Forum In Greenville Addresses State Of Health Care In U.S.

Third District Republican Congressman Walter Jones brought in another politician Tuesday night in Greenville at the ECU Heart Institute to help answer and explain questions that medical professionals might have on the state of health care in the United States.

Orthopedic surgeon turned Congressman, Georgia Republican Tom Price - expressed his disapproval with the direction of health care and took time to answer some questions from professionals.

Dozens of medical professionals from across the east listened intently to Price speak about the issues plaguing health professionals. Price said, "We're in a major transition in the way that health care is delivered, is received, paid for, and provided for individuals in this country."

Congressman Jones says this type of forum has been needed. He says, "I have the last 3 or 4 years met with I don't know how many doctors or nurses that come to D.C. as well as the district office in Greenville, North Carolina that are telling me their frustration about where health care is going in America."

Congressman Price expressed his disapproval of most aspects of the Affordable Care Act pushing forth instead "H.R. 2300" - a bill he says puts patients first.

Price says, "What we're trying to do is make sure we stick to that principle of patients and families and doctors making medical decisions, not Washington, D.C.

But some medical professionals in the audience questioned his approach and resistance to the president's health care law, particularly on the subject of expanding medicaid.

One doctor said, "My biggest solution to this from the beginning in primary care was give the people insurance. You get them into the door of a primary care doc and we're going to save you money."

The issue of primary care and emergency access in rural communities was a big talking point.

Doctor Charles Boyette - who has a medical clinic in Belhaven - was particularly interested to hear the discussion. He raised some questions about what's going on in his town now that Vidant Pungo Hospital is closed.

Dr. Boyette said, "We have a population that is basically old and poor, and 85% of these people are covered by Medicare and Medicaid so our reimbursements are low but we need to have as much health care access as possible."

Dr. Boyette said his whole reason for coming out to the forum was just to take what he heard and learned and bring it back to his community and colleagues.