Doctors sound off on healthcare reform

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Healthcare reform's polarizing influence is being seen in doctors' offices. Kaiser Health News reports that physicians are split about what to share about the law, if anything.

A Houston urologist who refers to the law as the “unaffordable care act” tells Kaiser Health News he warns patients that the law, which requires that everyone carry health insurance, could make their medical bills rise, while another doctor was noted for appearing in an anti-healthcare reform television ad that was sponsored by the Americans for Prosperity. This ad has a doctor asking if healthcare reform will interfere with his ability to exercise his professional judgment or “will the government be in the middle of things?”

Healthcare reform has been taking knocks ever since its passage, but significant stumbles, starting with a disastrous website, and disclosures that the White House knew consumers would not necessarily be able to keep their healthcare plans have added fuel to anti-reform arguments that the government has no role in healthcare.

On the pro-reform side are Doctors for America, which KHN says is working with doctors to convey “Coverage is Good Medicine.” Having doctors share information about healthcare reform has been considered an essential part of teaching consumers about their options and how the health law will affect them. This expectation is about more than providing an educational resource with a large potential reach: a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found patients trust HCPs the most when it comes to information about healthcare reform.

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