Lufkin doctor deems health care overhaul necessary

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – The American Medical Association announced their support for the health care bill. On Sunday, a day after the House passed the bill, an east Texas doctor tells KTRE he thinks the bill will help relieve a huge burden we are already paying for.

Dr. Lance Sloan has attended countless meetings discussing the health care bill. From a physician's perspective, he said something has to change.
"Unless we want hospitals to go out of business, there is the federal government that's supporting that system and that's costing us a lot more because it's a lot more costly providing that care in the emergency room than to provide it in a physician's office," said Dr. Sloan.
According to Dr. Sloan, Texas has the highest number of uninsured residents. Which means emergency rooms tend to fill-up. "A significant number of patients that I see in the hospital have no health insurance and even though I take care of these patients basically for free," he said. "They can't afford to pay me."  
Dr. Sloan said Americans have been paying for the uninsured trips to the E.R. for years. "Some of the payment is going to come out of taxpayer money," he said. "So, indirectly we're all kind of paying for this, but we were kind of paying for this before in a more costly manner."
It's a steep price at $1.2 trillion over ten years, but one that he believes will be cost-efficient for our future. "The long term hope is that this is going to result better health care for our country and less cost," said Dr. Sloan. "Although initially there will be more cost, just like anytime you start something new."
The bill still has a long way to go and an even tougher fight in the Senate. In order to pass the bill, House Democrats accepted an amendment that imposes tough new restrictions on abortion coverage in insurance policies.
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