A universal health care bill passed into law recently which means that the current system as we know it will be forever transformed. Reactions to the bill have been strong and with mixed emotions; many are concerned about costs and the level of government involvement.
One particular benefit of the law is that community health centers are due to receive significant additional funding. Marguerite Peggy Harris, Clinical Health Director of the Project Salud clinic in Kennett Square is optimistic about the benefits for community health centers and their clients. She says “it is my hope that for the majority of our clients, insurance will be holistic and we won’t have to patch the patient into different programs in order to get the needed services, much like we do today. That means more time and money will be spent on direct services as opposed to administrative services like qualifying a patient for different programs.”
The Clinic in Phoenixville, however, will not see any additional funding. Since it is not a federally qualified health center, they do not accept Medicaid or Medicare. Krys Sipple, Executive Director of the Clinic contemplated how the law would affect the facility. She said, “A problem that patients will face in the future is a primary doctor shortage due to lower reimbursement rates. People will be covered by insurance but there will be no one to see them.” The Clinic’s vision is to provide quality health care to meet the needs of the uninsured in the region…until everyone has access to health care. The new law proposes that 95% of Americans will be insured; the Clinic will still serve the 5% or more that falls through the cracks. If the amount grows, Krys says, “The Clinic may make a bigger impact.”
Some immediate changes of the health care law can be found on the Chester County Democratic Committee website including the following:
- Children won’t be denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions.
- Young adults will be covered by their parents’ health insurance until age 27 instead of losing coverage after they graduate from college or leave home.
- New plans must cover checkups and preventative care without co-pays.
- Insurance companies cannot remove someone from a plan when he or she becomes ill.
- Indoor tanning services will come with a ten percent tax.
- Fast food restaurants must provide calorie information and nutrient content alongside their items.
If you are wondering what changes you may face in your particular situation, take the “What’s in reform for you” quiz to find out.