Chamber hears healthcare reform update at monthly luncheon

Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce members were updated on the latest happenings and developments with their chamber at the monthly luncheon, May 23, at Pine Lake Country Club.

Carolinas Medical Center-University President Bill Leonard speaks to the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the Chamber’s May member luncheon. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

Carolinas Medical Center-University President Bill Leonard speaks to the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the Chamber’s May member luncheon. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

The Chamber’s newlydesigned website, www.minthillchamberofcommerce.com, designed by Michael Habenicht at Kaleidoscopic, Inc. in Mint Hill, is up and running, with new features, directories, photos, and a whole new look.

September 19 is the Chamber’s annual golf tournament, and this year, they are expecting as many as 120 or more golfers. For information on the tournament, registration, or sponsoring, contact the Chamber office.

New members Taxco Mexican Restaurant and Clear Creek Nursing Home and Rehab were welcomed to the Chamber this month.

Bill Leonard, President at Carolinas Medical Center University, spoke to the chamber about the ongoing changes in healthcare brought about by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care act, or “Obamacare.”

Leonard grew up in Greensboro, N.C., and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before earning his Master’s at Duke University.

He began by explaining what CMC University does and the services they provide, including annual statistics of delivering 1,600 newborns, admitting 7,200 patients, performing 8,400 surgeries, and admitting 87,000 patients into their emergency department.

Leonard said he heard of the innovation of CMC University while in graduate school, and when he was able to become president, he was “overjoyed.”

“Healthcare reform has been kind of elusive for our country for a long time,” Leonard said. “The last really major legislation was back in the early 60s, President Johnson signed Medicaid and Medicare, and since then, we’ve been kind of nibbling at it.” Leonard said the Af- fordable Care Act will be paid for by spending cuts, which already began with sequestration at the federal level, and CMC received a one-percent cut in federal funding.

The reform is impacting businesses in that it requires businesses of a certain size to supply their employees with healthcare, and this tenet of the bill was tested, as Leonard explained, when the Supreme Court heard a case on whether or not the ACA was constitutional, the ruling of which was that it was constitutional, because of taxation authority on part of the federal government.

“The court came back and said it is constitutional, we can require it because of taxation authority that the federal government has that essentially, the individual mandate to get insurance, the employer mandate was essentially a tax, is how the court saw it,” Leonard said.

But not all the changes are bad, Leonard said, citing the extension of insurance for children of policy holders to allow the child to stay on the parent’s insurance until age 26, a move that is already helping many people continue to have insurance and pay for medical procedures.

Leonard further explained the structure of the bill and changes that it would bring to CMC and North Carolina, and said that CMC representatives have been working with state legislators, because upcoming decisions can have a big impact on the healthcare industry in the state.

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>