More than 20 distinguished health care lawyers, policy analysts and legal academics assembled March 1 at UM Carey Law to discuss the challenges facing states as they implement provisions of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, scheduled to go into effect in 2014. (See full list of participants below.)
Organized by Law & Health Care Program faculty members Diane Hoffmann and Ellen Weber, the State of the States Rountable kicked off with brief remarks from Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Sonya Schwartz, project director of State Refor(u)m, National Academy for State Health Policy, followed, presenting “State Implementation of the Affordable Care Act: Practical Concerns.”
Schwartz provided a snapshot of what states are doing in the area of health care reform and conveyed the urgency with which states are working to meet Affordable Care Act (ACA) deadlines when coverage under state and federal health insurance exchanges should be available to the public (view video).
The presentation focuses on governance “battles” going on in states over which authority within a state can or should make important implementation decisions and the “love-hate” relationships that states have with regulations that the federal government has issued under the ACA.
As an example she noted that essential health benefit regulations have met with support from states while guidance on partial Medicaid expansion was not as popular. Schwartz also discussed the positive role that state health insurance exchanges can set in promoting the health policy goals of the state and market transparency but everything depends on how many – and who – enroll in the exchanges.
“Much of the information shared at the roundtable was very complex and related to difficult decisions that states must make in areas such as essential health benefits, which set the parameters for the types of benefits that must be offered by insurers starting in 2014," said Diane Hoffmann, director of the Law & Health Care Program. “Experts who are studying these issues were able to share their perspectives and get immediate feedback from stakeholders who understand the complex dynamics of the health insurance landscape.”
Roundtable members participated in six panels throughout the day, covering topics relating to state implementation of health insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansion, and featured the following distinguished discussion leaders:
Dr. Peter Bielenson – Founder, Evergreen Health Cooperative
Patricia Boozang – Managing Director, Manatt Health Solutions
Brietta Clark – Professor of Law, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
Leonardo Cuello – Director of Health Reform, National Health Law Program
Cheryl Fish-Parcham – Deputy Directory of Health Policy, Families USA
Bradley Herring – Associate Professor and Director, PhD Program in Health Economics & Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
John Jacobi – Director, Dorthea Dix Professor of Health Law and Policy, Seton Hall University School of Law
Kevin Lucia – Research Professor and Project Director, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute
Ann Marie Marciarille – Associate Professor of Law, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
Susan McNally, Assistant Director for National Healthcare Operations, U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Judith Solomon – Vice President for Health Policy, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Sallie Thieme Sanford – Assistant Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law
Sidney Watson – Professor of Law, Saint Louis University School of Law
Elizabeth Weeks – Associate Professor of Law, University of Georgia School of Law
Tim Westmoreland – Visiting Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
The State of the States roundtable was sponsored by the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law’s Law & Health Care Program with funding provided by the Rueben Shiling Mental Health Law Fund.