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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -Thursday's health care ruling is a major decision, and some folks are wondering how it may affect the community.
Shortly after the announcement regarding the Supreme Court's decision, WECT.com spoke with the CEO of New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Jack Barto.
Barto said the hospital had been planning for Thursday, regardless of the decision, for the last two and half years.
Now that it's here, he said that folks shouldn't notice a difference right away, but that's not to say the ruling doesn't affect the hospital.
Barto said the biggest challenge will be a $220 million shortfall in federal reimbursement over the next 10 years. He said the hospital will adapt like it has in the past.
"This is just one more change," he said. "It's a big change. It has a lot of negatives, which have already been implemented by the government, but as such, I think that our industry has always found a way to take care of individuals and people, which is what we continue to do every day."
Barto added that this is not universal coverage. Many Americans will have insurance, but he still expects to treat a number of patients in the emergency room without insurance - meaning doctors providing care without any federal reimbursement.
The hospital also takes care of its own -- New Hanover regional is the largest employer in the county. Barto said the hospital will continue to look for new ways to provide affordable health care to its more than 4,000 employees.
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