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Area health officials offer 11th-hour education efforts on Obamacare

November 9th, 2013 6:13 pm by Hank Hayes

Area health officials offer 11th-hour education efforts on Obamacare

KINGSPORT — The U.S. Supreme Court did not overturn it last year. The U.S. Congress did not repeal it this year.

Therefore, with Obamacare still in place as 2013 comes to end, 11th-hour education efforts have begun locally to give the business community an idea what health care will be like under the law, also known as the Affordable Care Act.

While large employers have until the end of 2014 to figure it out, Obamacare’s health insurance mandates for individuals and small businesses will kick in Jan. 1, 2014.

As the clock ticks toward the start of the new year, President Barack Obama’s administration continues to put a positive spin on the difficulties associated with signing up for the new health insurance exchanges at the website “There is still a lot of work to do, but our efforts to improve and enhance continue to progress,” according to an emailed release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Employers, meanwhile, are scrambling to adapt and get as much information as possible.

At an event hosted Tuesday by Wellmont Health System at the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, Wellmont Chief Financial Officer Alice Pope told business people that Obamacare has created payment, and not health care, reform.

“When we have to cut our expenses, we’re cutting payments to our suppliers, and we’re cutting our payments to employees, etc.,” Pope told the group.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Sunday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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