President Barak Obama made his first stop after signing the recent Health Care Reform legislation into Law yesterday. His stop was at the University of Iowa. Many business owners and health care providers were in attendance with the general feeling that they are not sure about what this bill actually means for them. As one business owner, Helen Kimes put it, “I don’t know how it will impact me…Honestly, I don’t think people have enough knowledge about it.” With the bill at over 1000 pages, the public and private sector have good reason not to know what it actually says.
Through the course of the meeting two things became clear. The first was that small businesses are considered businesses that have under 100 employees. So if you work for a company that has under 100 employees your situation could change significantly. All small businesses with 50 employees or more, starting in 2014 will be required to provide health insurance or face large fines. Significant credits will be available to small business owners with 25 employees or less within the next year to provide health insurance for their employees.
The second thing that became apparent was possibly good news for Chiropractic. “I have not seen the final versions of the (bill),” said Dr. Stuart Hoven of Clark County Chiro in Iowa. “I do know that it was pushing for inclusion of alternative therapies, and chiropractic is the number one alternative form of health care in the United States. … There are many Iowans without insurance coverage, and I hope that chiropractic is included in the final version to give everyone access to getting their aches and pains taken care of naturally while improving their health overall.” (read more)
Although it sounds good the question is what does “pushing for inclusion” actually mean? Does it mean chiropractic will be regulated like an HMO or PPO? Will the national healthcare program be run like Medicare which runs rampant with abuse by some and under payment to others. I can tell you from personal experience that treating Medicare patients has not been a high priority for me. We love our Medicare patients but truthfully don’t like their insurance. We have found Medicare to be the hardest to obtain payment from and the provider of the lowest reimbursements. It becomes hard to justify how we can continue to treat Medicare patients. Will national healthcare reform require us to follow unreasonable guidelines?
I promise as a provider to NEVER short my patients the care they need based on their insurance. I got into chiropractic to help my patients enjoy a higher quality of life. If national healthcare requires me to change the way i treat my patients because it isn’t justifiable to do, then I would rather do something else. Let providers provide, and insurance pay if they want to fulfill their promise to their customers!