In Good Company – Discussing healthcare from the ACA to Zika
On Monday, October 24th, we hosted our latest panel discussion, “From ACA to Zika: Navigating the Changing Healthcare Landscape.” The panel consisted of 6 professionals with backgrounds in public health and healthcare, participating in an engaging conversation moderated by Hawthorne’s President, Cynthia McCafferty.
Meet the Panel:
- Rob Christie – Senior VP External Affairs, Northwestern Memorial HealthCare
- Brian Gorman – Director of Outreach and Education, Get Covered Illinois
- Dr. Mary Jo Gorman – Physician and Entrepreneur, Managing Partner, Prosper Women Entrepreneurs
- Julie Hamos – Principal, Health Management Associates
- Dr. Suzet McKinney – Executive Director, Illinois Medical District Commission
- Felicia Norwood – Director, Illinois Healthcare and Family Services
One of many topics to emerge this election season has been the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With a panel of varying views and background, the conversation was interesting.
The panel agreed that while there is room for enhancements, as is often the case with reform, the ACA has been beneficial in providing more Americans with access to healthcare. The benefits have spread across public health and privatized healthcare. One of the most important benefits of the ACA has been that insurance companies can no longer deny coverage based on preexisting conditions. As noted by a few of the panelists, this was an unfortunate issue many families faced before the ACA passed.
The panel also discussed the ACA’s effects on emergency preparedness. The ACA has provided communities with access to preventative care and the resources to understand how it operates and how it can benefit them. Millions of American citizens have become increasingly aware of emergency preparedness opportunities available to them, which is in large part due to the online aspect of the Affordable Care Act making information accessible for individuals and families to better understand options available to them.
Although the panel agreed that the ACA has done a lot of good for the country, it was made clear that there are still tremendous challenges.
Later in the evening, the audience had the opportunity to ask questions of the panel on the trending topic. Wendi Taylor Nations, CMO at World Business Chicago, asked Dr. Suzet McKinney about the resilience that the ACA has brought to communities. Dr. McKinney responded, “What I’m seeing across the landscape of public health and healthcare, private sector and government are greater efforts around collaboration and implementing innovative strategies to build that community resilience from the ground up, everything from economics to disasters to many other issues.”
Notable Quotes from the Panelists Included:
- “It is now a law that an insurance company cannot deny coverage based on a preexisting condition. That is probably the most fundamental, biggest change that was made by the Affordable Care Act.” - Rob Christie
- “At the end of the day, when you look back at where we were in 2013 to where we are today, I can tell you with tremendous confidence, that across the country and specifically here in Illinois, the ACA is working.” - Brian Gorman
- Sometimes it’s forgotten, one of the big impacts that’s happening in our healthcare delivery which is the fact that nobody has figured out a way to stop us from aging yet. So through no policy or anything else, 10,000 people a day turn 65 years old and they go on Medicare.” - Dr. Mary Jo Gorman
- “One of the real tragedies that happened along the way in not having an opportunity to prepare things is that so many states opted under an awful Supreme Court decision, not to extend Medicaid. So the tragedy in that is that the lowest income people in our country have been left behind.” - Julie Hamos
- "One of the things that we’re seeing is that patients are now having opportunities to become much more involved in their healthcare, to have much more of a say in their healthcare.” - Dr. Suzet McKinney
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