MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber to discuss health care reform March 23

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MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber
MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber

While 2020 brought many lessons, some of the most striking revealed inherent flaws in our health care system. On March 23, MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber will discuss reforming health care in America during Wayne State’s 2021 Waino Pihl Lecture in Applied Economics.

This virtual event takes place on the 11th anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

Shooshan Danagoulian, an assistant economics professor at Wayne State University, said the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted health care issues and this event will center around what will happen next for America's health care system during the Biden administration.

“As families struggle through job loss and the associated loss of health insurance, we realize that having health insurance is not enough for access to health care,” said Danagoulian. 

Gruber, an architect of the Massachusetts health care reform in 2006, also worked with the Obama administration to create the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act enacted in 2010.

“Dr. Gruber has critical insight into the ACA and can answer a question which many health care patients and providers have right now: How is the Biden administration going to reform the health care system to meet the changing needs of communities?” said Danagoulian. 

According to Danagoulian, the ACA extended health insurance coverage to millions of Americans, but the Trump administration repealed or didn’t enforce many of the features that were vital to its success.

Danagoulian said the Biden administration faces the enormous task of overhauling the law to rebuild and improve our health care system’s foundation.

“Health disparities have been increasing for decades, but the pandemic has made it painfully obvious that the chronic underinvestment in the health of racial and ethnic minorities has led to staggering disparities in infections and death,” said Danagoulian. 

This virtual event is free and open to the public. Visit go.wayne.edu/healthcarereform21 to register. 

The Waino Pihl Lecture in Applied Economics is given annually by a distinguished scholar on a topic in applied economics. It was established through the generous support of Waino Pihl who received his Ph.D. in Economics from Wayne State in 1977.

By Hannah Naimo, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Public Relations Associate

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