WI congressmen, medical leaders react to health care ruling - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

WI congressmen, medical leaders react to health care ruling

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

With this latest change to the nation's health care programs, medical leaders said new challenges arise.

"We'll have some bumps along the road," said Aspirus President & CEO Duane Erwin. "You're looking at providing care based on quality and based on outcomes, not based on volume. That's a whole shift in thinking."

At Aspirus in Wausau, more than 5,000 people work to keep patients in our area healthy. Officials there said that won't change, even as some national standards do.

"It's at the core of what we do. We put focus on quality," said Erwin. "We've been focused on reducing expenses and I don't think it's going to have any impact with the direction that we're taking to make sure that Aspirus is here as a resource for this community well into the future."

Starting just more than two years ago, pieces of President Obama's law started going into effect -- among other things, extending coverage for young adults under their parents' insurance and offering coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions. Other parts of the law will go into effect during the next few years.

Wisconsin legislators in Washington have different views of what that means for Americans.

"Every middle class, Wisconsin family is going to get a tax increase with this health care reform bill," said Republican Representative Sean Duffy.

"It provides us the opportunity to move forward to reform a health care system that was in desperate need of reform," said Democrat Representative Ron Kind.

State democrats -- like Congressman Kind -- said the system of checks and balances has been put to work and now the country can move forward. Kind said the law isn't perfect, but it takes steps to get costs under control and protect patients.

"If you actually cut through all the political rhetoric and gnashing of teeth, what you end up with is a lot of common sense proposals that have enjoyed wide bipartisan support in the past," said Kind.

But republicans -- like Congressman Duffy -- disagree. He said changes must still be made to empower patients and help truly reform health care in America. Duffy introduced his own legislation last year to help people buy health insurance across state lines and empower patients to make their own decisions. He said he would push for a replacement to the president's health care law.

"It was passed by all democrats in the house, the senate and the president. There wasn't a bipartisan approach to this," said Duffy. "I think to get good legislation, you have to engage both sides of the aisle."

Regardless of what happens in Washington, medical leaders said that won't change the quality of treatment they give their patients on a daily basis.

To find out more about the health care law, or to read it for yourself, you can click on this link.

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