An Akron woman finally accessed the troubled healthcare.gov website Monday only to find she can't afford the insurance they're offering.
CLEVELAND - As the Supreme Court ruling on President Obama's Affordable Care Act was announced Thursday, media outlets across the country were clamoring for time with one of the leading voices in health care -- Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove.
The Clinic has pioneered multi-level changes in the last few years to emphasize prevention and wellness for its employees and patients, all to help cut health care costs.
Thursday, he told NewsChannel5 that he is "happy to have a final decision" from the U.S. Supreme Court.
"This is the beginning, or middle, maybe, of a chain of events and decisions that are going to change healthcare across the United States," said Cosgrove. "We couldn't continue the way we were. We had a whole different set of circumstances to deal with; a much bigger aging population, we had the most expensive healthcare program in the world, and we had a dis-coordinated system. So what we had to do is change the system across the entire country and you can't change 20 percent of the U.S. economy overnight. It changes slowly over time."
Cosgrove also said the final version of the ACA didn't put enough emphasis on wellness.
But, he added, "as you know the Senate has now introduced a bill which models our wellness program at the Cleveland Clinic for patients with Medicare. So we hope we'll see that enacted over time, pushing further into the wellness area."
Dr. Cosgrove said as a result of the ACA, hospitals will be seeing more patients but will get paid less for them.
"But we'll also be paid in a different way. In the past we've been paid for volume. Now we're going to be paid for providing value for health care dollars to the patient. So what we're really going to want to do is keep patients healthy," said Cosgrove.
He added the hope is that, over time, patients will get better care and costs will be lowered.
Thursday's ruling will add more fuel to the politics of health care in the presidential campaigns. But regardless of the outcome in November, Cosgrove doesn't believe the law will be repealed.
"I think we're not going to see major changes in this law. I would doubt it gets repealed. But we'll see amendments (to the law) go on for five years or longer as we continue to evolve toward a new healthcare delivery system," said Cosgrove.
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