More than 1,000 turn out on South Side for ‘Obamacare Teach-In’
BY ART GOLAB Staff Reporter August 31, 2013 12:00AM
Updated: August 31, 2013 10:13AM
With applications for the Affordable Care Act insurance set to start in a month, more than a thousand people gathered at a Bronzeville church to find out how the new program will affect them and their families.
Billed as an “Obamacare Teach-In,” it was hosted Thursday by the Rev. Leon Finney Jr., president of the Woodlawn Community Development Corporation.
“It is imperative that all Chicagoans know how Obamacare will benefit them,” he said after the forum at Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church. “We need to help our president help us.”
A panel of experts assured seniors that they would not lose any of their benefits and younger members of their families will benefit.
“If a person is on Medicare, there is absolutely nothing that they need to do,” said Charles W. Watkins, Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace Regional Outreach Coordinator, told the audience.
Yuon Liang, 65, of Washington Park, said: “As a senior, I thought Obamacare was going to be a problem for me. I heard they will cut down Medicare. Now, I know that Obamacare will not affect me badly but will actually benefit me by expanding preventive care and cutting down prescription drug costs. I am thrilled about ObamaCare for me and my grandchildren.”
With more people getting insurance as a result of “Obamacare,” they will no longer be limited to public hospitals, said audience member Terenate Wright.
“I believe it will take a lot of pressure off some of these hospitals like [Stroger] Hospital,” Wright said. “A lot of people can only make it to [Stroger] and when you get there, you’ve got to wait forever to get seen.”
Now, according to the experts presenting at the forum, people cannot be turned down for affordable insurance and will be able to choose among five carriers and dozens of plans.