Repeal of Affordable Care Act could impact local medical charity - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

EYE ON HEALTH

Repeal of Affordable Care Act could impact local medical charity

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

With new leadership in Washington, the future of health care is up in the air and that spells uncertainty for consumers and clinics like Volunteers In Medicine.

Ashley Evans with Volunteers In Medicine says, "It is extremely unnerving, it's so concerning to me. I've seen so many proposed plans."

Will Wallace says, "As far as repealing it they are going to open up a whole new can of worms because look how long it took."

But others who rely on the coverage are taking a wait and see approach.

Varissia Chapman says, "The change; what is it going to be any different from what it is now? We don't know, we're not secure with the way it is now anyway."

If the Affordable Care Act is repealed without a plan to replace it, Americans face a tough reality. Up to 30 million people across the country will lose their health insurance and a lot of those in our area will find themselves turning to places like Volunteers in Medicine, a clinic that provides free medical care to uninsured adults.

Doctors and staff at Volunteers in Medicine sees about 500 patients a month, and they're bracing for an increase with the uncertainty surrounding the future of the Affordable Care Act.

Ashley Evans says, "The only thing we can do is be ready for phone calls and be ready to answer questions. We just have to make sure we have enough doctors and enough nurses around to help us."

And that means an increased need for funding. Charity care clinics like VIM rely on donations from businesses, individuals, churches, and foundations to keep the doors open.

There are still lots of questions about what a new plan would look like; which parts of Obamacare would stay and which parts would go?

Ashley says, "We have an amazing group of volunteer doctors and nurses who work so hard to figure out how to treat problems they've (patients) got."

And even though that may become a bit more challenging depending on what happens with the Affordable Health Care Act, Ashley says Volunteers in Medicine will continue doing what they can to keep those in our community healthy.

For more information on VIM, click here to visit its website or call 423-855-8220.

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