Massachusetts Medical Society: Conference on Universal Health Care

Conference on Universal Health Care

The past decade has seen an incredible tumult in our nation's approach to health care policy, with the adoption of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) followed by a series of challenges for it and to it. How did we come to the health care system that we have now and where does it succeed and fail? What does the near future have in store for the ACA and for health care policy overall? Would we be better off with a dramatic move to a single-payer option or with a more incremental approach to reform? What lessons can be gleaned from attempts at state-level innovations? What will be the politics of this issue in the 2018 and the 2020 elections? And what is in the best interest of patients?  

To participate in the Online CME Course – please Click Here

Join us to listen, discuss, and connect:

8:00AM — Registration, Breakfast & Networking

8:45AM — Welcome & Introductions
Alain A. Chaoui, MD, President, Massachusetts Medical Society
Nancy C. Turnbull, Senior Lecturer on Health Policy and Senior Associate Dean for Professional Education, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Watch Video Presentation

9:00AM — Health Care Access and Financing: A Status Report
Jonathan Gruber, PhD, Ford Professor of Economics, MIT Department of Economics
Watch Video Presentation

10:00AM — The Real World Effects of the Affordable Care Act
Benjamin D. Sommers, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Health Policy and Economics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Watch Video Presentation

10:30AM — BREAK

10:45AM — A Single-Payer Option
James A. Morone, PhD, John Hazen White Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Political Science and Urban Studies, Brown University
Watch Video Presentation

11:15AM — Other Health Reform Options
Matthew Fiedler, PhD, Fellow, USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy, Economic Studies Program, Brookings Institution
Watch Video Presentation

11:45AM — Lunch & Networking

12:30PM — Health Care & the Elections
Sarah Kliff, Senior Policy Correspondent, Vox 
Watch Video Presentation

1:30PM — A Patient’s Perspective
Amy Rosenthal, Executive Director, Health Care For All
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2:00PM — Moderated Discussion: The Next Five Years: What’s in Store for Massachusetts and Beyond 
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2:45PM — Recap & Wrap-Up 
Nancy C. Turnbull

3:00PM — Adjourn

Click Here to see the resources for the conference

Upon completion of this educational activity, participants shall be able to:

  • Explain the current structure of the U.S. health care system and where there are gaps in access to care.
  • Describe the current state of the ACA and its successes and failures in broadening access to health care and current and future challenges.
  • Compare single-payer options beyond the ACA for achieving universal health care.
  • Identify additional options beyond single-payer for achieving universal health care.
  • Reflect on the political debate around access to health care and the relationship between this topic and both the 2018 midterms and 2020 presidential elections.
  • Synthesize the discussion to look at the future of health care over the next 5 years in Massachusetts and the country at large.

Accreditation Statement:
The Massachusetts Medical Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

Credit Designation Statement: The Massachusetts Medical Society designates this live activity for a maximum of 5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

This activity meets the criteria for the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine for risk management study.

Speaker Bios

Dr. Alain Chaoui, MD, FAAFP, is a primary care physician and President of Congenial Healthcare, LLC, a private practice group with multiple sites on the north shore of Boston that was formed in January 2018. Dr. Chaoui was previously in solo private practice at Family Medicine North in Peabody. An active member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, Dr. Chaoui is a member of the Board of Trustees and House of Delegates and is past chairman of the Committee on Membership. He is also the current Chair of the Massachusetts Delegation to the American Medical Association.
Dr. Chaoui is dedicated to medical education, instilling in future physicians and nurse practitioners a love of medicine and pride in the profession and teaching them how to be excellent health care providers. He holds teaching positions at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston College School of Nursing, and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. He has received numerous honors and awards including recognition by Connolly’s Top Doctors for 2017 and 2018. Dr. Chaoui received his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from Ain Shams University, Faculty of Medicine, in Egypt and completed his residency at Akron City Hospital and Saint Thomas Hospital of the Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio.

Nancy Turnbull is Senior Associate Dean for Professional Education at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.  Her areas of interest include health insurance, expanding health coverage, and improving health access.  Nancy has been active for many years in health reform and health coverage expansion efforts in Massachusetts, including serving since 2007 as the consumer representative on the board of the Massachusetts Health Connector.  Earlier in her career, Nancy was the First Deputy Commissioner and head of health policy at the Massachusetts Division of Insurance.  She is on the board of a number of health care organizations in the state, including Commonwealth Care Alliance.  Nancy’s dream is that her 20-year old daughter will one day live in a country with universal health care without having to move out of the United States.

