2017 Summer Research Program Reflections – Whither Health Reform?

July 25, 2017

The blog is following the student participants in this year’s Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program. Each student will be providing their own reflections from a Summer Research Program Seminar Series event.

By Courtnie Phillip, BA in International Relations, Tufts University

On July 17th, my phone lit up as a notification from the NYTimes app flashed across my screen. The headline read: “The health bill has collapsed with two more G.O.P. senators opposed. For now, President Trump’s effort to replace Obamacare is over.” As I read the accompanying article, I wondered what the current disunity of the Republican Party, and growing popularity of Obamacare could mean for the future of American healthcare. Could this failure lead to the much-needed shift in focus from repeal to repair? Would we ever see a bipartisan solution to American healthcare?

In his talk, “Whither Health Reform?”, Dr. Timothy McBride, Co-Director of the Center for Health Economics and Policy, touched on some of these questions as he discussed the current state of American health policy. Specifically, he emphasized the need for a repair bill as he focused on many of the issues and perceived problems of the ACA. As he highlighted many of the ACA’s successes, he also discussed the negative effects that Medicaid non-expansion and small rating areas are having on rural parts of the country. In particular, Dr. McBride stressed the importance of remapping rating areas and promoting health insurance literacy and education for individuals buying insurance plans in the marketplace. 

Scholars
Professor, Brown School, and co-director of the Center for Health Economics and Policy

Despite these shortcomings, Dr. McBride asserted that the collapse of the marketplace does not signify a collapse of the whole healthcare system. While universal health coverage does not appear to be in America’s near future, a concerted effort needs to be made to repair, rather than repeal, the failing parts of our system.


This post is part of the “Summer Research Program” series of the Institute for Public Health’s blog. Subscribe to email updates or follow us on Twitter and Facebook to receive notifications about our latest blog posts.

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