KEYC - Uncertainty About Future Of Health Care Policy

Uncertainty About Future Of Health Care Policy

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MANKATO, Minn. -

The latest attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare appears dead after two more Republican senators came out against the plan.

The uncertainty going forward was one of many topics discussed at a forum July 18 looking at the future of health care.

Region Vice President, Mayo Clinic Health System southwest Minnesota region Dr. James Hebl said, "There's a lot of questions out there, a lot of uncertainty, a lot of unknowns right now."

Area city and business leaders are trying to get some answers to their health care questions at a forum hosted by Greater Mankato Growth.

Janet Silversmith, Director of Health Policy at Minnesota Medical Association, said, "Health care, of course, is really personal, so it matters to us individually as parents, as children."

One of the looming topics about health care is the debate happening on the national level, as lawmakers take up a repeal and replacement of Obamacare, which appears to of stalled.

Janet Silversmith, Director of Health Policy at Minnesota Medical Association – an organization representing physicians that opposed both the House and Senate bills – broke down some of what was being proposed.

Silversmith said, "The uncertainty, both for Minnesota, health care providers and for patients and for the state government to try to respond is probably magnified, even now because we don't know what's going to happen and when it's going to happen."

But the forum went beyond just health care policy.

Dr. Hebl said, "Not only change in terms of health care or insurance reform, which is what Washington is focusing on but also a lot of changes in terms of how we deliver care to patients and sometimes that's not included in national discussions."

Some of those changes are said to include a move to preventative medicine and team based care rather than just relying on a primary physician.

But when it comes to the business community, the concern turns to providing affordable care to their employees while also looking at a bottom line.

Mankato Clinic CFO Steve Hatkin said, "We struggle with the same things, our health care costs are rising as well, which is kind of ironic, considering we're the provider of services, but that's the reality we all face and we all have those same challenges."

The conversation also touched on Minnesota's own health care struggles, including premium increases on the MnSURE exchange and decreasing provider options.

--KEYC News 12