Early in 2009, my boss directed me to become an expert on the ongoing negotiations in Washington, D.C. that eventually became the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed into law on March 23, 2010.

Never one to shy from a challenge, especially since my boss shortly thereafter became then-CEO of Blue Cross, I dug into healthcare reform.

Mr. Bertaut Goes to Washington
After my first trip to D.C., it became clear that BIG plans were in the works, and that everyone in the healthcare industry, whether docs, hospitals, employers, insurance companies or private citizens who bought health insurance were going to be affected in a big way. After a few months in D.C. observing the process and talking to tons of Congressional staffers and decision makers, it became obvious what course they were on.

I came home (the first time) to Louisiana in April 2009 and briefed our Board of Directors about these upcoming changes and the effects. They insisted I turn that briefing into a road show, and immediately began scheduling other briefings, speeches and seminars to make sure we could get all our stakeholders up to speed on what was coming.

After the first 20 or 30 presentations, my email inbox began to fill up with requests from all over the state, and even places like Chicago and Los Angeles, to tell the story of what I thought was coming under healthcare reform. Apparently, boiling the complex process down to Straight Talk really worked for folks. It was a whirlwind year or two. And frankly, I expected that aspect of my life to go away pretty quickly once the ACA was passed.

Boy, was I wrong!

Straight Talk is Still on Tour
Last week, I gave my 1,100th speech on healthcare. In the past nine years, I’ve done seminars on compliance with the ACA, lectured medical school and MBA students on the healthcare system and how money flows through it, been in debates, been on nationwide broadcasts for the National Accounting Societies, and even spoke to a group from Canada who sell travel insurance to Canadians visiting the U.S. Crazy, huh?

Why am I boring you with all of this?
Because I want you all to know, dear readers, that my services are available to YOU, for your civic groups, clubs or any other folks you think could benefit from an increase in their understanding of our health insurance markets, healthcare financing, the ACA and its impact on individuals or corporations as it continues to evolve.

You can get a feeling for what my speech is about in this video:

I have about 70 events on my calendar for 2018 already, but there’s still room in my schedule, and my Straight Talk readers (and listeners and viewers) are my top priority. This is what I consider “giving back” in my own way to all of you.

There is never any charge for me to appear. Early on, our Blue Cross team decided that with all the complexities of healthcare and the evolving nature of it (now that Washington, D.C. has decided to fiddle with it constantly), using me as an educational resource was of value to our members, clients and all Louisianians.

I completely agree and am always happy to bring our message “straight” to REAL people. Considering how much of your hard-earned income you trust Blue Cross with every year, it’s the least I can do to serve the people who own this company (That’s YOU!)

Want Me to Speak to Your Group?
If you’d like me to speak to your group or organization, feel free to reach out. The best way to get that done is to email me at Michael.bertaut@bcbsla.com. You can also find my Twitter and LinkedIn contact information at www.StraightTalkLa.com.

Can’t wait to see you all, explain what’s going onand give it to you Straight!