The future of healthcare, namely the Affordable Care Act, was the topic of discussion at the Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Sept. 20.
Senior Vice President of Kaiser Permanente David Womack led the discussion at Big Papa's Steakhouse with his presentation, “Beyond Obamacare.”
“Healthcare reform isn't something that started with President Obama, it is something that has been worked on for years and years and years,” Womack said. “And I think it will continue, it will always be tweaked and it will always be changed.”
After a brief explanation of the history of insurance and healthcare, Womack discussed what has changed since the ACA was instated.
“About 20 million people have gained insurance,” Womack said. “And price inflation is the lowest it has been in 50 years.”
Womack also talked about the potential problems that lie ahead for each presidential candidate and their approaches to healthcare.
“Both candidates have challenges,” Womack said.
Donald Trump's plan to “repeal and replace” the ACA means alternatives will have to be found for covering young adults and pre-existing conditions, as well as finding an alternative to Medicaid expansion, Womack said.
“Those 20 million people who got insurance through the Affordable Care Act would lose it,” Womack said.
Hillary Clinton's “defend and improve” plan will mean offering more options in low-density areas, convincing non-participating states to hop on board and limiting the financial burden some enrollees face.
“There are many people who have insurance now, but they can't afford to use it,” Womack said.
Womack ended his presentation by giving the audience some advice.
“Get healthy and stay that way,” Womack said.