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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk: Answers to Affordable Care Act questions

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Feb 11, 2013 8:58 AM

Radio Smart Talk for Monday, February 11:


Shelly Bloom, the president-elect for the Board of Trustees for the Pennsylvania Association of Health Underwriters, and Vik Mangalmurti, Vice-President of HighMark's Office of Health Care Reform, will answer questions about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Monday's program.

Almost three years after it was enacted, the ACA is still a mystery to many people, including healthcare consumers, providers, and employers. 

Radio Smart Talk has focused on the law several times over the past year and yet listeners continue to learn and ask questions.

That's what's Monday's show is designed for -- asking and answering questions.

Much of the attention on the ACA now is related to what employers, who have provided health insurance to their employees, will do.  Will they decide it will cost them less money if they no longer offer the health benefits or will they continue to provide health insurance?

We'll look at that and other questions on Monday's program.

Is there a question you would like answered about the Affordable Care Act?  Comment below.

Listen to the program:


Shelly Bloom, president-elect for the Board of Trustees for the Pennsylvania Association of Health Underwriters, answers listeners' questions about insurance under the Affordable Care Act.


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  • ch215 img 2013-02-11 09:19

    Our family has no prospects for getting employer-provided insurance. We're in our mid-30's and currently healthy. Are we going to be better off signing up for a good plan now while our health status matters for our premium? It seems like we might be paying a lot less if we get a plan now that would be grandfathered in 2014.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-02-11 09:26

    E-mail from Dave:

    "I'm a veteran with VA health benefits and also Medicare. Under the ACA, would anything change for me? Should I continue to carry Medicare? I'm permanently disabled and on Social Security Disability Insurance."

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-02-11 09:29

    E-mail from Jim:

    "What is the impact on Highmark and other private health insurance companies in PA on the Corbett Adminstration's decision not to establish a state-run health insurance exchange and to expand Medicaid?"

  • Robert D Colgan img 2013-02-11 14:30

    Lessee....we have insurance people promoting insurance for Pennsylvanians who need healthcare.

    The insurance industry wrote the ACA.

    Insurers made absolutely sure their place at the public feeding trough was not only assured, but of massive benefit to them (as the sudden rush of new paying customers is welcomed by any business)-------yet also made sure that part of the safety net for them is the exclusion of those least able to afford premiums or additional pays, some 30 million Americans of whom at least 750,000 are Pennsylvanians.
    And they gave themselves a generous time frame to raise premiums and lower coverages until the ACA kicked in...

    The PPACA ---(they conveniently ignore the "Patient Protection" part since that's stretching the truth even too far for this pseudoreality of "improving" healthcare coverage and protecting patients)---is the offspring of the corporate insurance industry (combined closetly with Big PHRMA) AND Congressional lawmakers completely in the pocket of those industries.
    [Thus the dual parentage is Big Insurance/Big Insurance,

    The simple wisdom of moving toward fully expanded coverage for all by enlarging Medicare to all citizens and ditching the private insurers was never given even a breath of a chance by those foul partners.
    And, like spawn too severely hybridized to be viable, the ACA is going to succumb to rising prices to the point where it will be declared untenable for the consumer, and the modifications will go either toward additional market "freedom" for the insurers, against consumers, or toward MedicareForAll to try to stop the cost bleed out.

    Speaking personally, I hate the profiteers who injected themselves between healthcare practitioners and patients and who have by their unspoken ambition for profit above all else caused unfathomable suffering for many millions of Americans....all the while claiming they were totally innocent . . and who continue to block access for everyone in the US to full healthcare.
    Tobacco execs might be worse, but it might be the same as comparing Valencias to Navels. . .

  • susandavis img 2013-04-25 05:10

    The Affordable Care Act, which many took to calling “Obamacare,” mandates any person with preexisting problems cannot be excluded from health insurance plans. However, to get them onto plans means somebody will have to pay to get them insured. Everybody with insurance through companies will foot the bill, to the tune of $63 per year starting in 2014. Get a short term loan to help pay for your healthcare costs.

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