South-central Indiana doctors say ne little-discussed aspect of the new health care bill which deserves more attention is its potential for job creation. Dr. James Turner is a volunteer medical doctor for Saint Ann’s Clinic- an organization based in Terre Haute that serves the uninsured. He said more access to health care could be an economic boon.
“Most of our health care dollars do not leave this country. They provide jobs,” Turner said, “In the rural county I practice in, of just 16,000 people, we have over 400 health care jobs. We are the second biggest employer in the county.”
Turner pointed out those 400 jobs in turn contribute to the local economy.
“So when we talk about the money that is spent on health care, it stays in this country, it buys cars, it buys houses. You’re able to send your kids to school. It’s dollars that stay in our communities,” Turner said.
The nearly one trillion dollar cost of the new health care bill is not what worries Dr. Raj Haddawi, Board Member for Volunteers in Medicine Monroe County. Instead, said Haddawi, small changes the legislation still needs could be somewhat worrisome.
“There are too many buds coming out of the main stem in this bill,” Haddawi said. “Some of them need to be pulled out or clipped, some of them need to be stretched and encouraged.”
One such bud is a provision in the bill requiring people to buy insurance or face paying a fine. Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan Director Dr. Rob Stone said that requirement could present some issues.
“And so that potentially you could describe that as a transfer of wealth from tax payers to stock holders since most of these big insurance companies are for profit,” Stone said. “ So I’ve got some concerns on that level.”
Turner, Haddawi, and Stone made their comments on WFIU’s Noon Edition.
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