The Journal Gazette
Sunday, April 03, 2016 10:00 pm

Obamacare repeal will unshackle providers

Dr. Pam Galloway

Since last summer, I have traveled throughout the 12 counties of Indiana’s Third congressional District, meeting with families in their communities and listening to their concerns. Voters have been very receptive of my platform of dismantling Obamacare, defending the Second Amendment, and protecting life, faith, family, and country.

Obamacare is often a topic of these discussions, since it amounts to a government takeover of one-sixth of the U.S. economy. Many Hoosier families have been punished by restrictions in health care and by skyrocketing costs. Another way Obamacare is negatively affecting health care is by adding uncertainty for providers, including those in northeastern Indiana.

In early March, Markle Medical Center announced it will close facilities in Bluffton, Warren and Hartford City. More than 7,000 patients are being notified that their medical services relationship is terminated as of the end of March. For many of these rural patients, this development means increased travel to receive needed medical care.

The closing of these facilities also has a negative effect on dozens of health care workers and their families. Some of these medical personnel are posting for other positions with Markle Medical, but many face uncertain employment prospects.

As a retired surgeon, I understand the pressures of running a medical practice as a business. Sometimes medical offices do close for business reasons. However, Obamacare adds new layers of uncertainty between medical providers and the patients they seek to serve. Obamacare regulations also pressure medical providers to close rural facilities in favor of large megacenters in urban areas.

Obama-care interferes with the doctor-patient relationship in a variety of ways, which is why I call for full repeal and defunding. There are some who single out the medical device tax as the objectionable part of Obamacare. This is short-sighted, since the tax is only one aspect of this massive government overreach. To remove the tentacles of government control, Obamacare must be fully repealed.

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