Doctor's forum discusses Arkansas private option flaws in Little Rock

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - An Arkansas group aimed at making government work for small business is taking up the topic of healthcare.{} They held a forum of doctors Tuesday night at the Statehouse Convention Center to discuss how the state's private option funded by Medicaid will hurt their patients.

Even though the Affordable Care Act hasn't totally gone into effect already the doctors at Tuesday night's event say the trouble they're experiencing now will only get worse, believing the state's private option will only hurt Arkansans.

The groups Conduit for Commerce and Conduit for Action are two groups aimed at reducing government involved in everyday life.{} Their goal is, "trying to improve the economy, the lift of Arkansans basically and we believe that starts at the small business level," said co-founder Brenda Vassaur-Taylor.

Taylor believes the state's private option plan hurts her organization's goal.

"But it doesn't matter what I think," said Vassaur-Taylor.{} "I want to know what my physician thinks about it, how it's affecting him, his practice, his care for me."

So CFC & CFA set up a forum of doctors to talk about those issues and how they believe it's hurting them.{} Dr. Carl Covey of Little Rock says for starters it's regulations.

"Increasing the regulatory burden on physicians who are already just overwhelmed with regulations from the state health department, the state medical board all the way to the DEA and the FDA and the SEC," said Covey.

Covey said it's moves like that plus issues already arising with the private option that he believes hurt his patients.

"Already Qualchoice is trying to limit the choice that patients on those plans have," said Covey.

Private insurers are restricting the doctors patients are allowed to see - that combined with increased workloads, Covey believes it will eventually restrict overall access to healthcare.

But the group wants you to make a decision for yourself.{} They're holding another forum in Little Rock, February 11 from 7:00 - 9:00 PM at the Statehouse Convention Center.{} There is no cost to attend.