PCMS Executive Director Bruce Ehrle served as a panelist this evening for a health care forum in Tacoma sponsored by the Indivisible organizations of Gig Harbor, Tacoma, and Puyallup designed to examine the next steps in health care policy and the impacts of federal action at the state and local levels. Other panelists included Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, State Senator Karen Keiser, and Pierce County Council Member Derek Young. The event was moderated by PCMS Member Dr. Nathan Schlicher, an emergency department physician for CHI Franciscan.
This evening’s wide ranging and engaged discussion featured a review of recent actions by Congress to attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), related issues of access to providers for patients, efforts to control health care costs and improve population health, shortages in behavioral health and primary care providers, the need to reform graduate medical education such as increasing resident slots, future expected Congressional and state legislative/administrative action on health issues, and efforts to deal with the current national opioid crisis within the local community.
A common theme among all panelists was the importance of all citizens remaining active participants in the evolution of health care policy including through educational forums such as the one conducted tonight.