As a result of our national discussion and legislation, we are now within a couple of years of providing many more people who are not in the health insurance system with better and more affordable access to health care. That our system is changing and will include ultimately all American citizens is the good news. The challenging part is that we are not yet certain how all of the changes will effect us. In light of this change it is clear to me that continuing along the initial three to five year path to place the office of Doctor Sam on sound financial footing would be short sighted.
The office was opened to provide an option of affordable primary care for patients whether or not they had health insurance. This essentially was an option for patients without health insurance, but it never was intended to nor able to provide all of a patient’s healthcare needs outside of primary care. Now that we know all patients will have access to health insurance, the need for such an option will become irrelevant. It is far better for patients to have access to the broad scope of care and specialists through a health insurance system than to remain without access to such care.
In spite of this decision, I remain committed to the principles on which the office was founded. My work now is to reimagine such a primary care office in the new and ever changing health care system that is and will continue to evolve. I intend to remain a positive and optimistic part of this change and hope that it provides me the opportunity to help more people along the way. The work begun with the office of Doctor Sam, P.C. on Quincy Street has invigorated my passion for Family Medicine and I remain honored to be a physician.
If you are thinking that 2014 is a long ways away and you need to see a doctor now, I encourage you to check out the system of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC’s) in Minneapolis or in your area. This is a large network of affordable care offices throughout the country with sliding scale fees that can see you regardless of whether or not you have health insurance. If you are reluctant to purchase insurance through the mandate in 2014, I encourage you to withhold judgement until you see the options available at that time. It is far better to purchase insurance than go without. If you have concerns about the affordability of the insurance products that will be available to you, now is the time to contact your state and national elected representatives. This can be a great opportunity to build a strong and inclusive health care system, but it will take all of our effort to do so. I hope you will join all of us that aim to do so.
Samuel Hanson Willis, MD
Family Medicine Physician