By Sammy Sontag
Indivisible Northwest Florida presented a Healthcare Town Hall meeting featuring the group’s founder, Vickie Neapolitan-Scott, and Dr. Jennifer Zimmerman at the J. Earle Bowden Building in downtown Pensacola on July 12.
The meeting was an opportunity for the people to ask questions regarding the Better Care Reconciliation Act 2017 (BCRA) and hear answers from stakeholders.
“There are tons of moving parts with this healthcare bill and the one thing I want to do is give people the information without partisanship,” Neapolitan-Scott said.
She added, “Everything in our minds is translated to dollars and cents when it comes to healthcare and expenses, but the reality of this bill is there will be two million people without healthcare if it passes.”
Neapolitan-Scott broke down the bill that is currently in the U.S. Senate. She said the BCRA hasn’t changed much from the bill proposed at the end of June. Its goal is to decrease premiums and decrees deductibles and make healthcare affordable, but the reality is this bill will be a transfer of wealth, according to Neapolitan-Scott.
“Right now, 71 percent of Americans like their current healthcare,” she said. “While 51 percent of republicans and 85 percent of democrats like it.”
There were a handful of people in attendance, and Dr. Jennifer Zimmerman a local pediatrician spoke about doctor’s practices and their ideas about Medicaid.
“We established Medicaid for the vulnerable population in the U.S.,” she said. “To me healthcare is a necessity, just like the food we eat, just like the air we breathe. And it’s sad to me that most doctors turn patients with Medicare away.”
With the BCRA there could see an increase in premiums for older Americans and those with preexisting conditions, which isn’t fair, Zimmerman said.
“I’m not only a healthcare provider, but I’m also a healthcare consumer,” she said.
Indivisible Northwest Florida founder said moving forward citizens should continue lobbying congressmen. She encouraged citizens to knock on the official’s doors, write letters and make phone calls because those efforts make a difference.
“But we should also involve America’s youth,” Neapolitan-Scott said. “They are the future and can change American politics as long as they stay optimistic.”