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New York: Implementing health reform in the states

03/01/12     New York, NY

Sponsored by AHCJ, Alliance for Health Reform, United Hospital Fund of New York and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

WHEN: Thursday, March 1, 6:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Hors d’oeuvres and soft drinks available at 6 p.m.)

WHERE: United Hospital Fund of New York – 1411 Broadway, 12th Floor, New York City – 212-494-0700

RSVP to: Trudy Lieberman (Trudy.Lieberman@gmail.com), AHCJ New York chapter chair, by 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 29. The security desk will be checking names of those registered, so it’s necessary to RSVP for this event. You’ll need to show a government-issued photo ID.

NOTE: Although AHCJ is cosponsoring this event, you don’t need to be a member of AHCJ to attend.

The health care overhaul law passed by Congress in 2010 sets out national goals and requirements. But many of the key decisions implementing the law are left to the states.   

For example, states have a lot of leeway in how they set up health insurance exchanges, where individuals and small business will be able to buy coverage starting in 2014. Florida and Louisiana have said they will refuse to set up exchanges, meaning the federal government will organize exchanges in those states. Other states are planning their exchanges, even while asking courts to toss out the law entirely.   

Still other states are working to change their health care systems in ways that go beyond the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Vermont, for example, wants the Obama Administration’s approval to put in place a Canadian-style single-payer system. Oregon wants to allow public employees to enroll in Medicaid.   

What’s happening in New York? How are states preparing for the law’s Medicaid expansion in a time of budget deficits? As they plan for reform, how are states addressing tough issues such as health care for undocumented immigrants and cutbacks in mental health services? How do states go about getting waivers from the reform law, and how many might take advantage of that option?   

This briefing will help you better answer these questions for your readers, viewers and listeners. 

Speakers: 

Tim Jost holds the Robert L. Willett Family Professorship of Law at the Washington and Lee University School of Law. Jost blogs regularly on implementing health reform and other reform regulatory issues. He has written a number of articles on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.  He is a consumer representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and a member of the Institute of Medicine. He is a co-author of a casebook, Health Law, used widely throughout the United States in teaching health law. He is also the author of Health Care Coverage Determinations: An International Comparative Study; Disentitlement? The Threats Facing our Public Health Care Programs and a Rights-Based Response; and Readings in Comparative Health Law and Bioethics, the second edition of which appeared this spring. Mr. Jost has also written numerous articles and book chapters on health care regulation and comparative health law and policy, and has lectured on health law topics throughout the world. His most recent book is Health Care at Risk: A Critique of the Consumer-Driven Movement, which was published by Duke University Press in 2007.

Deborah Bachrach, a former New York Medicaid director, is the health care transaction and policy counsel at the firm of Manatt, Phelps and Phillips in New York City. Bachrach has more than 20 years of experience in health policy and financing in both the public and private sectors and an extensive background in Medicaid policy and healthcare reform.  Her practice focuses on developing strategies to respond to the requirements and opportunities of federal health reform, particularly in balancing coverage, quality and cost containment. She has served as an advisor to the Center for Health Care Strategies, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), and the Kaiser Family Foundation as well as state Medicaid agencies, foundations, healthcare providers and other healthcare organizations. Most recently, Ms. Bachrach was the Medicaid director and deputy commissioner of health for the New York State Department of Health, Office of Health Insurance Programs. In this capacity, she was responsible for coverage, care and payment policies for more than 4 million children and adults enrolled in New York’s Medicaid and Child Health Insurance Programs. 

Trudy Lieberman, a journalist for more than 40 years, is a contributing editor and blogger at the Columbia Journalism Review, where she writes about health care and income security issues. She is immediate past president of the Association of Health Care Journalists.  She is an adjunct associate professor at the CUNY School of Public Health and is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health where she writes about paying for health care. Lieberman had a long career at Consumer Reports specializing in insurance, health care and health care financing.  She was also director of the Center for Consumer Health Choices at Consumers Union. She contributes to The Nation and has written a column about health and the marketplace for the Los Angeles Times.  She began her career as a consumer writer for the Detroit Free Press.  Ms. Lieberman is the recipient of 26 journalism awards and five fellowships, including two National Magazine Awards and two Fulbright scholar awards.  She is the author of five books, including Slanting the Story—the Forces That Shape the News and the Consumer Reports Guide to Health Services for Seniors, which was named one of the best consumer health books for 2000 by Library Journal.  She is completing another book about health reform in America.

James R. Tallon Jr. (joining the panel for the Q&A period) is president of the United Hospital Fund of New York. The chair of The Commonwealth Fund and of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, he also serves as secretary/treasurer of the Alliance for Health Reform. He is on the boards of the Institute on Medicine as a Profession and the New York eHealth Collaborative, and the advisory board for the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence. Prior to joining the Fund in 1993, Mr. Tallon represented Binghamton and parts of Broome County in the New York State Assembly for 19 years, beginning in 1975.  He chaired the assembly’s health committee from 1979 to 1987, and was majority leader from 1987 to 1993. In September 1999, Empire State Reports named him one of 25 leaders whose work resulted in sweeping improvements in the lives of New Yorkers in the past 25 years. In 1998-99 Mr. Tallon led the planning process that established The National Quality Forum. During the New York gubernatorial transition period in 2006, he headed the Health Care Policy Advisory Committee. Mr. Tallon is also a member of the New York State Board of Regents, the constitutionally-established supervisory body of all education and education-related activities in New York.

Moderator:
Ed Howard
is the founding executive vice president of the Alliance for Health Reform, a nonpartisan, nonprofit health policy group in Washington, D.C. that he formed in 1991 with Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) Mr. Howard and his staff have organized almost 500 briefings for members of Congress and their staffs, for reporters, for Executive Branch staff and for health-related groups. He has written and lectured across the country, and testified before Congress, on a range of topics related to aging and health, including long-term care, the uninsured, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, age discrimination in the workplace and services for the elderly. Prior to the Alliance’s founding, Mr. Howard served as the general counsel for the U.S. Bipartisan Commission on Comprehensive Health Care, the “Pepper Commission,” which reported to Congress on ways to assure access to health care and long-term care for all Americans.