Committee Discusses Future of Health Care | VideoJessica Roose | 7/24/2012
Whether you think it`s good or bad, the fact remains that much of how health care is handled in the country will change when the Affordable Care Act goes fully into affect in 2015. Members of the legislature want to know how specifically it will affect North Dakota.
"It may affect the immunization program. First of all, the required medicaid expansion will increase access to vaccines to children and adults eligable for medicaid. But in increasing that access it may increase, and will likely increase medicaid costs," said state health officer Dr. Terry Dwelle.
That increase includes offering all recommended standard vaccines for children and adults by First Dollar Coverage, which means that there would be no co-pays or deductibles. He says this will hopefully encourage people to get the vaccines.
Dwelle added that just because it`s free doesn`t mean people will get the vaccines or utilize preventative screenings.
"Sometimes there is fear in patients and they really don`t want to get that preventative screening and see what the result is. Sometimes if a person is self employed there are concerns about time away from work, for others there may be travel concern costs."
He says because of this the health department would likely need to develop programs to give people incentive to access preventive care. Dwelle added that some challenges the department will face include needing more resources to comply with requirements of the law.
Members of the legislature will continue diving into the topic of health care reform tomorrow.