How Health Care Reform Will Affect El Paso

POSTED: Thursday, December 24, 2009 - 7:31pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:25pm

Your doctor visits may never be the same. That's because healthcare reform is on its way.

"I believe healthcare is a right for everybody...as long as it's not invasion of privacy," says Lateefah Robbins.

Melissa Downey tells us "I've heard so many different views and opinions on it, so I'm still not real sure if it's going to be beneficial."

Senate Democrats approved the nation's healthcare reform bill, meaning thirty million americans without insurance will now have coverage. Many clinics in El Paso treat people without health insurance on a regular basis.

"I would say anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of our patients that come in here are essentially uninsured."

Sergio Ibarra is a doctor at Southwest Urgent Care in west El Paso. He expects healthcare reform to affect his patients, but not the way he does business.

"Our type of care whether they are private paid or some form of insurance will probably still come in to see us."

But what exactly does healthcare reform mean for people who already have insurance? We posed the question to several people, who weren't sure the bill answers the question.

"Some of it. I haven't read it all," exclaimed Robbins.

Downey tells us "I would like to but I haven't had the time to read about it or look into it."

As for whether healthcare reform will benefit Americans in the long run?

"Other countries have it and they are still striving," says Robbins.

"We're all used to having insurance here in the U.S. and I kind of think maybe we should just stick with what we have," explained Downey.

The senate and house still have to agree on a final version of the bill before it's sent to President Obama after the New Year. But the transformation has already begun.

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