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Health Experts Say Reform Will Continue

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EUGENE, Ore. — Some feared a Romney presidency would derail President Obama’s work reforming health care, while others feared a second term for Obama would mean even more regulations.

Health care experts say they weren’t necessarily worried it would be re-pealed but there would have likely been a lot of changes. They say now they have certainty that we will continue on the path to reform.

Kevyn Paul, a charge nurse in PeaceHealth’s emergency department, is faced with the insurance problem in our country on a daily basis.

“About 30 percent of our patient population is uninsured. A good deal more are underinsured underemployed,” Paul said.

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, will change that.

“The hope would be that people would be able to have primary care physicians rather than using us as the primary care,” Paul said.

But some worried a new administration would slow the health care overhaul.

Those at PeaceHealth say because it’s law and survived a Supreme Court challenge, they’ve been operating under assumption it would be implemented.

“I think we can expect certainty around the Affordable Care Act. We know now that it will be implemented. We also know that it’s not perfect and it will be subject to some changes and tweaks as we get experience with it,” said Jenny Ulum, Public Affairs Director at PeaceHealth.

It’s going to take 10 years to implement, but 2014 is the big year when a number of the mandates go into effect. That includes everything from Medicaid expansion–how Medicare for the elderly is delivered as well as coverage for the uninsured.

“We are going to see continued implementation of the insurance reforms, but along with that we are going to see some prices go up. I think we are going to see premiums increase,” Ulum said.

Oregon continues to remain in front of reform with its coordinated care organizations. Those like Paul say they just look forward to the day when ERs don’t have to be treated like doctors’ offices.

Health care workers say it’s important for people to understand that you can’t change a system this dramatically without a ripple effect. People in every aspect of our community will feel these and they say there will likely be some unintended consequences.

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