Councils set community forum on health care law

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Jim Leute
Friday, November 15, 2013

JANESVILLE—People get health care information from many sources, and quite often it's not from reading local newspapers or attending city council meetings.

That's the thinking behind a community forum Wednesday on the Affordable Care Act.

The forum is the idea of Kathy Voskuil, president of the Janesville City Council. She reached out to her colleagues on the Beloit City Council to sponsor the forum at Blackhawk Technical College.

“Whether it's because of the new health care law or the lack of an expansion of Medicaid in Wisconsin, there is going to be a transition in the population from an economic standpoint,” Voskuil said. “There's often a disconnect and a different agenda when it comes to health care issues and information.”

Voskuil said Wednesday's forum would not be about enrolling people in health care plans. It will not be a discussion on the merits or politics of the new law, she added.

“The purpose is to educate Rock County residents about the law and where there's help available,” she said. “This is in no way a government or partisan forum.”

Voskuil said organizers invited representatives from an extensive list of community and faith-based groups.

“I believe as leaders of the community and city council members, we need to address the wants and needs of the community, and the health care law is a big part of it,” she said.

That's why Wednesday's forum will primarily target community groups that can direct their constituents to the help they need with the changing health care landscape.

“We want to get information to the people who have the boots on the ground,” she said.

The forum will include a brief panel discussion and information tables from community groups and organizations.

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