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Local medical experts discuss health care reform

READ MORE: Local medical experts discuss health care reform

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It's a big concern for most Americans -- health care.

With Republicans dominating the polls in last week's elections many say their first priority in Washington is health care reform legislation.

UNCW held a health care reform panel discussion breaking down what they think will happen in Washington and how it will affect us here in the Cape Fear region.

"Having the health care reform bill is critical," said UNCW Nursing professor Kathleen Ennen. "We have something to work with. Is it perfect? No. We all know that, but you have to have something to begin and we have that beginning and I believe that it's a really strong beginning."

Health care is the topic of conversation for most Americans. With a struggling economy and fewer jobs, finding ways to get health care is not the easiest thing to do and many are anxiously waiting for health care reform legislation.

Dr. Jonathan Hines is with the Wilmington Health Associate. Hines said, "Things will have to be changed about it but the idea that we will turn around and reverse our direction on health care reform I do not expect."

Whatever the turn may be Republicans say they're hoping to make changes soon. Last week's elections helped secure a Republican presence in Washington and they're on a mission to make a change.

"There's the potential for some further debate on some of the issues down the pike," said Ennen. "In terms of a lame-duck Congress and the changes we're all gonna see take place after the first of January."

"Adding 32 million uninsured people onto the insured ranks is going to be a tremendous challenge for health care to accommodate and what we'll have to do is we'll have to think differently and we will have to administer care differently than we're doing now to accomplish that," said Hines.

Ennen is more concerned about the cost of it all. She said, "How are they going to fund it? That's the question. We as citizens need to hold our Representatives and our Senators feet to the fire and ask them to do what is the best thing for us and our country and in terms here. Here we are we sit in Wilmington and we need to make sure the people representing us are doing that."

Some of the panelists say they're preparing for a different health care system but say some things will have to remain the same.

"There are some things about health care reform some general principles that are too important to ignore like improving access to care, improving the quality of care and bending the cost of care downward," said Hines.

For more on health care reform go to:

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