Implementing the Affordable Care Act: Local Government Leaders See Challenges and Opportunities

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) presents local governments with both challenges and opportunities. As the various provisions of the legislation go into effect, local government leaders are retooling their healthcare plans to improve health and reduce costs, while also playing an important role in the law's implementation at the local level.

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A range of healthcare and local government experts, leaders, and practitioners will discuss lessons learned from implementing the ACA and how it has stimulated new healthcare strategies during a press call on Monday, October 8 at 1:00 PM Eastern/10:00 AM MST. Hosted by ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, the call will include national thought leaders from ICMA and the Center for State and Local Government Excellence; leaders at the helm of local governments in Asheville, NC and San Antonio, TX; and a leading expert from top global health service company Cigna.

WHAT: Implementing the Affordable Care Act: Local Government Leaders See Challenges and Opportunities

WHO: Ed Belmares, Assistant City Manager, San Antonio, TX

Ron Carlee, ICMA Chief Operating Officer and former County Manager, Arlington County, VA

Elizabeth Kellar, President and CEO, Center for State and Local Government Excellence

Gary Jackson, City Manager, Asheville, NC

Reggie White, Regional Vice President, Cigna Government and Education, Atlanta, GA

WHEN: Monday, October 8 at 1 PM Eastern/10 AM MST

In December 2011, Cigna and ICMA jointly released the results of a survey of local governments on a range of pressing health topics. The survey found that employee health costs were a top concern of local governments, which were largely unsure about how best to reduce healthcare costs. Several questions asked local governments directly about their plans and understanding of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. When asked, "What is your level of understanding of the healthcare reform legislation?" the vast majority of local government respondents–63%– said "Partially understand, need to learn more." Perhaps due to the lack of understanding, local governments at the time planned to take a "wait and see" approach on potential changes to employee healthcare benefits prompted by passage of the Affordable Care Act.

The speakers on Monday's press call are just a few of the more than 3,000 key decision makers and guests from local governments throughout the world gathered in Phoenix, Arizona, October 7-10 as part of the 98th Annual Conference of ICMA, the International City/County Management Association. More details on the ICMA annual conference, including specific conference details, available at: http://icma.org/en/conference/welcome

About ICMA
ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, advances professional local government worldwide. Our mission is to create excellence in local governance by developing and fostering professional management to build livable communities that improve people's lives. ICMA provides member support; publications; data and information; peer and results-oriented assistance; and training and professional development to nearly 9,000 city, town, and county experts and other individuals and organizations throughout the world. The management decisions made by ICMA's members affect millions of individuals living in thousands of communities, from small villages and towns to large metropolitan areas.