Local doctors weigh in on Affordable Care Act, critics disagree

With penalties kicking in soon, people on both sides of the debate are eager to weigh in.
March 25, 2014 8:46:23 AM PDT
Some local doctors spent the day Monday speaking out about their support of the Affordable Care Act.

However, with penalties kicking in next week for people who don't have insurance, people on both sides of the debate are eager to weigh in.

On the heels of their court appearance Monday, doctors from UNC and Duke who were arrested during a Moral Monday protest last summer, found their voices once again.

"No one should lose everything because someone in their family gets sick," said Dr. Perri Morgan with Duke Hospitals.

"The Affordable Care Act was a good thing," said Dr. Charles Van Der Horst, with UNC Hospitals.

By their number, the new health care law has led to some 200,000 North Carolinians getting insurance on the exchange. About 90,000 more young people staying on their parents' plans, and 50,000 low income people are finding out that they qualify for Medicaid.

However, they fume over the Republican's decision to not expand Medicaid to about a half million more people.

"About a third of the people at UNC and elsewhere are there because they don't have preventive care," said Van Der Horst. "So they have strokes. They cost the state a hell of a lot more money."

"This gets back to the whole argument of mandating things on people," said Francis De Lucas, of Civitas.

De Luca heads up the conservative think-tank Civitas. He's been crusading against the Affordable Care Act from the beginning, and says there's no evidence that expanding Medicaid means better health outcomes.

"All those people who were on Medicaid and everything, well, have they actually used it," asked De Luca.

De Luca also points out that for all the people who signed up on the exchange many had been kicked off private plans.

The fact is that the facts aren't all in, and that leaves plenty of room for rhetoric.

"The Affordable Care Act is working in North Carolina," said Morgan.

"How can the Affordable Care Act be working when we've not even hit the deadline," said De Luca.


  1. Oregon Study on Medicaid expansion
    Click here for a link to that study
  2. Senator Richard Burr talks NC Medicaid - Community Care of North Carolina - presents award from Healthcare Leadership Council saying, "we understand that if we have the optimal outcome then the cost takes care of itself"  
  3. Governing - NC achieving big savings, better care with different approach:
  4. FamiliesUSA:  OR study reaffirms Medicaid is good care:
  5. A Kaiser review of Medicaid's impact on Access, Health Outcomes, Quality http://kff.org/report-section/what-is-medicaids-impact-on-access-to-care-health-outcomes-and-quality-of-care-setting-the-record-straight-on-the-evidence-issue-brief/

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