Future of health care reform?

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -  Could the guidelines offer a sneak peak into the future of health care reform in America?

"The mantra of health care reform is provide better care, not necessarily more care," said Dr. Gary Gross, an oncologist with the Blood and Cancer Center of East Texas.

He said adding more mammograms is better care.

"Guidelines to streamline health care and avoid unnecessary procedures are crucial, but I think they need to be based on scientific research," he said.

Gross said the new guidelines may save money in the short run, but could cost more lives in the long run.

"The best way to save money is to keep everybody healthy," Gross said.

"I suspect that it's all part of a healthcare rationing effort," said Dr. John Larrinaga.  Larrinaga is a radiologist with the Ross Breast Center in Tyler.

Larrinaga said everyone benefits from more efficient healthcare, but cutting mammograms may lead to undesired results.

"We're doing our country a disservice, and it's a sad commentary on where we're headed," he said.

Landmark health care legislation just passed the House of Representatives. It's now waiting for the Senate's approval.

"We, basically don't need bureaucrats to make the decision of people's health," said Dr. Bryan Lowery, a primary care physician.

"For our government to be more efficient, for our insurance companies to be profitable, and our patients to pay less money, these types of studies will become more common," said Dr. Bryan Lowery, a primary care physician.

But he said it's not without its controversies.

"You're having different populations of people being studied, so you're going to get different results, every time," he said.

Insurance groups said the recommendations have yet to prompt any planned changes.  The task forces's guidelines help Medicare and insurance companies determine what screenings they cover.

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