September 18, 2014

UNMC physician believes healthcare ruling benefits system

We are hearing more reaction regarding the U-S Supreme Court’s decision on the Health Care Law. University of Nebraska Medical Center professor of internal medicine and chair of the board of governors of the American College of Physicians, Dr. Tom Tape says there are four key points to patient protection included in the law. The include improving access to insurance, improve the quality of care for those in the Medicare system, improve and increase the health care workforce and to make the system deliver better value.

Dr Tape says, “I think on balance, I think the ruling is good for the entire health care system because it provides a path forward. Had we not been able to go forward with implementing this law, we would have really gone back to square one to deal with the challenging problems facing our health care system.”

Dr. Tape says this law is extremely complicated but we need to remember that several parts of the law are already in placed. Children up to 26 can still be covered under their parent’s insurance plans and preventative care is covered without co-pays. He says, “The very unpopular Medicare donut hole that faces senior citizens purchasing their medications is being phased out as part of the new law. There are whole numbers of pilot programs trying to provide better ways of providing health care that are currently being tested and implemented. So it covers a broad spectrum”

Dr. Tape says some may consider they are losing out with this program and while it does cost money to implement we have to remember that health care for the uninsured is already costing everyone right now. He says the current health care system has a safety net so anyone can go to an emergency room for care and if that person can’t pay the bill the rest of society picks up the tab.

Dr. Tape went on to say he is a firm believer that we would be better off paying for health care up front in doctor’s offices and emphasizing prevention then waiting until a person is so sick their only option is an emergency room.