Dr. Whitney Trusty is a family medicine physician in Kansas City, KS. She sees many underinsured and uninsured patients in her work. Dr. Trusty knows there are a lot of issues in the healthcare system, many of which stem from insurance coverage.
She doesn’t believe that care should be determined by what someone can pay, but some of her uninsured patients face that reality on a regular basis. Instead of figuring out what is best for their health, Dr. Trusty is forced to figure out how to care for them based on the treatments her patients can afford. She has often referred her patients to safety net clinics because the fees are reduced or waived.
Dr. Trusty believes health care should be a right, not a privilege. She went into the health care field to help everyone, but she finds that her uninsured patients receive drastically different care: they see her less frequently, they put off care for as long as possible, and they often choose medication that is less effective, just because it costs less.
Dr. Trusty had a patient who stepped on a nail in his yard. He waited weeks to get treatment, and by the time he did receive treatment, he needed more visits weeks of antibiotics. She and her staff did everything they could to keep him out of the hospital, knowing that a hospital bill would cause financial issues. If she hadn’t had to think about putting her patient in debt, she would have referred him to the hospital on his first visit.
Dr. Trusty knows that her patients who currently have Medicaid coverage benefit from the program, and she wants that benefit for more Kansans. She wants others to be able to get the preventive care that is so important. KanCare expansion would allow more Kansans to get that preventive care to be a healthier society and more productive state.
Says Dr. Trusty: “Having health insurance is as essential as breathing.”
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