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After Obamacare: The Future of U.S. Health Care

The election of Donald Trump to the presidency will be the most consequential event for U.S. health care reform since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Repealing Obamacare will be a top priority for the incoming administration and the Republican-controlled Congress. But there’s tremendous uncertainty on what might replace Obamacare as well as what options will be available for the 20 million newly insured who now benefit from exchange subsidies and the Medicaid expansion. When might premium subsidies and the individual mandate be repealed? How would high-risk pools, selling insurance across state lines, health savings accounts, and block grants change who receives health coverage, and at what cost? This webinar will discuss key ideas put forward in Republican proposals, how this political shift will change U.S. health care coverage, and what questions journalists should be asking as these dramatic changes unfold. We will be joined by MIT’s Jonathan Gruber, an architect of the Affordable Care Act; American Enterprise Institute's Joseph Antos, former assistant director for health and human resources at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO); the Hoover Institution’s Lanhee Chen, a leading conservative commentator and policy advisor; and Jennifer Haberkorn, senior health care reporter for Politico.

WHEN: Tuesday, January 24, from 10-11 a.m. PT / 1-2 p.m. ET

Our distinguished panel includes:

Joseph Antos is the Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where his research focuses on the economics of health policy — including the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, the uninsured, and the overall reform of the health care system and its financing. He also studies the impact of health care expenditures on federal budget policy. Before joining AEI, Antos was assistant director for health and human resources at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). He has also held senior positions in the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Management and Budget, and the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Jonathan Gruber, Ph.D. is the Ford Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1992. He is also the director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he is a research associate, and president elect of the American Society of Health Economists. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Social Insurance. He has published more than 150 research articles, has edited six research volumes, and is the author of Public Finance and Public Policy, a leading undergraduate text, and Health Care Reform, a graphic novel. In 2006 he received the American Society of Health Economists Inaugural Medal for the best health economist in the nation aged 40 and under.

From 2003-2006, Gruber was a key architect of Massachusetts’ ambitious health reform effort, and in 2006 became an inaugural member of the Health Connector Board, the main implementing body for that effort. During 2009-2010 he served as a technical consultant to the Obama Administration and worked with both the Administration and Congress to help craft the Affordable Care Act. In 2011 he was named “One of the Top 25 Most Innovative and Practical Thinkers of Our Time” by Slate Magazine. In 2006 and 2012, he was rated as one of the top 100 most powerful people in health care in the U.S. by Modern Healthcare Magazine.

Jennifer Haberkorn is a senior health care reporter for Politico and Politico Pro. She’s covered the Affordable Care Act since it was being debated in Congress in 2009. Since then, she has written about the law from Capitol Hill, the federal agencies, the courts and outside the Beltway. Before arriving at Politico, Haberkorn covered Congress and local business news for The Washington Times. A 2013 Center for Health Journalism National Fellow, her work has also appeared in Health Affairs and The New Republic. Haberkorn is a graduate of Marquette University, where she majored in journalism and served as editor of The Marquette Tribune.

Webinars are free and made possible by the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation.


Suggested reading


Trump’s Health Plan Would Convert Medicaid to Block Grants, Aide Says,” by Robert Pear, The New York Times

Trump’s Vow to Repeal Health Law Revives Talk of High-Risk Pools,” by Reed Abelson, The New York Times

High-Risk Pools as Fallback for High-Cost Patients Require New Rules,” by Drew Altman, WSJ

After Obama, Some Health Reforms May Prove Lasting,” by Abby Goodnough and Robert Pear, The New York Times

“Q&A with Lanhee Chen: “For Conservatives, It’s A New Day In Health Care,” by Jenny Gold, Kaiser Health News

G.O.P. Plans to Replace Health Care Law With ‘Universal Access’,” by Robert Pear and Thomas Kaplan, The New York Times 

Republicans could keep parts of Obamacare for up to four years,” by Jennifer Haberkorn, Politico

If you have employer-provided health insurance, an Obamacare repeal would affect you too,” by Lisa Schencker, Los Angeles Times

New coalition will push back on repeal of Obama health law,” by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, AP

Why Republican health reform ideas are likely to fail,” by Christopher Koller, Politico

Trump’s tricky operation: Fixing Obamacare is far more delicate than it seems, writes the law's architect,” by Jonathan Gruber

What Does ‘Repeal And Replace’ Really Mean? No Easy Answers,” with Julie Rovner, Margot Sanger-Katz, Richard Lane, Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News

The Bigger Story, and Agenda, Behind GOP Changes to Obamacare, Medicare and Medicaid,” by Drew Altman, WSJ

Preexisting Conditions and Republican Plans to Replace Obamacare,” by Drew Altman, WSJ

Patching Obamacare at the state level,” by Nicholas Bagley, The Incidental Economist


The Problems With ‘Repeal And Delay’,” by Joseph Antos and James Capretta, Health Affairs 

JAMA Forum: Gearing Up for the Health Care Debate,” by David Culter, Harvard University

What’s next for health care?” by Joseph Antos, Thomas P. Miller, and James C. Capretta, American Enterprise Institute

Improving Health and Health Care: An Agenda for Reform,” by Lanhee Chen et al., American Enterprise Institute (2015)

Why repealing the ACA before replacing it won’t work, and what might,” by Alice M. Rivlin, Loren Adler, and Stuart M Butler, Brookings

Implications of Partial Repeal of the ACA through Reconciliation,” Urban Institute

Key Medicaid Questions Post-Election,” Kaiser Family Foundation

Poll: After Election, Public Remains Sharply Divided on Affordable Care Act's Future,” by Kaiser Family Foundation

Massive Obamacare “Replacement Bill” Is Wrong Approach,” by Freedom Partners

Replacing the Affordable Care Act the Right Way,” by Brian Blase, Mercatus Center

Pre-existing Conditions and Medical Underwriting in the Individual Insurance Market Prior to the ACA,” by Gary Claxton et al., Kaiser Family Foundation


The Center for Health Journalism’s 2023 National Fellowship will provide $2,000 to $10,000 reporting grants, five months of mentoring from a veteran journalist, and a week of intensive training at USC Annenberg in Los Angeles from July 16-20. Click here for more information and the application form, due May 5.


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