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Health Care & The Election

November 6, 2012, 6:12 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Health Care & The Election

As voters head to the polls Tuesday, health care is a top concern on many people's minds.

Many believe that their health care and how they pay for it could be impacted by who's elected President and to Congress.

Seventy-five-year-old Jean Ptak is heading to the polls with several issues on her mind, including health care.

"I recently lost a husband who suffered from cancer and without Medicare, we would have been absolutely wiped out," Ptak said.

Ptak feels who will be elected president and to the U.S. Congress could influence Medicare.

"People in my generation are on a fixed income and we need to have a reliable health care system," Ptak said.

Health care is not only a hot topic here in Sioux Falls this election but also across the nation. Experts say one of the reasons why is the Affordable Care Act passed shortly before the political season began.

"It passed in March of 2010, and shortly thereafter we entered what I call the political season. People I think realize that the political season is now not just a few months. It can drag into a couple years," Cindy Morrison said.

Morrison has been working with lawmakers in Washington D.C. on health care reform for more than seven years. She feels whoever is elected president and to the U.S. Congress will have to address the issue.

"It's how you deal with it and what you chose to make a priority and not a priority. That's the difference you see between the parties," Morrison said.

Morrison says she doesn't think the Affordable Care Act will be repealed, partly because the law is so large.

"Some of it has already been implemented, so I doubt it will be a total repeal. I do think it would be possible there would be tweaks," Morrison said.

Morrison also says Congress will have to address Medicare and state lawmakers will have to address Medicaid.

"I think the President of the United States would say we did address it. We passed a law in 2010, but what I would tell you from my years of experience is entitlements are going to be on the table again no matter who is elected," Morrison said.

Which is the main reason why health care is influencing how Ptak votes.

"It's very important to people on fixed incomes that they know what they're going to be able to have for the rest of the month," Ptak said.

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