Symposium Director's Message
We are delighted to present Affordable Healthcare’s Next Act. This symposium occurs in the same month that the federal and state governments are implementing significant components of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Passage of the ACA in 2010 reflected recognition of the nation’s longstanding failure to provide broad access to healthcare. Physicians in the United States are well-trained, and the nation produces state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge scientific research. But millions of people have lacked healthcare coverage. Although, for many, access to healthcare and the quality of healthcare in the United States have been generally impressive, for many others lack of access to healthcare has created a dismal story. As a whole, the nation’s healthcare system has not ranked impressively among developed nations on many essential parameters of life and health, including life expectancy and infant mortality. Moreover, healthcare in the United States has cost far more per capita than it has cost in any of the world’s other nations.
The ACA promises some improvements. Its promise is limited, however, insofar as it institutionalizes problematic features that have long shaped the nation’s high-cost health care system – in particular, the prominent role given to for-profit companies offering healthcare insurance. Yet, this symposium takes an optimistic view. It approaches the ACA from three overlapping perspectives: the gaps with which it leaves the nation’s healthcare system; the opportunities it offers for more comprehensive healthcare; and the challenges it presents to transform the “gaps” into new opportunities.
This timely symposium represents the first major public event of the new Gitenstein Institute for Health Law and Policy at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University and the first event in the Garfunkel Wild, P.C. Thought Leadership in Action Speaker Series. We are grateful to Steven Schlesinger (’76) and Judith Eisen (’86) for their extraordinarily generous support of our work. We thank Eric Lane, dean of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law, for his leadership and guidance. And we are grateful to Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz and Provost Herman Berliner for encouraging the work of The Gitenstein Institute. Without the work of Melissa Kessler, assistant director of The Gitenstein Institute, this symposium would not have been possible. Finally, we are appreciative to the Hofstra Cultural Center and its director, Athelene Collins, for helping with event planning.
We thank you, the participants, for your contribution to this event. We will deem it a success if it leaves all of us with a clearer understanding of the nation’s healthcare system as it is being reshaped by the ACA, and encourages efforts that turn gaps created by the ACA into new opportunities for broader access to good healthcare, at a cost the nation can sustain.
Janet L. Dolgin, PhD, JD
Jack and Freda Dicker Distinguished Professor of Health Care Law
Director, The Gitenstein Institute for Health Law and Policy
Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University
Co-Director, Hofstra University Bioethics Center
Professor of Science Education, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine
16-10-2013 9:00 AM
Symposium Director's Message