Donya Currie is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Life section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter.

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Local docs will discuss health care law at community forum

Few things have sparked more controversy over the past two years than the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). At a community forum on Aug.1, you’ll get the chance to learn lots more about the complex law from two local physicians — who don’t see eye-to-eye on how the law will work.

Dr. Christopher Lillis, a local internist, and  Dr. Jody Crane, an emergency room physician, will present opposing views of the law during a 7 p.m. forum sponsored by Healthy Life Virginia. The discussion will take place at the John F. Fick Conference Center in the Carl D. Silver Health Center at 1301 Sam Perry Blvd. in Fredericksburg (near Mary Washington Hospital).  The entrance is at the back of the Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic.

Lillis, who readers may know as a monthly Healthy Living columnist, is a fan of the act. He believes it’s a great first step toward expanding access to affordable health care and notes that already, millions of young Americans have gotten coverage because of the law. Lillis also praises the act for providing significant protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and for saving seniors money on prescription medicines.

Crane, on the other hand, while agreeing the health care system needs change, thinks the act is the wrong way to go about it. He believes the law will cause health care costs to rise, while neglecting to address important problems with the current health care system — such as the lack of  transparency in health care pricing, and the fact that physicians are compensated more for doing procedures than for providing care focused on prevention and wellness.

The two physicians will share their views and answer community members’ questions during the forum, which will be moderated by Ed Jones, The Free Lance-Star’s executive editor.

You can get far more details about the forum in this Sunday’s Healthy Living section and by following Healthy Life Virginia for updates. Sign up here to get Healthy Life Virginia, a free newsletter, distributed to your inbox each weekday morning.