newly insured.

Once you get through the misinformation, it is honestly not a bad six to nine months’ work.


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