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City Health Director Weighs in on Affordable Care Act

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St. Louis Health Director Pam Walker

St. Louis Health Director Pam Walker

CBS St. Louis (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSStL.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSStL.com/Health

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - As debate rages on in Congress over the Affordable Care Act and the date quickly approaches for implementation of the new health care law, the city’s health director wants St. Louisans to be informed.

Pam Walker says residents shouldn’t allow someone else to tell them what their health care choices are.

“Go online and look for yourself at healthcare.gov or covermissouri.org if you want real, Missouri-specific information,” Walker said on Total Information A.M. Sunday.

Walker says the health exchanges are not for people who receive insurance through their employers, Medicaid, or Medicare. “It’s for the 20 percent of the population, about 20 percent in the region, who don’t have any insurance at all.”

Some companies and corporations have announced changes in part-time employee health insurance policies ahead of the law’s implementation. Walker calls the Affordable Care Act a balance between personal, provider, corporate, and government responsibility.

“And where you draw those lines impacts people in different ways,” she added. “The unions want to make employers cover everyone. Well, you and I know the result of that would be they would just eliminate all of their part-time workers and hire a couple of full-time workers.”

As for attempts to halt the law’s implementation or cut its funding, Walker calls them silly.

“This is the very last small piece and it’s for the people who need it the most. I’m going to inform, I’m going to educate, and I’m going to assist people because that’s my job and it’s their right to know.”

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