Present: Kitty Hegemann, Jill Bontrager, Bobbie Smith, Louise Hamm, Helen McQueen
Guests: Joe Mike and Barbara Akard
Meeting called to order at 10:00 am
- The DWJC will meet at the Johnson County Public Library in June and August-December 2010
- In a phone call from Sonja Fox incoming president of the TNFDW, Sonya said that she is from Johnson City and will try to be at our June meeting. She also suggested that if we move our meeting to lunch time on a weekday, we might have more people come. Suggestion to think about: meet from 12:30-1:14 pm on Wednesdays since most of the stores in our area close at noon on Wednesday.
- Email from Wanda Payne suggesting that we, with the Republican women, sponsor a candidates’ forum before the August elections.
- Recognition of Joe Mike Akard who is running for the House of Representative in the Democratic primary.
- Reading of the minutes by Kitty Hegemann: Approved
- Jill Bontrager will write a letter to the editor of the Tomahawk and Bad Idea News stating the main points we will cover in today’s discussion of health care reform.
- Joe Mike Akard spoke to the group about what he stands for and said that he would open a permanent office in Johnson County if he wins the election.
- Kitty Hegemann: The law and mandates
- If you have insurance, you will not be forced to buy new coverage. Those not covered will have to purchase insurance or face a monetary penalty.
- Current insurance will have to meet minimum requirements of coverage, consumer protection standards, submit to an appeals process in a dispute, and the premiums will most likely decrease. There is a grandfather clause but allowances are yet to be determined.
- There is no public option; however, states can implement one if they so choose. All exchanges will be run by the individual states, but must follow federal regulations.
- Small businesses will receive a 35% tax credit for purchased insurance and by 2014 that would go up to 50%. Additionally, small businesses may work cooperatively to purchase insurance and use their group to negotiate lower premiums.
- Paid for by a 40% tax on plans costing $8500 (individual) to $23,000 (family). This affects very few people since most plans cost much less than that. Taxes will be levied on health insurance, pharmaceutical, and medical supply companies. Increased efficiency and reduced waste will save money, which will help pay for the programs.
- Jill Bontrager: Exchanges
- Sources: whitehouse.gov, Christian Science Monitor, Time Magazine
- Facts: larger base=lower costs; cover those who would not otherwise be covered; use of the marketplace to provide coverage
- How: use the states to administer; if a state can’t or won’t participate the federal government will run the exchange; use of the internet, phone, offices or a combination of these to reach out to the population; levels of coverage to include bronze, silver, gold, and platinum; no monopolies and members of an exchange may not be charged higher rates.
- Positive aspects: states may have a public option (the governor of WV says a public option is best for his citizens); states can join together for better plans as can regions; minimum standards of coverage are mandated.
Next Topic: Where do we go from here?
Next Meeting: Johnson County Public Library on June 12th at 9:45 am until 11:00 am
Adjourned: 11:03 am
Submitted by: Katherine Hegemann, Secretary