Local Doctor Voices Concern Over Health Care Bill

By: Mark Tenia Email
By: Mark Tenia Email

July 22, 2009

A local doctor says that President Obama's health care plan will make a growing problem worse by creating more red tape for physicians and bankrupting private insurers.

Dr. Raymond Marotta has been a primary care physician in Charlottesville for years. Marotta says the health care system needs to be fixed, but he doesn't believe a federal plan is the answer.

"What will happen is that the private insurers will be unable to compete," said Dr. Marotta.

He says a government-run plan would have unlimited resources private insurers could not compete with. He agrees that there should be more competition among health insurers.

"None of us likes to see the CEO of an insurance company obtaining millions of dollars in bonus benefits, and then flying off to the Caribbean for their month long vacation," said Dr. Marotta.

But he says the U.S. government shouldn't be one of those players. He's says he's seen too many patients who needed care, and couldn't get it because of government red tape.

"It's necessary; it's recommended; it's straightforward. The patient wants [health care], we have the ability to provide it, but we've got all these regulations we're working through just trying to provide care," said Marotta.

An example is Virginia Greene, a patient of Dr. Marotta's. She has Medicare, but she has to pay out of pocket for a vaccine because it wasn't covered by her government-sponsored health care plan.

"Money should not affect what kind of care you can get," said Greene.

Greene, a former government employee, admits she hasn't been following the debate closely, but despite her vaccine mishap with Medicare, believes a government run plan might not be a bad idea.

"Having worked for the government, I know they can get it wrong some times, but they certainly have given me a good health insurance policy," said Greene.

She says either way, something has to be done, whether she or her doctor likes it or not.

The Virginia Organizing Project will be holding an event at the Freedom of Speech wall in Charlottesville at 1 p.m. on Thursday. They are in favor of a public health care plan.

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