One of the challenges regarding the Affordable Care Act is its dynamic nature.
It was fitting, then, that on the day The Chamber hosted its Health Care Summit — which featured a nationally recognized health care policy expert who denounces the current law — the ACA was dealt another blow when the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia ruled that federal health exchange participants were not eligible for tax subsidies.
Patient advocate Betsy McCaughey said that means 5.5 million people will not receive assistance with their health care costs, and they may see those costs as much as quadruple. McCaughey said several times in her brief remarks that the law is threatening our basic rights in life and lowers the standard of care patients will receive, specifically citing how seniors will suffer under the law.
“The sheer size of the law is what makes it so dangerous,” McCaughey said as her hand rested on the 2,572-page binder she set on the podium. “But we can replace the law with something better.”
McCaughey cited that a new health care law is needed that is brief—no more than 20 pages—and protects the freedom of choice by allowing buyers to purchase the best health care policy regardless of state affiliation as well as setting up health savings accounts to encourage consumer involvement.
During the afternoon, attendees selected breakout sessions about the following topics:
- Health insurance industry leaders sharing their perspective on the changing law.
- Strategies and ideas for incorporating worksite wellness programs. (Click here to view the presentations shared during the session.)
- How large employers have been dealing with ACA compliance.
- Issues small employers have been managing while complying with the law.
The event concluded with a discussion on how technology is changing health care and the response of both providers and partners when it comes to making sure patients receive quality care. (Click here to view the presentations shared during the session.)
“Technology is a driver when it comes to the cost of health care,” said Dr. Joshua Wynne from the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “But the past is not a prologue to the future. There are ways to apply technology in an optimal way.”
Ruth Krystopolski from Sanford Health agreed. “We need a consistent way to evaluate data, and technology can do that. Paper can’t do that,” she said.
The Chamber would like to thank all the event sponsors as well as speakers:
Ross Manson, Eide Bailly LLP
Luther Stueland, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota
Jay McLaren, Medica Health Plans
Pete Seljevold, Healthy North Dakota
Diana Barta, KLJ
Laurie Lundstrom and Tammy Enright, Spectrum Aeromed
Linda Otterson, Cass County Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Leann Moos, Fargo Moorhead Human Resource Association
Jeffry Volk, Moore Engineering, Inc.
Sarah Koustrup, National Hospitality Services
Alissa Partee, The Marvin Companies
Shannon Breuer, Eide Bailly LLP
Jim Nyhof, Dawson Insurance
Tim Sayler, Essentia Health
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota
Eide Bailly LLP
Medica Health Plans
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