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It’s a health care plan that has a lot of Western New Yorkers asking what’s next for their area health care facilities.

Thursday, the Supreme Court voted to uphold the Affordable Care Act, which will provide those who are uninsured access to healthcare coverage.

WBTA spoke to Vice President of Medical Affairs at United Memorial Medical Center Michael Merrill to get some answers on how the bill would affect the small hospital.

Merrill said a positive is that the hospital won’t be providing free care to people, which right now is a financial loss.

“With more people having insurance that’s better for the public health, because not having insurance means you don’t seek care as often. I’d say the negatives are that the act does not do a lot to contain costs and that’s still a political hot potato, there’s a lot of sources of waste in the system that are going to have to be addressed,” said Merrill.

Merrill said the hospital will hire more staff if they see an increase in foot traffic at the facility when the bill is implemented.

“I think we’re going to have a lot of providers to handle the situation, this is going to be a gradual process, this is not a turning on the faucet type of situation, you know we can adapt and I believe we have the capacity in the system to handle it,” said Merrill.

As part of the conditions of the health care bill, after six months of being implimented insurance providers will no longer allowed to turn children away with preexisting health conditions and starting in 2014 everyone must purchase insurance or face fines.

State Lawmakers in support of the bill said there are still a lot of kinks to be worked out within the plan before it’s implemented. 

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