Why opting out of health care reform is a bad choice Print
Written by Bernd Wollschlaeger, MD   
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 15:20

In My Opinion

In an excellent editorial published in the Miami Herald, (Click here to see article) Steven Marcus, President and CEO of Health Foundation of South Florida, points out that:

"Florida has a healthcare crisis - and we need to do something. The law is not perfect but it is a giant step in the right direction. The protections under the Affordable Care Act move us forward to a time when citizens won't have to wait until they are so sick that they have to go to emergency rooms for the most expensive care. Rather, they will have coverage to go to a family or primary-care doctor. But before anyone looks forward to a healthier Florida and nation, here's a dose of reality: The benefits from consumer protections increasingly are at risk of being taken away. The actions of many of Florida's elected officials reflect a lack of concern for thousands of our low-wage workers and other citizens who will go without care and instead declare personal bankruptcy over a medical emergency. This leads to community bankruptcy for unpaid, expensive medical and hospital bills. Is this what Floridians deserve? I don't think so. Let's get behind this law and tell our officials to do the same, it will attract businesses and jobs to Florida by reducing costs that are dragging down our economy. Let Florida join the other states in planning by taking the federal money offered to create a brighter and healthier future for all Floridians."  

By blocking and stalling the implementation of the entire healthcare reform package the political leadership in Tallahassee jeopardizes the access to healthcare to four million uninsured residents in Florida. This rigid and ideologically misguided attitude will hurt the business of medicine in Florida, too. Recognizing this problem, Michael W. Garner, President and CEO of the Florida Association of Health Plans, said that Florida should pass bills to keep aspects of its health insurance market in state control, instead of letting the federal government regulate the market under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). He is correct in stating that that health insurance companies in Florida will have to struggle to meet the federal guidelines and standards set forth by the PPACA. It is obvious that Governor Rick Scott's ideologically driven policy is not only bad for our health but also bad medicine for big business in Florida.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 April 2011 15:30