Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 8:16 am
The way Colin Cooper sees it, people are willing to drive miles out of their way to save a few bucks on gas. Why wouldn't they do the same for health care?
So the CEO of Eastford, Conn.-based Whitcraft, an aerospace component manufacturer, figures his 500 employees will probably be willing to go to a hospital, radiology practice or lab recommended by their health plan if they can take home an extra $50 or $100 for doing so.
In the process, he hopes his company will trim its health care costs.
Free health clinics have long been places people turn to when they don't have health insurance or any money to pay for care. But the health law's expansion of coverage puts free clinics in uncharted territory.
While the law goes before the Supreme Court this week, health providers are already gearing up for a surge in patients with insurance.
Around the country, hundreds of free clinics have been established over the past 50 years to treat patients like Patsy Duarte.
Tomorrow morning the Supreme Court begins a three-may marathon of oral arguments challenging President Obama's landmark health care law, the Affordable Care Act. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan previews the arguments with NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg. She also speaks to Mark Gross, owner of a professional line standing service, who is poised to have a lucrative week, and Jeff Rother of the National Coalition on Health Care walks us back through health reform's tempestuous path to the Supreme Court.
The sweeping health overhaul law turns 2 years old this Friday. And as it heads toward a constitutional showdown at the Supreme Court next week, the debate over the measure remains almost as heated as the day President Obama signed it into law.