Stubbs talks health care - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Stubbs talks health care

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Another step toward health care reform occurred Tuesday. The U. S. Senate Finance committee approved a bill that would require all Americans to buy health care insurance.

An Albany Doctor, who serves on a national physicians board, says health care reform must happen. He says one reason costs are getting out of control is the lack of primary care available.

Dr. Joe Stubbs is an internist at Albany Internal Medicine, but he's also the President of the American College of Physicians. Tuesday, we talked to him about problems with health care system and how to solve them.

Stubbs said Health Care is the Cookie Monster of the economic world, eating up our money, while not providing the best health care possible. I think there's responsibility on everybody's part, including individuals, that we all have a part to play in controlling costs so we can keep quality up and keep benefits up."

He says most adults get out of the habit of going to the doctor for regular check ups, and only go when they have a problem. Sometimes to the point of death. "This to me is one of the biggest things that healthcare reform has got to do. We've got to get people having coverage so that we don't see these horrendous complications that are totally avoidable from diseases that shouldn't be killing people."

That's why Dr. Stubbs wants to see more of a focus on primary care... so that doctors can coordinate your health care options, rather than you shopping around from specialist to specialist. "If our country is going to be the high performance system that it can be, we've got to get everybody having health care coverage." And not be negligent in their health care.

He said, "I think if you get to the building blocks, go back to the basics and start by preventing, looking at community programs to help prevention and then the doctors office helping prevention and we'll have a much more rational healthcare system."

And much more affordable for everyone in the long run. Dr. Stubbs says the United States is last in industrialized nations when it comes to life expectancy. He says higher costs for health care don't translate into higher quality of health care.  Stubbs says he believes maintaining a pluralistic system with employer based health care is the best route for health care reform.

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