Willarda Edwards

Willarda Edwards

Willarda Edwards, MD, is president of the National Medical Association. She is an internist in Baltimore and has been in private practice since 1984.

Reform: Good For All Ages

After talking with colleagues today, who, like me, see seniors every day in their medical practices, I agree that health-care reform is good for them as well as for all other ages. The reform will include the younger people in the risk pools and thereby lower the potential monthly premiums. Additionally, the cost of health insurance premiums will not be a barrier to employment for older workers. Currently, the cost for insurance in a group that has older workers is so high, some employers have to consider firing (or not hiring) seasoned employees in lieu of hiring younger employees in order to lower their business health insurance costs. Additionally, for those seniors who have Medicare coverage, health-care reform gets rid of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) that has constantly loomed large with physicians accepting Medicare payments. The SGR annually portends an adjustment (usually a decrease) in the payment to physicians for services to Medicare patients; resulting in many doctors from year-to-year deciding not to accept Medicare patients/payments. This narrows patients' selection of doctors. This will be gone, as well it should be! Also, health-care reform could benefit older Americans (and everyone) with the banning of denial of coverage because of "pre-existing conditions".

With health-care reform now, everyone can get insurance and there will be fewer (young and older young) uninsured Americans. There is nothing un-American about that!

By Willarda Edwards  |  August 12, 2009; 9:28 AM ET  | Category:  Health costs , Insurance , Medicare Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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