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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

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Health care Q&A

Political science professor Marjorie Hershey discusses the future of the current health care debate.

Indiana Daily Student:
What are your thoughts on the current health care debate?

Professor Marjorie Hershey: A lot of people would like to see an end to pre-existing conditions that insurers can use (to reject some people from purchasing insurance). An obvious consequence is that people might not buy health insurance until they get sick, but insurance companies can’t survive that way.

That’s why there’s a provision that people have to buy insurance. That’s the problem we face in paring down health care reform to smaller pieces: pre-existing conditions pieces can’t stand by themselves.

IDS: How would health care reform affect the lives of Americans?

MH: It would increase people’s access to private doctors rather than leaving them to get their health care needs met by an emergency room. A number of interest groups have done a very impressive job of scaring a lot of Americans about the impact about these changes and, as a result, the prospects for health care reform are very limited.

IDS: How will Scott Brown’s appointment to the Senate affect health care legislation?

MH: Well, I think the most important fact is that it will probably scare moderate Democrats in the Senate and House and make them less willing to take political risks on the assumption that they will lose in November 2012.

IDS:
What can we expect to hear about health care reform in the next few months?

MH: Probably a lot of discussion of current legislative sausage-making that turns so many Americans off of politics.

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