National health policy expert, Timothy Jost (JD), shared his experiences with William & Mary students and faculty throughout the day on April 12, 2018. Mr. Jost, Professor of Law, Emeritus, at the Washington and Lee University School of Law, is an expert in the fields of health law and policy and health care regulation. Mr. Jost is also a contributing editor of Health Affairs, which is a leading peer-reviewed journal on health care and policy and where he has posted news and analysis about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for nearly 10 years.
Students from across William & Mary benefited from Mr. Jost’s expertise during his recent visit to campus. Mr. Jost spoke to students about health care policy in an undergraduate course entitled “Introduction to Public Policy” and in a graduate/undergraduate seminar entitled “Labor Market Economics and Policy.” He also spoke at a lunch attended by nearly 50 students from the William & Mary Law School.
In the afternoon, Mr. Jost gave a lecture to a campus-wide audience of nearly 70 students and faculty. His lecture focused on the connections between the ACA and the business of health care. He discussed the history of the ACA and the motivations of insurers, physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers in supporting or opposing its passage. Mr. Jost noted that while the ACA reduced the number of uninsured, the number was not as low as the ACA drafters had hoped, due in part to the Supreme Court’s decision to make Medicaid expansion an option for states. The ACA, according to Mr. Jost, has affected all sectors of the healthcare industry. He observed that hospitals benefit from the ACA and that insurers have been profitable. As for physicians, however, Mr. Jost noted that the ACA has been a “lightning rod” for physician dissatisfaction, with concerns about paperwork and regulatory burdens. Mr. Jost noted that recent efforts to repeal the ACA ultimately failed.
Mr. Jost concluded his campus-wide lecture by noting that covering the uninsured and reducing health care costs are complicated issues. In responding to audience questions, Mr. Jost shared his own view that a single payer system is not politically possible in the United States.The visit was sponsored by William & Mary’s Schroeder Center for Health Policy, Public Policy Program, Mason School of Business MBA Healthcare Club, and the Institute of Bill of Rights Law at the William & Mary Law School.