GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A local doctor is now leading the American Medical Association, and it's a position that will allow him to help guide the national healthcare debate going on in our country right now.
"This healthcare stuff is complicated," Dr. Gerald Harmon said. "A lot of improvements need to happen, and they need to happen today and even somewhat yesterday. It hasn't been addressed. It's been a political football that no one really wants to recover because then they have to go on offense, and they are afraid to go on offense right now."
But that's exactly what Dr. Harmon hopes happens.
As the AMA chair, Dr. Harmon will help craft the organization's positions on key issues like the U.S. Senate's version of the healthcare bill.
"According to the Congressional Budget Office, about 22 million folks will be uninsured in the next 2 or 3 years, which is an unacceptable amount at risk," Dr. Harmon said. "You've got to provide coverage for those low-income, at-risk individuals. We can't just have them go without insurance. People without healthcare insurance live sicker and die younger, so that's not going to meet it as currently crafted. We can't support it."
Dr. Harmon has worked as a family care physician in Georgetown County since 1983.
He's held leadership roles in the South Carolina Medical Association, and he is a retired major general from the US Air Force.
He hopes his personal perspective can push lawmakers past the politics of healthcare reform and into a solution.
"The challenge now is probably some posturing because of some rhetoric and some positioning in front of the media, and I'm pretty confident they will work a solution out," Dr. Harmon said.
Most recently, President Donald Trump called for repealing the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as many know it, immediately and replacing it later with another health care plan if Republican Senators are unable to pass their bill.
He made that statement in a tweet on June 30th.
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