Forum helps shed light on health care

No way could one single forum make everything crystal clear about the implications of the very complicated Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, but the GFWC/OFWC Woman’s Club of Steubenville did its part in promoting and organizing an event that could at least help Tri-State Area residents have an opportunity to listen to some good information and ask questions.

The forum on health care was held at Eastern Gateway Community College on Monday afternoon, attracting a good turnout for the event that marked the end of the club’s 2012-13 meeting season.

Sarah E. Poulton was the featured speaker, who gave a PowerPoint presentation about some of the basics of the mandate. She works out of the Salem office of U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, as director of constituent services, specializing in health care, Medicare and Social Security issues.

Once she concluded her brief overview of the legislation signed by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, the questions began.

There were plenty of them, too, quite a variety at this event where the decorations were patriotic and so was the music, courtesy of county Commissioner Tom Graham, who sang the national anthem at the opening and at the end sang “Proud to be an American” to a standing ovation.

Donna Keagler served as moderator and part of the event committee that also included club President Kathy Mills, Marge Bedortha, Eleanor Weiss, Judy Brancazio, Eileen Krupinski and Shirley Valuska.

Graham was one of the 12 panelists who each brought an area of expertise and knowledge to the forum.

In addition to Graham, panelists were J.J. Bernabei of Tri-State Medical Group; Steve Bolger, owner/administrator of Bolger Country Club Manor and Catherine’s Care Manor; Michael Hernon, vice president of advancement at the Franciscan University of Steubenville; Nancy Kuzenko, an account executive with Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Youngstown, joined by Amanda McFarland, also of Anthem; David LaRue, an elder law attorney; Al Macre, a certified public accountant and professor of accounting at Franciscan University of Steubenville; Kathy Magushak, certified insurance counselor with McBane Insurance; Ann Quillen, director of the Jefferson County Fourth Street Health Center; Shane Thompson, a small business owner; and Jeanne Wilson, senior Appalachian representative with the office of Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

The forum also was an opportunity for club members to promote the organization, generate interest and recruit members.