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Charlottesville Doctor Expresses Concern About Future of Healthcare Insurance

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Albemarle and Charlottesville have the highest healthcare plans in the country Albemarle and Charlottesville have the highest healthcare plans in the country
Dr. Greg Gelburd Dr. Greg Gelburd
Downtown Family Health Care on Avon Street Downtown Family Health Care on Avon Street
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

As the uncertainty surrounding federal healthcare laws lingers, a Charlottesville doctor is opening up about his concerns for his practice.

The local doctor’s office he works at says it's getting many calls every day from concerned patients about what they are going to do if they are no longer covered by insurance.

Downtown Family Health Care on Avon Street says in the last 15 years since opening its practice they have had a sliding fee scale to help people who are uninsured afford services.

When the Affordable Care Act started, many people were able to get insurance through a private provider to help with medical bills and specialty care services like labs.

According to the Washington Post, Charlottesville and Albemarle County have the highest healthcare plans in the country. For people who aren't covered through their employer, Optima is the only insurance option available in these localities.

“Instead of paying, let’s say, $1,200 a month for a family of five or six, they will be paying more than $50,000 dollars instead,” says Greg Gelburd, doctor of osteopathic medicine at Downtown Family Health Care. “Now the majority of families in this county that I know make about that much, that’s their total income for the year. They can't pay that out for insurance. So they're kind of hosed, if you will."

Dr. Gelburd went on to say that the uncertainty of the future of healthcare makes him sad, and fear for both his family and fellow community members.

In a conference call on Tuesday, November 21, senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner spoke with Governor Terry McAuliffe about the Republican tax overhaul plan. They say that getting rid of certain deductions and credits would have more negative effects on the state.

"It's not the best interest of Virginia, and I say that as somebody who believes we need corporate tax reform, who believes we need to bring back foreign profits, believes we need a fair tax code process, but this is not what we have seen so far," says Warner.

Dr. Gelburd thinks there needs to be an overhaul of the entire healthcare system.

"We are the only industrialized nation that doesn't have socialized medicine," says Gelburd. "We are the only nation that doesn't cover pregnancy in all women, and we don't cover all children either. Healthcare should be a right, it's not a privilege."

Virginia Republicans say the overall tax package is a net positive for the state. The House of Representatives has passed its bill of the tax overhaul, and Senate leaders hope to pass their version next week.

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