Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
Toll Free: 800-234-6575
City hospital CEO: Law may improve access
Friday, June 29, 2012
By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer
Memorial Hospital’s chief executive said he thinks the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding most of President Barack Obama’s health care reform legislation has “potential to have a positive impact for better access to health coverage.”
Skip Philips estimated the Martinsville hospital will provide uninsured people with about $24 million in uncompensated care for 2012 (annualized) through charity care and bad debts. That is up about 20 percent from $20 million in 2011, he said.
Philips estimated roughly 10,000 adults and 1,800 children are uninsured in Henry County and Martinsville.
According to The Associated Press, the law requires almost everyone to have health insurance or face a fine and guarantees it will be available even if you are already ill or need hugely expensive care. Supporters of the law say that it helps a lot of people, not just the poor but many upper-income families as well, afford coverage. It also requires insurers to provide certain basic benefits, such as free preventive care.
The act is expected to bring coverage to about 30 million uninsured people, the AP reported. Overall, more than 9 in 10 eligible Americans will be covered.
Philips said details of health care reform need to be worked out before he can comment further on the potential impact on this community.