Caring Health Politics

Report on healthcare town hall

July 14, 2017

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.”

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  • Reply Bill July 14, 2017 at 8:37 am

    So Rick, that’s now twice this week that you’ve given credence to the outright lie that this group and its members are “non-partisan”. All you have to do is look at their website and they explicitly call explain the crystal clear partisan mission of their organization. I’m neither a Republican or Democrat. I didn’t vote for either of those party’s major candidates for President. I agree this healthcare bill was terrible (though probably for different reasons than this group). I’m fine with disagreements and debates. But I cannot stand this group and others like them attempt to make it seem like they are the adults in the room looking for real solutions instead of what they clearly are – just another solidly partisan organization.

    “Nationally, the Indivisible movement seeks to promote a progressive and inclusive agenda. Part of that agenda is to prevent President-elect Trump from destroying the democratic ideal called America. Indivisible NWFL will promote and further that agenda through the achievement of three goals:
    1. Work to seat Democrat candidates in the FL 1st congressional district in the 2018 midterm elections. ”

    • Reply JBiemzi July 18, 2017 at 4:53 pm

      The healthcare townhall was meant to be nonpartisan, not Indivisible per se as a group. Everyone , regardless of party affiliation, was invited. It was meant to present the bill as it was and how it affects everyone. I’m sorry that you took this the wrong way. Everyone has a story and deserve to be heard especially if it affects their health. Indivisible has its own agenda that is clearly written on its site but the healthcare townhall was put together as a courtesy for the community. It is unfortunate that it was not appreciated as such.

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