APRIL 21, 2016 – A panel of experts gathered yesterday to discuss the Affordable Care Act, including next steps on key challenges within health systems.
The event, sponsored by Georgetown’s student chapter of AcademyHealth and the Department of Health Systems Administration, was organized and moderated by Allyn Rosenberger (NHS’17), chapter president and a health care management & policy major.
“The ACA touches on so many important issues – access to care, quality of care, health care financing,” Rosenberger says. “The ACA’s implementation and the dialogue around it has equipped my generation to think about these issues and develop informed positions on them.”
Panelists included Purva Rawal, PhD, adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Health Systems Administration and author of the recently published book The Affordable Care Act: Examining the Facts (ABC-CLIO 2016), Sabrina Corlette, JD, senior research fellow and project director at the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown’s Health Policy Institute; and Judy Feder, PhD, professor of public policy.
Topics covered during the event and a question-and-answer period included sustainability, affordability, strengths, weaknesses, and the potential impact of upcoming elections on implementation of the ACA.
Rawal, a principal at CapView Strategies, served as staff and key advisor to the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee during the drafting and passage of the ACA. Rawal’s book provides as assessment of claims and beliefs about the ACA, which she describes as “the most impactful piece of social legislation of this generation.”
“Even after being in the health policy world for a decade, I am still struck by how carefully you have to assess information and pressure test claims and data,” Rawal says. “At the end of the day, you have to make your own assessment about the extent of a policy problem and the best solutions given the policy and political implications. And to do that, you have to find reliable data and information and make your informed assessment.”
Rawal encourages students to engage in health policy work by attending Congressional hearings and policy events, as well as pursuing internship opportunities on Capitol Hill or with research and advocacy organizations.
“No matter what you do next – whether it be going into administration, graduate school, being a clinician, or even a consultant,” Rawal says, “understanding how health policy is made and how it impacts individuals, industry, and government will make you better at your job in the future.”
Engaging Health Policy
Rosenberger said that in addition to taking advantage of opportunities off of Georgetown’s campus, students can take classes in the Department of Health Systems Administration to learn more about health policy.
“Prior to declaring my major as HCMP, I knew I was interested in health, but I didn’t know how to translate that into academic discipline,” Rosenberger says. “The HCMP program’s interdisciplinary approach to health has shown me the importance of policy in effecting change and improving the health of our nation’s communities, both of which now inform my everyday work and future endeavors.”
By Rebecca Warren