Local impact of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Local impact of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act

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A tough decision is on the way for area business owners as the new federal health care law takes effect.

Several area business owners told NewsChannel 10 they can not afford to pay for all their employees' health insurance, and by 2014 they'll choose to pay the fine because it costs thousands less.

Local doctors say most health care premiums cost around $500 a month. That will leave businesses with 50 employees or more looking at an extra $300 per year. Or opting to pay a fine spending half the money.

Women's Healthcare Associates Doctor Brian Eades says, "The thinking by the government is either employees will go and buy their own insurance, or they will go on Medicaid. The problem is that there are not enough physician providers to meet the needs of the Medicaid population right now. So these individuals who then roll on to the medicare rolls if they qualify, are going to have a difficult time finding a physician."

Doctor Eades says the goal is to keep medicaid patients out of the ER for care. But there's no place for them to go because many family practice physicians have gone to work at hospitals due to low medicaid reimbursements.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.