ANN ARBOR—University of Michigan experts are available to comment on the U.S. presidential elections and offer post-election analysis. For experts/topics not listed below, see http://ns.umich.edu/new/2012-election-experts.
Electronic voting security: Why email and Internet voting is a bad idea
Forecasting elections: Voter intentions versus expectations
President Obama, Gov. Romney make last-minute campaign stops
Voters expected to follow the elections on social media
Can the 2012 elections avoid any election fraud?
Race will play an important role
The impact on the Affordable Care Act
Public Health Hot Buttons
Regardless of the outcome in the presidential race, debates about the role of government in public health, and vice versa, undoubtedly will continue. In the November issue of its alumni publication Findings, the University of Michigan School of Public Health asked faculty, graduate students and alumni to weigh in on several key issues facing the nation and world, and offer insight into possible solutions (see full article: http://www.sph.umich.edu/news_events/findings/fall12/policy/hot.htm).
They addressed topics that have been front-and-center in the current political debate, including health care reform and Medicare. The group also tackled issues like Medicaid, motor vehicles and personal technology, medical marijuana, climate change, obesity prevention, gun control, tobacco control, immunization, nanotechnology, young adult rights, genetically modified foods, genetic data sharing, wellness, chemicals management, fracking and health information sharing. The publication also includes a special section on healthcare reform that asks, "Is there a way forward?" on the issue that has stalled out in the current administration.
The following are excerpts on health care reform from faculty who also are available to discuss with media this and other health care policy issues.
Dr. Mark Fendrick, professor in the department of Internal Medicine and Health Management and Policy and co-director of the U-M Center for Value-Based Insurance Design: "In addition to providing health insurance for millions of Americans, the Affordable Care Act expands access to wellness programs and preventive care, and attempts to reorient our health care system toward provider integration and patient-centeredness, critical elements to prevent and treat chronic disease."
Dr. Richard Hirth, professor and associate chair of the Department of Health Management and Policy at the U-M School of Public Health: "America's problems with health care costs, quality and access will not go away, regardless of the outcome of the election. Both sides have proposed a variety of solutions, including health information technology, bundled payments, accountable care organizations, malpractice liability reform, privatization and competition. We don't know which of these will work best, but we can safely assume that a search for a single 'magic bullet' to transform our health care system will yield disappointing results."
Peter Jacobson, professor of health management and policy and director for the Center for Law, Ethics and Health at the School of Public Health: "If Obama is re-elected, the key question will be whether he can find a way to generate public support for the Affordable Care Act. Can Obama reframe the narrative to demonstrate the act's benefits to the public?"
Marianne Udow-Phillips, lecturer at the School of Public Health and director of the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation, a nonprofit partnership between the U-M Health System and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan: "Regardless of the outcome of the election, our best hope to move forward on policy is that the law stays in place and we give it a chance. If so, we have an opportunity to experience the ACA's approach to health reform and adjust as we see fit. If not, it will be a long time until any president again tackles systemic reform with a goal to even come close to universal coverage."