Town Hall Forum on October 2 Will Offer Answers About Affordable Care Act

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. Together with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, it represents the most significant regulatory overhaul of the country’s healthcare system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.

“The Impact of the Affordable Health Care Act”, a town hall forum on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 will be held at the University of Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Oct. 2.  The forum will feature a panel discussion by experts and a question-and-answer session and will offer the public one of its best opportunities locally to get answers to questions about the legislation.  This free event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in Ballroom B at Pitt’s University Club, 123 University Place, Oakland.

The forum is sponsored by the Allegheny County Department of Human Service’s Allegheny Link to Aging and Disability Resources, the University of Pittsburgh Schools of Social Work and Law, and the Allegheny County APPRISE Program (the state health insurance assistance program).

A slate of experts will help untangle the complicated subject of online health insurance Marketplaces just as the Marketplaces begin taking registrations, which occurs on Oct. 1. Marketplaces — originally called Health Insurance Exchanges — will allow eligible uninsured individuals to select from among health insurance packages to meet the requirements of the Affordable Health Care Act.

“We are sponsoring the Town Hall Forum because many people and employers have questions about the Affordable Care Act,” said Joe Elliott, Community Programs Manager at the Allegheny Link. “It’s a complex piece of legislation and the experts at the forum can answer many initial questions, including ‘What do we do if our employer does not provide health insurance? Are we eligible for the Marketplace? Will there be subsidies to make health insurance more affordable?’”

John Lovelace, president of UPMC for You, a managed care organization that serves Medical Assistance and Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan recipients in 40 counties in Pennsylvania, is among the featured speakers. Other experts are expected from the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, Excela and the Consumer Health Coalition.

The forum will also address some of the broader implications and impact of the Affordable Care Act on the American health care system, particularly the law’s provisions concerning the Medicare and Medicaid systems. The first hour of the forum will be devoted to a panel discussion, with two hours allotted to taking questions from the audience.

Seating is limited. Those wishing to attend should RSVP by Sept. 30 via email to William McKendree,, or call 412-661-1438.

(first paragraph c/o Wikipedia; the rest from an Allegheny County press release)