Health care forum chance to get informed

A piece of legislation as complex as the Affordable Care Act – commonly known as Obamacare – is bound to generate questions.

Among many other provisions, the law will prompt Medicaid expansion, dictate minimum levels of health benefits and create a new structure for health insurance exchanges. While the law is national in scope, its impact will be felt at the state and local level – by people needing health care in our community.

How will these effects be felt? Who will still fall through the cracks in the health care safety net? What can be done to cut health care costs while maintaining the best patient outcomes? On Thursday, a pair of local medical professionals will try to answer some of these questions and dispel some of the uncertainty surrounding the dramatic health care changes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will bring.

Drs. Teresa Frankovich and Kevin Piggott will lead a public discussion, hosted by the Marquette Branch of the American Association of University Women, in the Federated Women’s Club House at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Federated Women’s Club House is located at 104 E. Ridge St. in Marquette.

Frankovich is the medical director for the Marquette County Health Department and serves as the medical director for the Dickinson-Iron and Western U.P. health departments, as well as for Public Health of Delta and Menominee counties.

Piggott is the assistant chief medical officer and medical director of community health at Marquette General Health System.

These two public health experts should provide a wealth of information for area residents who are concerned about how their health care may change as the ACA continues to be implemented.

The AAUW is undertaking the forum because their group believes everyone is entitled to health care that is high quality, affordable and easily accessible. The group has three main health care concerns: ending insurance ratings which discriminate based on gender, protecting women’s reproductive health services and ensuring coverage of preventive care.

We think everyone should take an active interest in health insurance and health care policy topics. New ACA rules promoting and expanding health insurance coverage mean more people will have a greater stake in health care funding and decisions. Now’s the time to get informed.