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Teaching healthcare staff about ACA

Teaching healthcare staff about ACA

Discuss the implications for HR and the healthcare workforce. No more than 200 words. Post your paper on moodle.

1.1. What key questions or problems does the author raise (~20 words)?

1.2. What information, data, or evidence does the author present to support the point (~50 words)?

1.3. What is/are the author’s key conclusion(s) (~20 words)?

1.4. How is/are the conclusion(s) justified (~50 words)?

1.5. What are the implications of this issue for healthcare organizations and administrators (~50 words)?

9/18/13 ‘ObamaCare 101’ sessions in L.A. County designed to educate, inform – California Health Report | California Health Report

By Robert Fulton
Kandis Driscoll, the workgroup director for the Insuring the Uninsured Project, stood at the podium of a recent
session of Obamacare 101 asked if anyone was familiar with what is known as the individual mandate . A
smattering of hands from the 90 or so attendees gingerly went up. So Driscoll presented a slide explaining the
mandate, breaking down the penalty of $95 or 1 percent of income a person will have to pay on their taxes in
the first year if they don’t secure insurance and how that penalty increases in coming years. The room filled
with murmurs.
The individual mandate, a key provision of 2010’s Affordable Care Act and such a hotly contested issue that it
took a Supreme Court ruling last year to keep it in place, was still news to some.
“We get mixed reactions to the individual mandate,” Driscoll said following the workshop. “Some people have
heard about it, and some people haven’t and the people that have heard about it don’t know everything about it.”
The Insuring the Uninsured Project (ITUP) with support form L.A. Care Health Plan, is presenting a series of
information sessions in Los Angeles County in the coming weeks.The workshops, titled “ObamaCare 101: An
Educational Training on Health Reform,” are designed to educate the staff of community clinics and
community-based health organizations in the basic tenets of health care reform. The workshops are for the
support staff that the general public deals with on a daily basis, the folks on the front line of taking phone calls
and answering questions.
The workshop at AltaMed was ITUP’s third, with at least nine total planned through the end of September, and
possibly more to come.
“I think we’re all in a situation where there was a bill and then it was passed and people spent the last three or
four years trying to figure out how to implement it, and there’s been a real information void during that period
of time,” said ITUP founder and director Lucien Wulsin.
Wulsin said that a large number of the low-income population who will be eligible to benefit from health care
reform thinks that the law has been repealed or will not take effect. He added that choices the public will need
to make are complex.
“I think the biggest [challenge] is just having to explain a brand new program for which there is no exact
precedent,” Wulsin said.
The ObamaCare 101 education sessions take a comprehensive look at the Affordable Care Act and explains key
9/18/13 ‘ObamaCare 101’ sessions in L.A. County designed to educate, inform – California Health Report | California Health Report
www.healthycal.org/archives/13418 2/2
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components of health care reform: who is eligible for Medi-Cal expansion; how Covered California, the state’s
health insurance exchange, will work; reforms in the insurance marketplace such as the extension of dependent
care, elimination of lifetime limits, prevention of insurance companies canceling coverage, and free preventative
care; the impact of reform on businesses big and small; and the individual mandate.
Wulsin, Driscoll and ITUP policy director Kiwon Yoo, answered questions from the audience during and
following their presentation. Many asked about the mandate, who will be eligible for subsidies through Covered
California, assistance for small employers who offer health insurance and penalties for large employers who
don’t.
Patricia Etem, a Los Angeles area public health consultant with Civic Communications Consulting, said she was
comfortable with her understanding of the basic tenets of the ACA heading into the workshop, but is concerned
by the complexities faced in determining who qualifies for what in the exchanges. She added that she’s worried
about the public missing the March 31, 2014 open enrollment deadline for Covered California.
“I think we have a lot of work to do, because I was surprised that not everybody in this room heard about
some things,” Etem said.
Nick Montes, an administrator with the Montes Medical Group, and Maricela Arceo, a patient enrollment
coordinator with the same group, also attended the session at AltaMed. Arceo said she wanted a better
understanding of who was going to become eligible for coverage under the ACA.
Montes added that staff frequently fields questions from the public regarding the health care reform.
“Patients always ask staff what are the changes that might come about, what is this thing that I keep hearing
about?” Montes said.
Wulsin founded the nonprofit Insuring the Uninsured Project in 1996 to advance health reform. The ObamaCare
101 info sessions are funded by L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan, and the
California Community Foundation, in partnership with the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles
County.
During ITUP’s two-and-a-half-hour presentation, Driscoll, 25, discussed how the ACA has impacted her
directly. After graduating from Loyola Marymount University three years ago, she was able to stay on her
parent’s health insurance plan until she found employment – and employer-based health coverage – with ITUP.
At least one attendee expressed surprise that the extended dependent coverage provision of the ACA was
already in place.
Driscoll said that after these workshops, people follow up with circumstantial questions after they’ve digested
the information. She added that some attend multiple sessions.
“I really hope that people take away that there are going to be more options available than are available now,”
Driscoll said. “I don’t by any means think the law is perfect, but it definitely has made it more accessible for
more Americans.”
For more information on upcoming workshops, as well as access to the information presented at the
workshops, visit itup.org.

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