A Landmark Decision
June 29, 2012
News of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate portion of the measure, brought mixed reactions from the area medical community Thursday morning.
“The court’s decision reaffirms the path health centers have been on for over 40 years,” said Travis J. Robinette, chief executive officer of Sun Life Family Health Center.
He said Sun Life anticipates having a major role in increasing access to care and helping residents “establish a medical home.”
“Through collaboration and partnerships, Sun Life will continue our work to promote the economic and social well-being of individuals, families and communities through education and promotion for preventative health care,” Robinette said.
Dr. Ajay Bhatnagar of Cancer Treatment Centers Arizona said the court’s decision to uphold the coverage mandate should, in theory, benefit the community, especially the unemployed and uninsured.
“Physicians and hospitals already deliver care to uninsured patients when they come through the emergency room but typically, physicians and hospitals don’t receive payment for their services in these situations,” Bhatnagar said. “This would no longer be the case with this new mandate in place — in theory.”
Rona Curphy, president and chief executive officer of Casa Grande Regional Medical Center, saw the ruling as positive for the hospital, which has seen a 50 percent increase in its bad debt and charity cases in the past year.
“Taking politics out of the equation, the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Health Care Act is positive for Casa Grande Regional Medical Center,” Curphy said. “This significantly affects our bottom line and the dollars we have for capital and new services to maintain our hospital in the future,” she said.
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