The theme for the American Horse Council's National Issues Forum is "A Healthy Horse, A Healthy Industry." This year's event will be held in Washington, D.C. June 18, during the AHC's annual convention, which runs from June 16-19 at the Washington Court Hotel.
In addition to reports on the progress of the National Equine Health Plan and the AHC's Marketing Consortium, this year the Forum will host a panel on the future of the industry featuring four women who are leaders of national equine organizations. There will also be a presentation on how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, (also known as Obamacare) will affect the horse industry.
"Women have always been leaders in the horse industry," noted AHC president Jay Hickey. "This year we have four outstanding women leading major national organizations. We thought it would be interesting to get their perspective on the future of various sectors in the industry."
Scheduled to speak are Johne Dobbs, president of the American Quarter Horse Association; Dr. Ann Dwyer, DVM, president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners; Cynthia Richardson, president of the Arabian Horse Association; and Chrystine Tauber, president of the U.S. Equestrian Federation.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was passed in March 2010, is expected to transform U.S. healthcare delivery and affect the horse industry like any other.
"Obamacare is an issue that the industry must be preparing for on an ongoing basis," said Hickey. "Indeed some should have already taken steps to be ready. We hope that the presentation on Obamacare will help employers in the horse community understand their obligations under the new law."
Vanda McMurtry, an attorney with Davis & Harman in Washington, will explain what those in the industry should be doing now and what they should be prepared to do in the future under the new requirements. McMurtry has worked in the insurance industry and represented insurance companies for many years.