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By Lou Marzeles

Forum to answer questions about Obamacare two years in


It’s two years since the Affordable Care Act—also known as Obamacare—went into effect, and many people are wondering how it’s doing and what’s changed in that time. On Nov. 2 anyone who wants in-depth answers to those and other questions will have an opportunity to obtain them at the “How is the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) doing two years out?” public forum at the White Salmon Library from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The forum, presented by Klickitat County Democrats, is open to the public.

It will feature a number of knowledgeable presenters and question answerers, including Skyline Hospital CEO Robb Kimmes; Jonathan Blake of McCoy-Holliston Insurance and vice chairman of the Skyline board of trustees; and Rudy Vasquez, Managed Care Operations Director for Sea Mar Community Health Centers.

“It’s a totally non-partisan event,” says Rosemary Hoyt, organizer of the event. “We wanted people who could address a lot of concerns. Robb said he would crunch some numbers. We wanted to get input from any pharmacies that were willing to say anything, but their corporate headquarters just would not let them.” Hoyt says Klickitat Valley Health was invited but the date didn’t work for them, though they were open to joining another such event in the future.

“We’ve done programs for a few years now,” Hoyt says, “where we have programs that are of interest to people in the county. We’ve done energy, we’ve done oil trains. We also did health care when it was first being rolled out. And so now we want to do it again to see how people are, how they like it.”

Hoyt says she discovered something so new even the new person involved didn’t know about it yet. “I found out in the process of putting this together that the Clark County Public Health department was the lead for implementing the Affordable Care Act when it first came out, so I invited them,” she recalls. “And about a week later I got a call from them saying that as of Sept. 30 they would no longer be the lead agency for that, for our area. About a week or two later, I got an email from a gentleman Rudy Vasquez. He’s with Sea Mark Health Care in Tacoma. They’re a non-profit, and they have taken over. So he will also be a speaker.”

Hoyt emphasizes that all are welcome to the forum and to share their perspectives as interested members of the public, enrollee, caregiver, or hospital staffer. “To prepare, we are asking the public to email comments, anecdotal experiences, or questions prior to the meeting to,” she says. “Questions and comments will also be taken during the evening.”


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