Duke Announces Health Care Plan at Hometown Rally
U.S. Senatorial Hopeful Seeks to End Self Pay Patient Discrimination
WALTERBORO- U.S. Senatorial candidate Dwayne "Duke" Buckner on Thursday laid out his plan to improve the country's health care system. Buckner, speaking at a "Faith and Values" campaign rally in his hometown of Walterboro, SC, made it clear that if elected he would work to end self pay patient discrimination.
you go to the doctor or the hospital, one of the first questions they
ask you is not how would you like to pay for your services today, but
what kind of health insurance do you have?" said Buckner. "That makes
self pay patients who do not have health insurance, or self pay patients
who do not want to use their health insurance for whatever reason feel
like they are second class citizens," said Buckner. "You shouldn't be
forced to use your health insurance if you want to pay cash for health
care services," Buckner explained.
To end self pay discrimination and make health care more affordable, Buckner believes price transparency must be the law of the land.
"The health care profession is the only one I know where people have no idea what something is going to cost them until a few weeks later when they get a medical bill in the mail saying they owe all this money," said Buckner. "Under my health care plan, doctors and hospitals would be required to research their prior billing records every year and use that information to give patients an estimated cost for certain common procedures. Pricing information would also be posted online so individuals who are shopping for health care services can have an idea of what something is going to cost up front and be able to find the best prices."
While ending self pay discrimination is a major concern for Buckner, the future of health care and the use of technology is also a top priority.
"With telehealth, patients will be able to see a doctor, get advice, be examined, and be prescribed medicine all from the comfort of their own home using a cell phone," said Buckner. "Gone are the days of waiting in long lines at the doctor's office. Patients, especially those who live in the rural areas of South Carolina, can now be seen by a physician or a specialist without having to drive far distances."
However, according to Buckner, the reason that telehealth is not more prevalent in South Carolina is because of the lack of parity in reimbursements for telehealth providers.
"Doctors, are paid less money by health insurance companies for seeing telehealth patients then if they saw that same patient in their office," said Buckner. "As a result, there is no incentive for doctors to practice telehealth in South Carolina. However, if elected I will work to ensure that parity for reimbursements for telehealth providers is the law in every state," said Buckner. "Without the additional overhead, doctors who practice telehealth will be in a unique position to not only be able to provide more affordable health care, but quality value based health care as well where they work to keep their patients healthy and are less concerned about getting paid for the things they do to the patient."
Duke and local Walterboro Businessman Radi Clytus pose for a picture
after the Rally!
Rally Attendees Show Support
L to R Duke Buckner, Tony Rhone, Fred Reed and Simeon Hammonds