Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers weighs in on health care overhaul, costs

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- For weeks we have heard from elected officials on what ails the American health care system, but Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers has a much closer view of what’s going on.

He spoke to WHNT News 19 Tuesday about the health care landscape and the changes that may be coming.

Republicans in the U.S. House pulled the plug – at least for now – on overhauling U.S. health care law and repealing Obamacare.

President Trump is predicting the present system will fail.

So what happens next?

That’s less clear.

Spillers says that with many consumers facing increasing costs for insurance premiums and very high deductibles and co-pays, pressure for change is likely to come from people who simply are unable to meet their medical insurance costs.

Spiller said consumer outrage is likely to grow.

“The consumers are going to scream that, ‘I can’t afford this insurance. I can’t afford, maybe I’m paying X amount to get insurance every month, but then when I use it, it’s all out-of-pocket because my deductible is so high,’” he said.

While he favors changes that will make health coverage more affordable, Spillers cautioned that an outright repeal of current health care law would bring more problems.

“If all of a sudden health care reform went away, there are people who have access to health insurance that never had access before, and they are all of a sudden going to become uninsured,” he said, “that means they’re going to show up at our doorstep, they’re expecting to get care and they’re not going to have the ability to pay.

“So that’s tough on us as a provider, it’ll be tough on every hospital as a provider.”

He said Americans will ultimately have to decide what kind of health care system they want. If it’s one that provides care as needed -- without regard to the ability to pay or whether someone is living an unhealthy lifestyle – they will have to fund an expensive system.

But a “cheap” system may also be unwelcome.

“A cheap system rations health care, everybody doesn’t get everything, not everybody lives that lives today, that’s a cheap system, my guess is we don’t want that either,” he said.