Local Doctors Express Concern Over Affordable Healthcare Act

Local Doctors Express Concern Over Affordable Healthcare Act

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Dr. Russell Hudgens is an orthopedic surgeon and says there are several concerns about the Affordable Health Care Act - one being a shortage of doctors.

"Due to some of the regulatory burdens and some of the cost and reimbursement issues, we are seeing some of our older physicians starting to retire at an early age. Unless there is a significant influx of new doctors there maybe a shortage of doctors and therefore there maybe and access to care issue for some patients because of the over demand with these newly insured patients," said Dr. Hudgens.

Up to 30 percent of today's population are uninsured or under-insured. The new healthcare legislation will requires those uninsured to become insured whether it be through an employer or purchasing a plan out of your pocket.

It's a highly debated topic, one concerned group are our future doctors.

"We are just going into it new and fresh, so we are not going to have anything to compare it to," said one student.

"I'm kinda worried who's going to pick up the slack if it cuts medicaid," said another student.

Third-year medical students at the University of South Alabama express their concerns about the new healthcare act.

Dr. Errol Cook teaches third-year medical students at the University of South Alabama.

"From a provider's prospective there will be fewer people who lack health insurance. There is the concern of reimbursement to cover physician expenses, however for the group we are talking about. They don't have coverage anyway," said Dr. Cook.

Another cost concern has to do with employers simply not having the money for coverage.

"You may see some employers decrease the hours that some people are working so that they are not having to pay for an employee's healthcare," said Hudgens.

Now along with these concerns, some do believe that there are many pros to the plan. Like prohibiting health insurers from refusing coverage based on past medical histories, the expansion of medicaid to include more low-income Americans, or even parents being able to insure their children until 26 years old. So whether you like it or not, sign up for the plan begins October 1st.

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