VIDEO – Health Care Reform – Bronx and Brooklyn React

by the staff of the Bronx Ink and the Brooklyn Ink

Video by Dan Lieberman and Rania Zabaneh

Text by Matthew Huisman

First came the campaign for healthcare, then a year of debate in Congress. Yet at the end of a nine-hour deliberation and a vote that will send the bill to the president’s desk this week, people seem unclear about what the law means to them.

On Monday morning the reaction of hospitals, businesses, politicians and people in the Bronx and Brooklyn was one of confusion. Jennifer Brookland examined the numbers, breaking down people enrolled in Medicaid and what it could mean for the people of the borough. We found that the majority of small businesses won’t be adversely effected by the bill, as business leaders greeted it with optimism.

State and local politicians added their own input on the legislation. Brooklyn Republicans were disgruntled, calling the law a slippery slope toward socialized medicine. State Assemblyman Joseph Lentol who represents Fort Greene, Williamsburg and Greenpoint praised the bill. Fellow Democrat Charles Barron, City Council representative of Brownsville and Canarsie as well as parts of East New York and Flatbush, had some harsh words for “blue dog” Democrats who watered down the bill.

The legislation also sent ripples through the Health Care Industry where Brooklyn pharmacists reacted with apprehension and confusion. Nursing homes faced similar confusion about the insurance coverage for seniors and those on Medicaid. One Brooklyn doctor with a 25-year career feared an increase in the number of patients  which could mean less one-on-one time between doctors and their patients. At the Montefiore Medical Center, some are concerned funding will be cut for low-patient care. While legal immigrants will enjoy the benefits of the law, undocumented immigrants won’t have access, which, many say, runs contrary to the goal of greater access to health care.

One of the lesser known facets of the bill is the revamping of the college loan system. The government would be the direct lender rather than going through private banks.

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