Experts to discuss effects of the election and pandemic at ABA meeting

 Government officials and health law experts will address a variety of emerging health industry topics during the American Bar Association Washington Health Law Summit on Dec. 7-9. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the event will be held virtually.

John Simpkins, president and CEO of MDC, a nonprofit based in Durham, North Carolina, that works to improve economic mobility and advance equity, will deliver the keynote address on Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 10 a.m. CT. He will speak on the causes of racial inequities in health care and the efforts made to address and alleviate these disparities. Simpkins will also discuss the role that nonprofits, government, business and grassroots organizers play in addressing deeply rooted racial, economic and health care challenges through research, consensus-building and effective programming.

Program highlights include:

“What Comes Next: Evaluating the Aftermath of Election 2020” — An expert panel, including Kavita Patel of the Brookings Institution, will examine the federal legislative and policy outlook following the 2020 election and analyze its anticipated impact on the future of health care in the U.S.

“Inside the Halls of Congress” — Experts will examine the health care legislative priorities on Capitol Hill following a presidential election year. Congressional staffers will provide insight into the priorities of both political parties and what they hope to achieve at a critical time in health care policy.

“The Revolving Door: Ethical Principles in Entering or Leaving Government” — It’s common for attorneys to move from their roles as an attorney for the government to opposing defense counsel. With the specialized experience that these attorneys have, they are sought after as key weapons in a defendant’s strategy. This session will examine the ethical challenge that arises when one is defending a client against his former client – the United States of America.

“The Effect of the Pandemic on Medicaid, Public Health Funding and the Healthcare Safety Net” — The interconnected health care and economic crises have also brought to the foreground long existing health and funding inequalities that are disproportionately impacting safety net providers and the communities they serve. This panel, including Mia Keeys, director of health equity policy and advocacy at the American Medical Association, will provide an overview of the impact of COVID-19 on the public health system and safety net providers and discuss the policy implications going forward, including the future and financing of Medicaid. Panelists will also address social determinants of health, telehealth, reimbursement, value-based care and privacy issues with contact tracing.

“Elections, the Supreme Court and the Affordable Care Act” — The U.S. Supreme Court set oral arguments in Texas v. California for Nov. 10, right after the presidential election. A panel of experts, including Katie M. Keith, professor at Georgetown University Law Center, and Sara Rosenbaum, professor of health law at George Washington University Law School, will review the pending case, and how it and the election results will affect future implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

A complete agenda can be found online.