Tigers Against Partisan Politics opens the year with healthcare discussion

Three faculty members discussed the Affordable Care Act.

Tigers Against Partisan Politics held an open discussion Wednesday about the Affordable Care Act, a headlining topic of the 2012 presidential election.

The topic was addressed by three members of the faculty at MU: economics professor Jeff Milyo, dermatology professor Karen Edison and Stan Hudson, the associate director of the Center for Health Policy. This was the organization's first event of the year.

TAPP representatives wanted to inform students in a non-partisan way about the ACA and its potential effect on the American people.

“I hope people get a better understanding of what kind of problems there are in our current health care system and the political ramifications of the Affordable Care Act,” TAPP President Trey Sprick said.

Many people entered the room eager to learn more about the bill. Some arrived with a set opinion on the issue while others arrived curious to learn what this piece of legislature means for them.

“(I) definitely want to be more well informed about health care, because that is something I don’t know enough about, for someone who wants to go into medicine,” said freshman Hannah Aldrich, who plans to go into the pre-medicine program.

Aldrich said there is very real concern from those going into the medical field about how this will affect them going forward in their careers.

In the current system, Americans pay a fee-per-service, something that will change under the ACA.

Hudson said the act will work to incentive the quality of care.

He said it is a change for those who are entering the medical profession, but it should not drastically affect physicians’ future income or job opportunities for those who plan on entering the field.

Another major topic addressed was the issue of cost -- how are Americans going to pay for this bill, and who will bear the burden of it? Senior economics major John Milligan said he wondered how this bill would work with the struggling economy and the growing national debt.

There are a variety of small taxes, taxes on medical devices and a Medicare surcharge that Milyo said will help contribute to paying for the bill that will cost about $1.1 trillion more than 10 years.

“Probably the most controversial (tax) would be the reductions of payments to hospitals and physicians through Medicare,” Milyo said.

Edison said the bill is important to Americans.

“We don’t have a health care system,” he said. “It is fragmented ... while we have the best health care in the world, that is only true if you can afford it.”

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