Indeed, with the onset of globalization and the need to meet tough deadlines, stakeholders to policy formulation and implementation have adopted various forms of interaction and discussion. A webinar refers to the holding of a seminar through the internet or the online web. Through this, various stakeholders are able to hold conversations and chat the way forward without attending physical seminars. The effectiveness and appropriateness of this form of interaction is still in doubt. Indeed, from a policy point of view, whether the associated benefits outdo the weaknesses remain a subject of public discourse and research. This paper critiques the effectiveness of the webinar held by HUB International in relation to the Supreme Court Health Care Reform Decision.
The discussion on the webinar resonated around the effect of the decision on employers. Indeed, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) places fundamental duties on employers, compliance of which would be necessary by 2014. This informed the core subject matter of the discussion. However, the manner and nature of presentation by Dennis Fiszer did not help matters. The webinar system of seminars makes it hard to communicate effectively with the audience. It is also difficult to get feedback from the audience.
The main message at the webinar was the consequence of the Supreme Court’s decision. In fact, Fiszer correctly summarised the implementation issues insisting that with the Supreme Court in support of Congress’s decision, employers have to embark on compliance. For illustrative purposes, the PPACA requires employers to see to it that among other conditions, the following are met: form W-2 requirement, compliance with women health coverage under the preventive care rule, and the implementation of the limit of employee contribution at $ 2500.
While Fiszer correctly enumerated those factors, it was not clear whether his audience understood the content and context. It was not as clear whether the audience were committed to implementing these conditions. In fact, looking at the frequently asked questions and feedback, one gets the feeling that a physical seminar would have been more effective for purposes of delivery of the message, communication of policy and reception of feedback.
However, these shortcomings can and should be addressed. The platform used for webinars need to be expanded and an all-inclusive approach pursued. It is noteworthy that the webinar was able to inform the audience of the impending implementation requirements of the PPACA. Indeed, at the webinar, it was observed that the implementation or repeal of the Act depended pretty much on who won the elections which was then due in November.
This paper assumes the position that although webinars are the way to go, a lot of effort is still required to address the logistical and communication deficit. As it stands and judging from the outcome of the webinar, one can rightly assert that webinars if not correctly applied, could result to distortion of messages, it could also encourage non- participation, shortfalls which physical seminars do not have.
Finally, while health care reforms remain a hot subject of debate, it is essential to use various media, webinars included, to spread information effectively and throughout. Credit must be given for the gains made so far. With a tough economic period, methods that would effectively facilitate communication and interaction while limiting costs must be supported.
Fiszer, D. (2012, September 12). The Supreme Court Health Care Reform Decision and Its Impact on Employers. Retrieved February 21, 2013, from HUB International: http://www.hubinternational.com/uploadedfiles/dev_site/products/employee_benefits/healthcare/webinar/webinars/supreme_court_ppaca_ruling.pdf