Medical community finds good and bad in ruling

Jun 28, 2012

Medical providers are still processing today's long U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the federal health care law.  They see positives and negatives in the coming expansion of health care. Doctors and hospitals agree getting health coverage for more people is a good thing.

"That was the right decision for those that are uninsured and need access to quality care going forward," said Maryjane Wurth, CEO of the Illinois Hospital Association. She praised the Affordable Care Act's expansion of coverage, changes to insurance law, and willingness to experiment with new business models.

"But there are also some negatives in the bill as well," she said, " such as payment reductions to hospitals and other providers."

That's what concerns Dr. William Werner, head of the Illinois State Medical Society, a physicians' group. He says a particular concern is the expansion of Medicaid -- the government health care program for the poor.

"Reimbursement for physicians really does not cover the cost," he said. "So even though Medicaid may expand and somebody will have a card that says they have insurance, they still may have difficulty finding access to care."

In other words, the Supreme Court decision is just another step in what's likely to be a continuing fight over health coverage.