VAIL - The federal Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," is so complex and there are so many uncertainties that surround its implementation that the Vail Symposium has convened a panel of experts to discuss this important piece of legislation March 15 at the Colorado Mountain College campus in Edwards. "In a long career working in over 50 countries, I have never seen such an overly-complicated piece of legislation," said Vail Symposium Advisory Council member Peter Leslie, who coordinated the finance and budget activities of the World Health Organization for eight years. "This Symposium program will help us understand an act that will dramatically affect all our lives."The panel includes: Charlie Crevling, CFO, Vail Valley Medical Center; Jon Feeney, M.D., Colorado Mountain Medical; Ryan Sarni, Attorney, Mountain States Employers Council; and Kathleen Lyons, Economic Services Director, Eagle County Health and Human Services. The group will discuss the complexities of the federal law from their unique points of view. Rohn Robbins will moderate. Their presentations will be followed by a Q & A session with the audience.The discussion will cover questions that concern Valley residents including:• Are some people in the Valley being asked to move to part-time jobs so that their employers can avoid insurance coverage that is becoming ever more expensive?• What will be the impact of increased eligibility for Medicaid? • Will some individuals choose to pay a penalty or tax instead of obtaining insurance coverage?• Will some smaller businesses choose to pay a penalty or tax rather than offer employer-sponsored insurance coverage?• Will the Vail Valley face a doctor shortage as more people have access to primary care?• What is the impact on the medical center's emergency department and on its urgent care centers?Ryan Sarni of the Mountain States Employers Council will discuss issues pertaining to employer and individual mandates resulting from the ACA as well as the expansion of Medicaid eligibility and subsidies for low income individuals.Charlie Crevling of Vail Valley Medical Center and Dr. Jon Feeney of Colorado Mountain Medical will address the impact of an increase in insured individuals on hospitals and physicians, as well as their cost containment plans and concerns about the possibility of increasingly inadequate reimbursement rates for Medicare and Medicaid patients.Kathleen Lyons, Eagle County Director of Economic Services, will discuss Eagle County demographics (age, population, uninsured, eligible but not enrolled, etc.); Medicaid Expansion; the new Colorado Health Insurance Exchange and what that means for our community; and changes in the Federal Poverty Level and how that relates to the Health Insurance Exchange.The presentation starts at 6 p.m. following a reception at 5 p.m. Tickets are pay-at-will with a suggested donation of $10. Reservations are recommended and can be made at www.vailsymposium.org. Visit the Symposium's website or call 970-476-0954 for more information.
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