Community forum to focus on proposed changes to health care - Tucson News Now

Community forum to focus on proposed changes to health care

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The future of your health care could change as the White House works to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act before President Donald Trump's first 100 days.

In an effort to promote community dialogue, Tucson city councilman Steve Kozachik and several local panelists hosted a community forum on health care and the proposed changes to the ACA at Temple Emanu-El Thursday, April 20.

"This forum is intended to educate people on the impacts proposed changes will have on retired people, women, family planning, and hospitals," Kozachik said in a recent newsletter.

Panelists include representatives from the Tucson Medical Center, YWCA, Planned Parenthood, the Alliance for Retired Americans and the National Organization for Women.

"If they repeal and replace it, I won't have health insurance next year," said Jennie James, a local real estate broker who said she's had Type 1 diabetes since she was 13 and was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

James was one of dozens of attendees at Thursday's forum.

The forum allowed for local health organizations like the Tucson Medical Center and Planned Parenthood to answer questions and lay out their stance.

Julia Strange spoke on behalf of TMC and said TMC will continue to advocate to ensure that those who got coverage through the ACA will continue to get coverage.

Strange also said should the White House simply repeal without a replacement, "it would devastating for Arizona hospital systems."

"We're trying very hard to make sure our system is strong," said Strange. "I think we have a lot of work to do but, let's put partisanship aside on this issue. Let's talk about patient care and how we can really move that forward."

Community organizer for Planned Parenthood Arizona Melissa Garcia said she's responded to about 400 inquires from people in the Tucson area about how they can get help through volunteer opportunities.

"People are ready to take action," said Garcia. "We need to continue educating folks and because we don't know what may happen and what new bill may come in and on the table, we want to make sure people are educated about the services that we have."

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