Yes, there are citizens who are celebrating Sunday’s fateful vote to restructure the nation’s health care coverage. South Carolina’s Hospital Association is one such group applauding the passage of the bill. According to SCHA President Thornton Kirby, hospitals are seeing too many patients who are uninsured.
“In South Carolina, this bill would result in coverage of about 80 percent of all the people who are currently uninsured. So, almost 500,000 of the 700,000 uninsured will be benefited and that’s an important step for South Carolinians, ” Kirby says.
“We do not believe that the alternative is status quo, ” he says, “When we treat people who can’t pay, that has to be made up by people who do pay and it’s getting more and more difficult for the insured population to cover that cost.”
About 764,000 South Carolinians have no insurance. George Zara, CEO of Providence Hospitals in Columbia says, “ South Carolina hospitals are providing more than $1 billion in care each year for which there is no direct payment and which is passed on to those with insurance.”
The SC Hospital Association’s position is that there is an economic advantage to this new health care legislation. According to Kirby, “This bill would increase the supply of primary care physicians in this country and that is a step we desperately need to take in order to care for the Baby Boomer populations and all the people who would have health insurance in the future.”
Kirby says they are glad to see the bill do away with the concept of preexisting conditions. He, on the behalf of the South Carolina Hospital Association, offers some encouragement to South Carolinians who are worried about how this bill will work out.
“This bill will have alot to say about how insurance is structured and how hospitals and physicians are paid , but I do not believe this country or this state is going to let its hospitals close or physicians stop practicing medicine.”
Kirby says the hospitals’ most important job will be to take continue to take care of their immediate communities.