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Mayes Students 'Already Know More About ACA than Most Docs'

MetrauxLed by Stephen Metraux PhD, interim director of the Health Policy Program, masters and doctoral students in the Department of Health Policy and Public Health are examining the Patient Protection and ACA as it evolves in real time. Here's what he has to say about the course:

Last summer, the faculty the Department of Health Policy and Public Health at University of the Sciences decided to implement a seminar course devoted to the Affordable Care Act for the Fall 2013 semester.  We realized with the exchanges set to come online in October, this would be a unique opportunity to observe and assess policy as it unfolded, and that it would likely entail a wild, unpredictable ride.  As the person who first pitched this idea, I got to facilitate the class.

The course consists of three touch points – studying the nuts and bolts of the ACA based on reading about the act and its implementation; a series of speakers who would come into the class and give in-depth presentations  related to specific aspects of the ACA; and taking time each class to discuss the week’s events related to the ACA.  Taken together, the class has been exciting, interesting and informative. 

The speakers so far have included community perspectives from hospitals, physicians and public health providers, as well as University faculty talking about the economics, political science and occupational therapy perspectives of the ACA.  The nine students enrolled in the class have each taken one of the nine titles (i.e., sections) of the original ACA and have delved into the details.  And finally, the government shutdown, the debacle of healthcare.gov, and the individual policy cancellations have been the backdrop behind a greater awareness and a greater understanding of the headlines.

Based on this, students from the class will, in the upcoming days, provide brief entries for this blog related to specific ACA-related topics upon which they are focusing.  The first entries in this series came from Tom Godfrey, a physician and PhD Health Policy student:

My contribution to this is a top-ten list of general themes about the ACA that have become clear through this course. 

10. To focus on the individual mandate is to miss 90 percent of the ACA.
  9. If you are sick and poor before the ACA you will likely remain sick and poor after the ACA.
  8. The ACA is sitting on the shoulders of over a century of health care reform efforts.
  7. It is possible to have too little income to benefit from the ACA.
  6. Public health never gets the money it needs.
  5. The ACA just ain’t socialized medicine in any form.
  4. To work, the ACA must hit the health care trifecta: simultaneously expanded coverage, improved quality, and reduced costs.
  3. Opponents hate the ACA; proponents see it as a set of necessary compromises.
  2. No one knows whether and how the ACA will work.

[insert drum roll…]

  1. Students in the class already know more about the ACA than most physicians.

Stay tuned.


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