Local eyes on the Senate's proposed healthcare reform bill - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Local eyes on the Senate's proposed healthcare reform bill

Source: NBC News Source: NBC News

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – The Senate's newly proposed healthcare reform bill has got some local eyes taking a look at it.

Frederick Wood, Coastal Carolina University's chair of politics, points out while this bill is similar to the House bill, there are some differences.

“It seems to go further than some people had expected,” he said.

Wood said this is in terms of how coverage will decrease and change over time. His advice for everyone is to take a closer look at the proposed legislation.

“The average American should pay attention to where they get their insurance from,” Wood said.

Whether it's through work or through Medicaid, Wood advises everyone to assess how their care and costs could change.  

“So what this bill does is it gives a lot of states the option to request a waiver to be freed from the essential benefit clauses,” he said.

To name a few, this means coverage for emergency room trips, maternity, prescription drugs, substance abuse and mental health.

“That should reduce the cost of the plans, but now you have a state where mental health isn't covered in your state,” Wood said.

He added this means those who need it would pay out of pocket, pay more or simply go untreated.

Those who should really pay attention to the changes on the table are those with pre-existing conditions.  

“Any change with what is involved in their coverage would affect them because they are the people using their health insurance more frequently,” Wood said.

Something for residents in South Carolina to consider is how state senators feel so far.

“I think the fact that South Carolina senators haven't come out in support of this proposal gives an opportunity for South Carolinians to contact their representatives and let them know how potential changes would affect them,” Wood said.

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