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The Health Care Debate
Local Residents React

It was a night far from being a quiet town hall meeting at a DuPage County Administration building. Nearly 100 area residents turned out to a healthcare forum sponsored by three county board democrats: Dirk Enger, Rita Gonzalez and Tony Michelassi.

“I think it’s the government’s duty to inform people as much as we can,” said Michelassi.

But some attendees thought the forum was more of a pep rally for nationalized healthcare.

“This kind of presentation instills fear,” said Linda Blanco, Naperville resident. “Only one side was presented.”

There were three panelists speaking at the forum pushing for either a single payer or public option. County board members invited Illinois senators and congressmen to represent their views. But the leaders declined because they are currently in session, in Washington D.C. working on a healthcare reform bill.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau more than 45 million Americans went uninsured in 2008. But the DuPage residents attending the town hall meeting all had their own solutions to lower that number.

“We have to get profiteering out of the system,” said Mark Garritty, Downers Grove resident. “The only way to do that is through H.R.3200 or a single payer plan.”

“We all agree we need healthcare reform,” said Leviticus Reed, Young Republicans Federation National Political Director. “But we need to do it in a free market.”

It’s not just the area’s residents that have healthcare on their minds.

Late this week at an annual nurses’ conference, medical professionals discussed their healing solution.

Jason Hwang, M.D., M.B.A., Healthcare Executive Director at Innosight Institute, explained that lawmakers need to look at the current American healthcare system as a business.

“I’m not convinced a single payer or universal healthcare system would be the answer,” said Hwang. “It fails to solve the problem.”

Hwang’s solution is for retail clinics, staffed with nurse practitioners, to be built in communities.

“It’s not a big bang,” said Hwang. “But a whole bunch of business models innovating in specific segments of healthcare delivery that will untimely get us there [reformed healthcare system].”

Beth Brooks, PhD., RN, Illinois Organization of Nurses Leaders Executive Director, explained a clinic visit would not only cost less than a hospital trip but, the nurses would focus on a patient’s overall continued health and well being.

“This is the time it will change,” said Brooks. “There will be enough of a ground swell of patients and health providers coming together to decide what’s going to happen.”

NCTV17’s Elitsa Bizios reports.
To learn more on Whang’s healthcare outlook, he co-authored, The Innovator’s Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care.

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