Tuesday, 10/16, 4 p.m. Joshua A. Guberman Lecture by Mary Ann Chirba and Alice Noble

Professors Mary Ann Chirba of the Boston College Law School and Alice Noble of the Boston College Law School and Brandeis University will give the Joshua A. Guberman Lecture on “The Supreme Court and Election Year Politics: Myths vs. Reality in the Healthcare Debate” on Tuesday, October 16 at 4 p.m. in The Heller School, Room 163.

The U.S. Supreme Court announced in its landmark decision upholding the Affordable Care Act in June 2012. Since then, the presidential race has shifted into high gear with the ACA surely to be increasingly at center stage. As political rhetoric intensifies in the final weeks before election day, accurate information concerning health reform is in disturbingly short supply.

Due to the breadth of the ACA’s ambitions and the degree of its complexity, the law defies an easy description and flat out refuses to accommodate sound bites. Half-measures to educate the electorate have done little to clarify the law’s goals and its implications for Americans. Campaign rhetoric offering mischaracterizations of the law, while to be expected in such a heated and close contest, further hinders the public’s understanding. The resulting confusion about the ACA among the public is profoundly disturbing.

Whether one views the ACA as good law or misguided public policy, its key provisions must be understood along with its impact on the system as it endeavors to reform. By exploring some of the more troubling myths about the ACA, we hope to demonstrate how uninformed criticism is impeding constructive public discourse and positive social change. Both friend and foe of the ACA must understand the law in order to participate in the health care debate more fully and effectively.

MARY ANN CHIRBA is a professor at Boston College Law School, where she teaches health care law and other courses. She also has taught at the Harvard School of Public Health. Her current research focuses on federal and state health care reform efforts, regulation of medical drugs and devices, emerging federal regulations and international guidelines for adult stem cell therapies, and legal protections for children on the autism spectrum. Professor Chirba holds a JD from Boston College and a DSc and MPH from Harvard.

ALICE A. NOBLE teaches in the Heller School and the Legal Studies and Genetic Counseling Programs at Brandeis, and at Tufts Medical School and Boston College Law School. Formerly a fellow in medical ethics at Harvard Medical School
and a senior researcher at The American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics, she also has been a defense litigator in medical malpractice cases. Professor Noble’s research interests include federalism and health care law, managed care,
and genetic discrimination. She is a contributor to the Health Affairs Blog and a co-author of the forthcoming Health Care Reform: Law and Practice (Lexis-Nexis 2012). She also signed an amicus brief in support of the constitutionality of the Medicaid expansion of the Affordable Care Act. Professor Noble holds a MPH from Harvard and a JD from Villanova.

This event is co-sponsored by the Legal Studies Program and The Heller School for Social policy and Management.

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