LIMA — The implications of the health care reform law passed earlier this year are far-reaching for businesses large and small alike. Planners and presenters said the session was designed to highlight how critical the impact will be when fully realized.
The session at the City Club in downtown Lima, sponsored by the Lima-Allen County Chamber of Commerce, covered everything from tax implications for employers and employees to the impact on medical practitioners.
“What we’re trying to do today is provide a forum to educate our business community to prepare them,” said Jed Metzger, president and CEO of the Lima Chamber. “We want them to know how this is going to trickle down to them and what they need to do to be prepared for these extra additional costs that are going to be coming their way.”
Pamela Gardner, chief of cardiology at Lima Memorial Health System and a physician at the Heart Institute of Northwest Ohio, said people need to realize that the American health care system is still tops in the world. The problem is figuring out how to pay for the training of physicians as well as paying for the research that leads to the development of new medical technology and treatments, she said.
“Good health care is expensive. There is no getting around it,” Gardner said. “We need to keep it in perspective. It is good medical care. We need to figure out what we’re going to give up or how we’re going to continue to pay for it.”
From an insurance standpoint, the new law will prompt employers to have discussions about whether to keep providing health care coverage to employees, according to Randee Henson, an agent at Stolly Insurance Group.
“I believe that as we go forward employers are really going to make a decision do we keep coverage for our employees,” Henson said. “I think it’s all about learning some choices fairly new but very complex. Even as agents we read it, read it. It’s going to be something that everyone’s going to be involved in.”