A Local Doctor Talks About Health Care Reform - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

A Local Doctor Talks About Health Care Reform


More now on the president's health care reform.  Deeda Payton spoke to a local physician today about his views the proposed bill.
Dr. Steve Johnson says he is not in favor of the proposed legislation.  He believes is it the wrong time to make such an expensive decision, especially one so bureaucratic.

The statistic used most often to promote the president's health care plan is that 46 million Americans are uninsured.  A statistic not everyone takes to heart.  "I think the focus on people not having health insurance is insincere.  Doesn't mean you don't have access to health care."

Dr. Steve Johnson, a local urologist, has been practicing medicine for more than 10 years.  He says American medicine has a great tradition of taking care of people whether they have health insurance or not.  "People can walk in an ER and get care."  And, he says about a third of the 46 million people who don't have health insurance, don't need it.  Instead they need a medical savings account or to apply for state or federal programs because it's that one third who rarely go to the doctor.      

"It's certainly the wrong time to institute the expensive, unaffordable sweeping changes that congress is proposing at this time to that is not realistic.  Congressman Ralph Hall also says it's too big and too expensive.  In fact, he says he doesn't even understand the bill.  "I don't think anyone knows what it is.  I've read it and I don't know what it is."

He says he is in the health subcommittee where the bill has to start and for the past two weeks they have been in session and nothing has been accomplished.  "We had 40 or 50 amendments and not a single amendment was accepted.  "So, the next step is more battles on the floor of the house and the senate about your tax dollars going to health care. "

Dr. Johnson says he would like to see legislation to stop discrimination of people with pre-existing illnesses.  He also believes there should be some oversight for health insurance vendors to regulate rate hikes much like a utility commission regulates electricity rate increases.

Deeda Payton, KTEN News.