Dr. Jonathan Gruber 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, and President of the American Society of Health Economists.  He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Social Insurance, and the Econometric Society.  He has published more than 160 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. 

During the 1997-1998 academic year, Dr. Gruber was on leave as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department. From 2003-2006 he 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 Patient Protection and 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 both 2006 and 2012 he was rated as one of the top 100 most powerful people in health care in the United States by Modern Healthcare Magazine.  Dr. Gruber is the Chair of the Industry Advisory Board for Flare Capital Partners, and is on the board of the Health Care Cost Institute.

Benjamin Sommers, M.D., Ph.D., is associate professor of health policy and economics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is a health economist and primary care physician whose main research interests are health policy for vulnerable populations and the health care safety net. He has received numerous awards for his research, including the Health Services Research Impact Award for his work on the Affordable Care Act and the 2015 Article-of-the-Year Award from AcademyHealth, as well as the Outstanding Junior Investigator Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine. In 2011-2012, he served as a senior adviser in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. His current research projects focus on barriers to health care access among low-income adults, Medicaid policy, and national health reform.

James Morone is the John Hazen White Professor of Political Science, Public Policy and Urban Studies at Brown University. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, The National Academy of Social Insurance and has testified before Congress multiple times. Morone has published eleven books and over 150 articles, reviews, and essays on health care policy and American political history. Morone’s first book, The Democratic Wish, was named a “notable book of 1991” by the New York Times and won the Political Science Association’s Kammerer Award for the best book on the United States. His Hellfire Nation: the Politics of Sin in American History was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and was named a top ten book of the year by publications ranging from Christianity Today to Playboy Magazine. His The Heart of Power: Health and Politics in the Oval Office (written with David Blumenthal, MD) was featured on the front page of the New York Times Book Review. According to unreliable sources, President Obama was seen reading the book at a weekend retreat at Camp David. Morone writes frequently for publications such as the New England Journal of Medicine and The New York Times. The Brown University senior class has voted him the Hazeltine Citation as the teacher that most inspired them five times.   

Matthew Fiedler is a fellow with the Center for Health Policy in Brookings' Economic Studies Program. His research examines a range of topics in health care economics and health care policy. Prior to joining the Brookings Institution in January 2017, Fiedler served as Chief Economist of the Council of Economic Advisers, where he oversaw the Council's work on health care policy, including implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Fiedler holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and a B.A. in mathematics and economics from Swarthmore College.

Sarah Kliff is a senior policy correspondent at, where she focuses on making complex health care policy understandable. Her work currently focuses on health-care pricing, using a crowd-sourced database of thousands of emergency room bills to tell stories about the cost of medical care in America today. At Vox, she is also a co-host of The Weeds, a policy podcast with Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias and the host and creator of the Impact, a podcast that explores how policy affects people.
Prior to joining Vox, Sarah covered health policy for the Washington Post, where she was a founding writer at Wonkblog. She has also covered health policy for Politico and Newsweek magazine. She is the recipient of multiple reporting awards, including fellowships from the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California.

Amy Rosenthal’s career has focused on public health, politics, and non-profit management.  Prior to becoming the Executive Director of Health Care For All, Amy was the Director of External Affairs & Campaigns at Community Catalyst (CC), where she played a leadership role within Protect Our Care, a coalition of national organizations engaged in the current health care defense efforts; worked with the White House and Health and Human Services during the Obama Administration on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA); and led CC's federal work with other national organizations, Congressional offices, and agency staffers.

Amy has worked in both the Massachusetts State Senate and the Massachusetts State House of Representatives, served as the Policy Director on a gubernatorial campaign, and provided political consulting services for several clients in New England.  She was the Executive Director of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, which focuses on promoting women in politics, and served as Political Director for Barbara Lee, an activist and fundraiser for progressive women candidates.  Prior to entering politics, Amy spent seven years working for three large academic hospitals conducting public health work, with an emphasis on preventing gun deaths and injuries.  

Amy has a Master in Public Health degree from Harvard University, a Master in Public Affairs degree with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from Indiana University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Studies from Northwestern University.  Amy married a fellow Northwestern University alum, Marc Rosenthal.  They live in Lexington, MA and have two children Emily (8) and Owen (4).

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