Teaching healthcare staff about ACA



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

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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€² 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€²s 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 aIDed 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€² sessions in L.A. County designed to educate, inform €“ California Health Report | California Health Report

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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


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 aIDed that she’s worried

about the public missing the March 31, 2014 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 aIDed 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


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 aIDed 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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