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Proposed public healthcare system draws mixed feelings

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Wednesday night, President Obama was on WWAY and ABC talking about where he sees the nation’s healthcare system going. There has been a lot of talk about a proposed public healthcare system, which would offer insurance coverage to every American, including those who right now can’t afford it, don’t get it through their employer or from Medicare or Medicaid. As WWAY’s Meghan Packer reports, folks around here have mixed feelings about the plan.

Plantation Building Corporation President/CEO Dave Spetrino just found out his insurance coverage for his employees is going to go up by about 20 percent. “That was one thing I always felt was very important. I felt like giving and providing the benefits of health insurance, at least to the employee and extend those to their family, was good,” said Spetrino.

Anna Toconis is a former business owner and is on the opposite end of the spectrum. “I’d rather pay an employee $25,000 and let them pick their own health insurance than pay them $23,000 and have me pick their health insurance.”

For Spetrino, it is just getting too expensive. He has 30 days to decide what to do. Down the road, he may have the option of government-run, public healthcare. “I never believe that the government is going to do a better job, more efficiently than the private sector,” he said. “I think there’s going to be a lot of pressure on the private sector to really figure out how to do this correctly so we don’t have a nationalized healthcare system.”

UNCW assistant nursing professor, Kae Livsey said, “We can’t continue on the path that we’re on because the costs are killing us.” Livsey broke down some of the basics about public healthcare.

The pros:
Livsey said, “Having a big government program can help contain costs, and that’s really been the case with Medicare, which is our largest government-run healthcare program.”

The cons:
“People say they don’t want government-run healthcare. They’re concerned about what it might mean for taking clients away from the private insurance market,” described Livsey.

Opponents fear high costs, waiting lists, and sub-par care. “Even now, in the private sector, you could make the argument that they’re not doing that great a job in terms of quality,” Livsey said.

Toconis added, “I just don’t think the government’s efficient in running anything. The far fewer encroachment that government has in our lives, the better we are.”

“The challenge is how do you pay for it? Because anytime you increase access, it’s also going to increase cost,” Livsey questioned. And that is a central issue: How do we pay for it?

Some provisions suggested by congressional Democrats would tax high-end health-care benefits. That is something Mister Obama campaigned against when he ran for president.

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Story summary

videoWednesday night, President Obama was on WWAY and ABC talking about where he sees the nation’s healthcare system going. There has been a lot of talk about a proposed public healthcare system. As WWAY’s Meghan Packer reports, folks around here have mixed feelings about the plan.

Story summary image

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Associated poll

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