Symposium helps citizens understand Affordable Care Act - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Symposium helps citizens understand Affordable Care Act

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David Spillers, CEO of Huntsville Hospital, was one of the panelists at Monday's symposium on the Affordable Care Act. David Spillers, CEO of Huntsville Hospital, was one of the panelists at Monday's symposium on the Affordable Care Act.
HUNTSVILLE -

Huntsville residents turned out in South Huntsville Monday night for a special symposium with health care professionals to help them understand the ins and outs of the Affordable Care Act.

The event was held at Grissom High School.

"It seems to me there might be a lot of holes in the way it's structured," said Huntsville resident Dan Shedroff. He wanted to know more about any gap between Medicaid and subsidies for those buying private health insurance. "The way the program is now, it encourages persons close to the subsidy level but below it to cheat," Shedroff said.

Legal, medical, and insurance professionals wrestled with questions that still surround the Affordable Care Act.

David Spillers, CEO of Huntsville Hospital, said people forced by the act out of their insurance plans and into high deductible plans are now more likely to end up in the ER.

"Most of the plans being purchased today have a $6,000 deductible," Spillers said. "Most people don't have $6,000 laying around waiting for the next time they need health care. One of my concerns is they will just opt out of receiving care."

The keyword, according to the panelists, remains "uncertainty".

"A lot of patients I've talked to are scared for a good reason because they are about to lose control of their health care," said physician John Sowell. "Historically, doctors and patients have gotten together to decide what is best for the patient. Now the government is going to be squirreling between doctor and patient by telling me how to treat my patients."

Huntsville resident Bill Hastings is on Medicare and concerned about a friend who is fighting cancer.

"She was due for a procedure and Medicare wouldn't pay for it. That sounds like rationing to me, and I don't like that. I don't think that's right," Hastings said.

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