East Texans give their take on Health care reform

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Health care has been at the forefront of political discussion for months. From access to care to how a new plan will be paid for, and what that new plan should be.  Now, East Texans have their say.

One doctor said change has to happen so people can have access to care, while another said the new healthcare reform is not how to go about it.

"Cut all my medications in half to keep from getting in the donut hole with my prescription insurance," said Betty Vandagriff.

Vandagriff said the current health care system isn't working for her, but one East Texas doctor said the new plan for health care is not the way to solve the current crisis.

"The major flaw with this particular plan is that it takes the focus of control, who makes the decision about somebody's healthcare and puts it in the hands of the government when it should be in the hands of the patients," said Krohn Internal Medicine Association Dr. Karl L. Krohn.

Some East Texans said something has to be done.

"I'm retired union, I've got insurance, but there are a lot of people out here that have nothing. So, it's not hurting me either way it goes. So if anything will reach down and help people less fortunate, I'm for it," said James Flowers.

"It's a shame that in a country like ours, there are so many people without proper access to care," said Julio Williams.

Williams is a surgeon. He said fixing the system is long overdue.

"I think that we've known this all along that healthcare is broken, it's a given," Williams said.

Krohn said the new plan will take into account what is cost effective, not necessarily what's best for patients.

"It's going to limit the medications that I can use to treat them. It's going to limit the treatment options I'm going to be able to offer them," Krohn said.

His solution--"...increasing the level of government control is simply going to make things worse. The true solution is to let lose the power of the free market."

Some are worried about the money.

"I think it's a good idea, but until they can come up with a real way to pay for it, not a pie in the sky kind of thing. I don't think we ought to look at it," said one East Texan.

"I believe that they'll be taking away from the veterans aspect of financial support," said Veteran Charles Woolman.

With a number of aspects to consider, the priority for many was access to care.

"When you're getting to my age and on a fixed income, you can't afford it. You're going to have to give up something," Vandagriff said.

She hopes it's not her healthcare.

We won't have any type of decisions from Congress for at least several weeks. The U.S. Senate won't vote on health care legislation before they leave for the break in August.

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