Health care expert to speak locally

HOUGHTON – A health care expert will visit the area this week to give presentations on how upcoming changes in the health care law will affect families and businesses.

Brett Williams, of Michigan Consumers for Healthcare Coalition, will give a presentation on how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will affect families at 7 p.m. Wednesday at BHK Child Development Center in Houghton. The meeting is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Copper Country and the Western U.P. Health Department.

Williams will also talk about the act’s effect on businesses at two meetings.

From noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Williams will present a forum at the Baraga County Memorial Hospital Conference Center. This event is sponsored by BCMH and the Baraga County Chamber of Commerce. To RSVP, call 524-3322 or email flozier@bcmh.org. The $5 lunch fee is waived for Chamber members.

On Thursday, Williams will speak at the Keweenaw Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs & Issues forum. The special two-hour meeting will run from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Shelden Grill in Houghton. To RSVP, call 482- 5240 or email info@keweenaw.org.

Issues covered will include understanding tax credits for small businesses, determining whether you are a small or large employer and impacts to the business if employees shop the marketplace.

“The biggest reason the Chamber wants him to come in is because the new health care reform will go into effect in October,” said Trina Barrette, office manager of the Chamber.

“Whether they’re sole proprietorships or large corporations, we want to provide that information for them.”

Brett is a former registered lobbyist with the Michigan Pharmacists Association and former legislative aide to State Reps. Stephen Ehardt, R-Lapeer, and State Representative Larry Julian, R-Durand. He now coordinates Michigan Consumers for Healthcare (MCH) Coalition activities in Central Michigan.

Over the past two years, Brett has studied the PPACA’s impact extensively. He has done numerous presentations across Michigan as well as lectured at Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University and Michigan State University on the PPACA and health policy. Brett also staffs MCH’s Legislative Work Group.