Health reform discussion Monday at UHV auditorium

JR Ortega By JR Ortega

Sept. 22, 2010 at 4:22 a.m.

Talk about health care reform and you'll see eyes glaze over. Anne Dunkelberg knows - she's seen it firsthand.

The hefty topic of health reform has been simplified and catered for Texans by the Center for Public Police Priorities, an Austin nonprofit policy institute, of which Dunkelberg is the associate director.

Dunkelberg will give a presentation at the University of Houston-Victoria on Monday outlining health care reform.

"We're walking people through the nuts and bolts of how the health reform law will provide health insurance coverage," Dunkelberg said.

The topic has been presented at more than 30 locations across Texas.

Each presentation is tweaked to suit the location's area, she said.

Dunkelberg will touch on key issues in the bill such as how it works, how it's paid for, what changes there are and who will be covered.

"It's not like we come to the presentation without a point of view," she said. "Our stock and trade is to really do factual analysis. We present the information in a balanced way."

While some reform changes will happen this year, most of the changes will happen in 2014, she said.

One of goals of the presentation is to help people have an informed opinion on healthcare reform.

About half of Americans have a misunderstanding of the bill, according to an Associated Press poll conducted this year by Stanford University.

The 2010 poll asked people what they thought would happen with taxes because of the reform.

The right answer? There will be no change in taxation.

Still, the poll showed that 52 percent of people believe taxes would be raised a little if not a lot, while 38 percent thought there would be no change and 6 percent thought taxes would actually be lowered.

This confusion of facts is what Dunkelberg wants to set straight, she said.

"We're fully certain people do need to have more information. If they are forming strong opinions, they need to be based on fact," she said.

Dunkelberg understands weeding through the health care reform can be daunting, but the information she has presented at other locations has been well received.

"It's not an easy thing to teach people about," she said.



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