Geisinger Responds to Supreme Court’s Decision

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DANVILLE -- The Supreme Court's decision is one that doctors at Geisinger Medical Center, near Danville call a milestone. At a news conference Thursday afternoon, doctors responded to the decision.

Doctors at Geisinger Medical Center said the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is an important step forward in health care reform. Doctors said Geisinger was prepared for the decision to uphold the law, and they are not surprised it went through.

Now that the Supreme Court upheld the health care law. Doctors at Geisinger Medical Center near Danville wanted to weigh in on the decision. Doctor Duane Davis said the first challenge will be to understand how it is going to work.

"Get it functional and then educate folks on how to use it. Here is how you navigate it. There is a huge amount of work that needs to be done, first by the government," said Dr. Davis.

Dr. Davis said it would have sent a mixed message if portions of the act were struck down.

The doctors said that now there is a better chance for insurance to work because it creates a larger pool of people buying insurance, which will keep the cost down for everybody.

Even so, the doctors said it could be a challenge for patients to understand a new and different system.

"When you're sick is when you're accessing the services. A new way to access the services, that will be a challenge for some folks and they will be caught in the middle as we make the transition," said Dr. Thomas Graf.

"You are now a retail customer, whereas if you were employed and now you're unemployed, that was taken care of for you," said Dr. Davis.

Some patients said they are unclear about how the ruling will affect them. Robert Thomas said he is optimistic, but concerned.

"Plans will be eliminated through this. For somebody with a limited income, it can get rough before it's all over," said Thomas.

Most of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act don't go into effect until 2014, so there is still two more years to get acclimated with it.