After the Vote: What now for health professionals? - - Jackson, MS

After the Vote: What now for health professionals and small businesses?

By Ashley Conroy - email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Sunday night marked the vote on healthcare legislation as Democrats celebrated what they say is a time to go down in history.

On Monday, local professionals reacted to this legislation.  Many have mixed feelings about it.

District Director Janita Stewart of the U.S. Small Business Administration is excited about the healthcare overhaul. She thinks it will inspire more small businesses to open up in the future.

"In terms of folks wanting to start a business, and you know just having the ability to pay for coverage for their employees," said Stewart.

Family Practitioner Dr. David Wheat, M.D.  is fearful of what this could for Medicare patients after Congress sliced 21 percent of funding to Medicare doctors nationwide.

"They say they're going to take a huge amount of money away from medicare, which they don't have any money to give," said Dr. Wheat.

Governor Haley Barbour was unhappy with Congress' decision to pass the Healthcare Reform Package.

In a statement he said:

"I hope this healthcare plan covers hearing aids, because it's clear Democrats who voted for it have not heard the majority of Americans who didn't want government-controlled healthcare."

"States cannot sustain another massive unfunded mandate, senior citizens are threatened by enormous cuts to Medicare, and American taxpayers and businesses can't afford huge tax increases in the midst of the worst economic slump since the Great Depression," said Governor Barbour

Mississippi Congressman Roger Wicker said this is a means to pass "socialized" health care in America.

"Congressional Democrats under Nancy Pelosi's leadership apparently believe they know better than the overwhelming majority of Americans. If allowed to stand, this bill will put us on a path to European-style socialized medicine, risking bankruptcy for our country," said Senator Wicker.

Meanwhile, another doctor and the Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Dr. James Keaton, M.D., said it's too early to tell exactly what will happen, but he believes the medical field in Mississippi will see significant changes.

"We still have the lowest number of physicians per capita in the nation in Mississippi. So of course what I would hope is that it will allow us to recruit more physicians into Mississippi. I don't know yet if that's going to happen," said Dr. Keaton.

The Healthcare Reform Bill passed 219 to 212 votes in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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