The Greater  Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce hosted a panel presentation about the Affordable Care Act on March 8 at the Four Seasons Resort & Club, with the help of HMS, FlowserveBaylor Medical Center at IrvingChildren’s Medical CenterDallas Business JournalSiemensRGP, and Cotten Schmidt & Abbot L.L.P.

The panel experts that spoke about the ACA included: Congressman Michael C. Burgess; president of Baylor Medical Center at Irving Cindy Schamp; director of client services, Prescott Pailet Benefits, a Marsh & McLennan Agency Peggy Bass; senior tax manager at TravisWolff, Bill Hattoz; president and CEO of HMS Inc., Bill Lucia; and senior vice-president for external affairs and general counsel at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, Regina Montoya.

Moderator of the panel expert was Bill Hethcock, straff writer at Dallas Business Journal covering health care.

During panel discussion, Bill Lucia, mentioned more people on Medicaid, as will occur under the Affordable Care Act, means more opportunities to control the costs that are in Medicaid.

“The Medicaid program is not perfect; it really does need an overhaul. But it’s one of the railroad tracks we have in the nation to start covering more people”, said Lucia.

Bill Hattox, senior tax manager with TravisWolff, explained “there are 47 tax regulations that pertain to the Affordable Care Act, and more are being written, Hattox said. The IRS hasn’t figured out yet how to administer the regulations already on the books, he said.

“Every single small business person is going to feel a major impact,” Hattox said. “It’s not going to force them to close up shop. But they’re going to have a compliance nightmare on their hands.”

Panelist Peggy Bass, said employers of all sizes will be affected. “The Affordable Care Act is bringing sweeping changes, but simplification isn’t one of them. The expansion of health care benefits and the mandates to cover services that haven’t been covered before will increase costs across the board”, she said.

The panel experts ended the event encouraging the people to call their legislators as work is being done on the state’s health care exchange.

The Chamber’s Signature Programs Committee would like to thank all our sponsors, speakers and guests who participated in this Signature Program.

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