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Filipino Doctors Urge Public to Take Advantage of New Healthcare Law

Asian Journal, Dymphna Calica-La Putt Posted: Mar 26, 2010

Filipino doctors in Las Vegas urged the public to take advantage of the changes in America's health care system after President Obama signed the health insurance reform law.

The public can do this by utilizing the now cheaper health care costs and getting regular medical check ups that would prevent illnesses. "Take advantage of the cheaper insurance available. Visit the doctor on a regular basis to have preventive medicine," Dr. Benito Calderon said.

Dr. Calderon, president of the Philippine Medical Association of Nevada (PMAN), noted that most residents in this city do not undergo routine medical check ups because it is too costly. Without insurance, a trip to a doctor in Las Vegas would cost at least $50.

But the newly signed health care reform package imposes sweeping reforms in the insurance industry that would make these regular check-ups more affordable.

Obama signed last Tuesday the historic $938-billion health care overhaul that guarantees coverage for 32 million uninsured Americans. The biggest shift in U.S. domestic policy since the 1960s, capped a divisive, yearlong debate on health care reform.

Calderon said people need to focus on getting preventive medicine because provisions in the new law are geared toward this approach.

One provision mandates that new insurance plans must provide coverage for preventive services without co-pays. These preventive services include visits to primary care doctors.

Insurance companies would also be required to allow parents to keep children in their health care policies until age 26, unless these offspring are offered employer-backed coverage.

Still another provision, which is effective within 90 days of the laws signing, is the creation of a high-risk pool of uninsured individuals with pre-existing medical conditions. This group of people will be allowed to immediately buy insurance so they can get treatment.

"Its a good law," Dr. Calderon told Asian Journal in a telephone interview. He said people should take advantage of preventive care made less expensive by it.

Calderon noted that some of the most common but preventable diseases afflicting individuals in Las Vegas are cancer, diabetes, kidney failure and heart disease.

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