GARY | A panel of legislators and health care leaders fielded questions Wednesday during a town hall style discussion about the Affordable Care Act.
The act, commonly called Obamacare, was signed into law in 2010. But one of the major components of allowing Americans to buy health coverage through established online marketplaces started Tuesday.
"It is good for our country," Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said.
About 50 people attended the meeting, which took place at the Gary campus of Ivy Tech. The Lake County Minority Health Coalition and Indiana Minority Health Coalition sponsored the discussion.
State Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, said he hoped for a bigger turnout, because Americans do not have a solid understanding of the Affordable Care Act.
He and two other panelists referenced a recent skit that aired on the Jimmy Kimmel Live late night show. People were stopped on the street and asked whether they prefer Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act.
Although the terms reference the same legislation, people didn't know that.
Brown said the people interviewed supported the Affordable Care Act instead of Obamacare simply because of the link to President Barack Obama. Hatred for the president runs deep, Brown said.
The panel answered questions about pre-existing conditions, prescription drug costs and the impact of Indiana failing to expand Medicaid, among other inquiries.