In Lakewood, Sanchez praises healthcare bill

LAKEWOOD - Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) toured Lakewood Regional Medical Center last week and discussed the newly-passed health care reform bill with hospital staff.According to Sanchez, the benefits of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) far outweigh the uncertainties. "I think there was a lot of misinformation about the healthcare bill, and people were being told that it was something that was bad," she said. "I think that, as people see the positive benefits as it is phased in, they are going to be very happy that the legislation passed and I think that a tremendous number of people will benefit personally from it." The bill, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in a 219 to 212 vote last March, will extend coverage to more than 30 million more Americans. According to Sanchez, the new healthcare bill it will also hold insurance companies more accountable, lower health care costs, guarantee more health care choices, and enhance the quality of health care for all Americans. "It's insuring the uninsured," agreed Joe Badalian, chief executive officer of Lakewood Regional Medical Center. "The specifics have yet to be ironed out, but we're very excited to have the uninsured population get insured." In 2009, Lakewood Regional provided $10.6 million of charity care and $9.3 million in discounts, the hospital said. "Lakewood Regional Medical Center is here to care for patients, and to the extent that healthcare reform can positively add to that goal, we're in favor of it," Badalian said. "Obviously, we contribute in many different ways, whether it's disease education, or whether it's preventative care or treating patients after illness. That's our job and our passion."

********** Published: July 15, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 13