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On December 2, 2013 NYAM welcomed Dr. John E. McDonough, one of the leading experts on health care reform in the United States, to deliver the 2013 Duncan Clark Lecture at NYAM on “The Affordable Care Act on the Verge of Final Success ... and a Nervous Breakdown.”
Dr. McDonough’s engaging and optimistic lecture drew from his extensive expertise in developing health care reform policy at the national level as well as from the perspective and experience of health care reform in Massachusetts. He discussed the ACA’s current developments as well as the road ahead for states, repeatedly emphasizing the groundbreaking nature of the legislation.
“What a monumentally important day January 1, 2014 will be,” Dr. McDonough said. “We passed the ACA on March 23, 2010 and arguably either that date or Jan 1, 2014 will be the most important date in the history of comprehensive health care reform.”
He highlighted the changes that will “fundamentally reform the way health care works in the U.S., with “no opportunity to go back to the way things were before the ACA.” These changes include fundamental insurance reform in all 50 states, the move to make medical underwriting for insurance and pre-existing conditions exclusion both illegal, and the elimination of maximum lifetime coverage limits are from all health care markets.
He described the ACA as a “monumental bridge” and “a landmark in U.S. health care and social reform, with the only two peers in history being Social Security, passed in 1935, and the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1966.” He also highlighted its status as “the only example of comprehensive health care reform that was ever attempted and achieved and references quality, access, and class control at the same time.”
“Health care reform is about our values – it has a core value,” Dr. McDonough said. “The ACA has at its heart and soul a core value that says, ‘We should not be the only advanced nation that allows our fellow citizens to suffer financial ruin because they or a family member gets sick.’ And that is still the policy in the US going up until December 31, 2013. That will change on January 1.”
View the full video of Dr. McDonough’s talk.
View photos from the event.
John E. McDonough, DPH, MPA, is Professor of the Practice of Public Health and Director of the Center for Public Health Leadership Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. He served as a Senior Advisor on National Health Reform to the late Senator Edward Kennedy and the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, between 2008 and 2010. Dr. McDonough is the author of Inside National Health Reform – an essential guide to the Affordable Care Act and how it came to be. He also served as Executive Director of Health Care For All, Massachusetts’ leading consumer health advocacy organization, where he played a key role in passage and implementation of the 2006 Massachusetts health reform law.
NYAM gratefully acknowledges the generous funding of the International Foundation for this lecture and thanks John D. Carrico, Secretary Treasurer, and William M. McCormack, MD, Trustee of the International Foundation for their support.
Posted on December 9, 2013
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