Texas Says No To Exchange, Local Clinic Speaks Out On Mandate 2/25/13
CBS 7 News Reporter
February 25, 2013
MIDLAND-It’s even hard for healthcare providers to sort out President Obama’s Healthcare Mandate.
Now Texas is one of 26 states saying no to healthcare exchanges and one local clinic for low-income kids is worried.
The exchange would be sponsored by the government and offer federally subsidized private health insurance to low-income families.
But will it matter?
"As far as I can see it doesn't make a whole lot of difference,” said Russell Meyers, President and CEO of Midland Memorial Hospital. “In simple terms, it’s a place where people can go to buy insurance.”
Meanwhile, the Community Children's Clinic in Midland has been providing low-income kids primary care for more than 30 years. Now they worry their kids might get lost in the red tape.
"I don't want a child to go without because regulations are too confusing for their parents to understand," said Annette Stacy, Executive Director of the Community Children’s Clinic.
The clinic offers basic care services for just $20. They take no insurance, not even Medicare. The clinic says it will have to completely change its model--and it won't come cheap.
"We’re going to have to completely change to a billing process. It's going to be a rocky transition,” said Stacy. “I have seen a lot in the media about what patients should do, but not a lot about what clinics should do"
Stacy says she's not sure her patients will be able to afford the mandated insurance plus the cost of primary care services.
"Some of our patients can’t even afford basic necessities as it is,” Stacy said. “So I don’t know if they can afford a monthly payment for insurance, and I know they can't afford a fine if they can't get it."
Midland Memorial Hospital says in the meantime, it is working with patients to lower the cost of healthcare, including giving discounts to those patients who pay in cash.
To find out more information about The Community Children’s Clinic, you can call their office at (432) 686-8593.