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George Washington University School of Medicine—LECTURE: What the Election Holds for Health Policy and Reform

October 26, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Keith Fontenot Brooking InstituteAll are cordially invited to join us for a lunch lecture with Keith Fontenot, Nonresident Fellow – Economic Studies, The Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution. Mr. Fontenot will be at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences to discuss the future of healthcare reform. Mr. Fontenot has unparalleled insight into the development of the Affordable Care Act in the Obama Administration given his previous role as associate director for Health at the Office of Management and Budget. He will speak to future directions of healthcare policy through an economic lens, considering the possible outcomes with the election of either candidate.

Refreshments will be served.

POST-EVENT SUMMARY: Fifty students and faculty attended Mr. Fontenot’s lecture. Keith Fontenot, a non-resident fellow of Economic Studies at Brookings Institution, came to George Washington University School of Health Sciences to discuss the current state of the Affordable Care Act and likely first moves in health policy for an elected president. In a thought-provoking and inspiring lunch discussion, he sat down with first and second year medical students to discuss what to watch for after the election and how medical students can stay engaged as physicians in healthcare policy.

Keith Fontenot at GWU

In his talk, Fontenot proposed different scenarios for a Clinton versus Trump presidency. In the event of a Clinton presidency, he believes it unlikely that healthcare legislative reform will be a priority. More likely will be changes to the administrative management of the ACA’s execution. He suggested that this is where we can expect the greatest changes, and prioritization of specific agendas will be seen in modification to the “administrative dials.”

In the event of a Trump presidency, Fontenot doesn’t think a complete legislative repeal is likely. He doesn’t envision a scenario where millions of newly insured lose their insurance. Instead, he suggested that the punishment for non-adherence to the various components of the law will be minimized, and the general commitment to the law will thus be reduced.

Fontenot fielded numerous student questions on the subject of healthcare economics. While discussing different models of payment and care, he emphasized the idea that “if you’ve seen one market, you’ve seen one market.” Markets across the country are very different, and even within states, there are huge variations in what works and what doesn’t. Given this reality, it is difficult to compare healthcare models and support a one size fits all option.

The most important thing for medical students, Fontenot said, is to stay engaged. Medical students must read the news and understand what is going on in healthcare policy. Healthcare policy changes have huge implications for how physicians will be reimbursed in the future, and future physicians must stay engaged to understand how these changes will impact them and how they can have a voice in the dialogue.

“I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect for this event, but I was very pleased with how many people came. The students were incredibly engaged and asked many questions throughout the presentation. The presenter encouraged questions throughout and was happy to respond to a question or explain something around policy.” ~Caroline Jensen, BRI-George Washington University chapter president

“It is very inspiring to hear from someone who was so entrenched in the politics in the field and who knows so much about health care policy. I was very inspired to read up on what he was talking about.” ~Student, GWU

“That was great!!” ~Student, GWU


October 26, 2016
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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Caroline Jensen
(310) 490-7901


GWU, Ross Hall, Room #227
2300 I St NW
Washington, DC 20037 United States
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