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Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine—DEBATE: Does the Affordable Care Act Help or Hurt Patients?

October 27, 2016 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


All are welcome to attend Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine-BRI chapter’s first debate of the 2016-17 academic year. We are looking forward to a great year of events, and this should start us off by sparking some well-deserved, collegiate and amicable debate on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Refreshments will be served. Please use the green Register button so that we can be sure to have enough refreshments for all.

BE IT RESOLVED: Less government intervention in healthcare is better for patients.


POST-EVENT SUMMARY: One hundred students, faculty and interested people from the community, including Lucy Brenton, Indiana US Senator Candidate for the Libertarian Party, attended the MUCOM Affordable Care Act (ACA) evening debate between proponents and opponents of government-run healthcare, co-sponsored with Marian University’s Student National Medical Association (SNMA), and American Medical Student Association (AMSA).

At 5pm we held a reception for the audience to mingle with the debaters. Upon opening the debate at 6pm we presented the debate Resolution:

Should the government be more or less involved in the provision of healthcare?

  • The pre-debate audience poll revealed:
    33% = government more involved,
    54% = government less involved, and
    13% were undecided.


“The debate turned out great! 85 people RSVP’d to the event, and even more ended up attending the event.” ~Trenton Schmale, BRI-MUCOM founder and president

The debaters all spoke with passion and a profound knowledge on the topics involved. Each debater was asked five questions with two minutes to respond to each question, followed by one minute to rebut any responses.

  • The questions were:
    What, if any, limitations are placed on patients and physicians due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?
    Many individuals complain about the mandate to carry health insurance, even though they qualify for cheaper ACA plans. What political, social, or economic values are coming into conflict here?
    What changes would you make to the ACA, or what alternative system would you propose?
    What would be the benefits or potential weaknesses of these changes of the new system you’d propose?
    With the presidential election coming up in less than two weeks, is there a candidate that you believe has a better healthcare plan than the other candidates? (Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein).

Dr. Von Fange and Dr. Haynes answered the questions from a free market perspective. Dr. Gaffney and Dr. Stone advocated for more of a national single payer system. Both sides had problems with the Affordable Care Act.

  • After the five questions were asked, the resolution was polled again with the following results:
    38% = government more involved, (+4)
    62% = government less involved (+8)
    No one (0%) remained undecided.

This was a decisive victory for the free market side of healthcare. The debate was then opened up for questions from the audience. More passionate discussion ensued until the debate ended at 8pm.

Additional notes: We held a pre-event meal with 80+ students for Indiana University School of Medicine, Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine, local physicians, and members of the Libertarian Party.

“The event exceeded expectations. One thing that really stood out from this debate compared to others I have attended, was the crowd involvement with live polling data to questions. The crowd seemed very interested in the debate as well. Afterward, I received numerous responses about how educational it was, and how students wanted more events like this.” ~Trenton Schmale, BRI-MUCOM chapter founder and president


“The debate was also enlightening. It is great to hear the ideas and opinions of physicians on opposite sides of the what they believe is ideal for the future of healthcare in a cordial and noninflammatory manner.” ~Chad Curtis, OSMIII, Secretary MUCOM BRI

“It was interesting to hear all different viewpoints—that was the biggest value for me. I think events like this are important because hearing different viewpoints is absolutely necessary to being a good decision. I believe one of the biggest predictors of success as a physician is the ability to level with a variety of patients, and participating in events like this allows you to do that.
~Amma Boakye, OSMII, President of Student National Medical Association

BRI is collaborating with American Medical Student Association (AMSA) and Student National Medical Association (SNMA) to host this debate. We will conduct a modified Oxford-style debate format with time for Q&A at the end.

In the affirmative:
BRI Timothy Von FangeDr. Timothy Von Fange, Sports Medicine Physician at St. Vincent. Dr. Von Fange is a sports medicine physician and currently serves as the team physician for the Marian University Knights and Indianapolis Scecina Memorial Crusaders. As an active member of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM), he serves on educational committees dedicated to enhancing sports medicine learning for both residents and fellows. His professional interests include concussion evaluation and management, acute and chronic soft tissue injury, musculoskeletal ultrasound, and health care policy. Dr. Von Fange is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine and completed his family medicine residency and Sports Medicine Fellowship at Moses Cone Health System in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Beth Haynes, MD, BRI executive directorDr. Beth Haynes, Executive Director of BRI

Previously in private practice with board certification in both Family Practice and Emergency Medicine, Dr. Beth Haynes has been working full time in healthcare policy for the past six years. She obtained her MD from the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine and her residency training at University of Wisconsin in Madison. She also volunteers as an executive board member of the Dr. Joseph Warren Instituteand is Founder and President of The Black Ribbon Project. She previously served as Senior Health Policy Analyst and Executive Board Member for Docs4PatientCare, and as National Co-Chair of Doc Squads, a project to recruit and train doctors to lead the public healthcare debate. Dr. Haynes has published several op-eds in TownHall.com, PJ Media, American Thinker and The Huffington Post. She speaks frequently to citizen and professional groups on healthcare policy, the ACA, and the ethics and economics of medicine.

In opposition:
mcgaffneyDr. Margaret Gaffney, practicing dermatologist and Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Indiana University. Dr. Gaffney obtained a BA in English from Indiana University, Bloomington, and graduated from the IU School of Medicine. After an internship at Riley Hospital for Children, she completed a residency in dermatology, also at IU. Dr. Gaffney is a practicing dermatologist and Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine. She is the director of the Introduction to Clinical Medicine Course and of the Moral Reasoning and Ethical Judgment competency in the revised curriculum of the Indiana University School of Medicine. She chairs the Wishard Ethics Committee, serves on the Clarian and Riley Hospital ethics committees, and collaborates on the Indiana University Conscience Project. From 1995-2003, she was director of the Indiana Healthcare Ethics Network.

robert-stone-mdDr. Robert Stone, Director and Founder of Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan (HCHP.info) and the State Coordinator in Indiana for Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP.org).

Dr. Rob Stone is the director and founder of Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan (hchp.info) and the state coordinator in Indiana for Physicians for a National Health Program. Since 2009 he has been a member of PNHP’s board of directors. Dr. Stone practiced emergency medicine at Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital from 1983 to 2011. He currently serves as the medical director of palliative care at the hospital. Dr. Stone has been a national leader in the movement to divest from for-profit health insurance and is the national coordinator for the Divestment Campaign for Healthcare (HealthCareNotWealthCare.US). He lectures to medical and lay audiences on health care reform throughout Indiana and beyond, and has received several statewide and national awards for his advocacy work. During the heat of the health care debate in June 2009, he presented to the Blue Dog Democratic Caucus in Washington. Born and raised in Evansville, Ind., he graduated from Dartmouth College Phi Beta Kappa, and obtained his medical degree from the University of Colorado Medical School.

Dr. Jason Eberl
Dr. Jason Eberl

Moderator: Dr. Jason Eberl, Semler Endowed Chair for Medical Ethics and Faculty Advisor to the BRI-MUCOM Chapter


October 27, 2016
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Trenton Schmale


MU-COM, Evans Center for Health Sciences, Lecture Hall 1
Wheeler-Stokely Mansion, 3200 Cold Spring Rd
Indianapolis, IN 46222 United States
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