Daniel Skinner, Ph.D, is Assistant Professor of Health Policy in the Department of Social Medicine at Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. He teaches and has published widely in the areas of the politics of health care reform, political theory, and gender studies. He is currently working on two book projects; the first is a theoretical and historical exploration of the concept of “medical necessity,” and the second traces the ideological origins of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Health Care Reform 101: Understanding Obamacare
Given the intensity of recent debates, it is clear that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one of the most controversial legislative accomplishments in recent American history. But do we really understand the bill’s place in the annals of American policymaking? Beginning with proposals made by President Harry Truman, this presentation reviews the steps through which the ACA came to take its current shape. The speaker will explain how major policy developments—Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare Part D (Prescription Drugs) and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan, among others—were part of a long process culminating in the ACA. Along the way, the talk addresses failed attempts—especially those of Presidents Nixon and Clinton—to establish a national health care plan. The talk examines the political and cultural reception of health care reform to better understand the contemporary situation in which the ACA is being both applauded and criticized, and implemented as well as threatened with legislative repeal. Legal challenges to the ACA’s major provisions—especially the major Supreme Court case that upheld the ACA—will also be discussed. Finally, looking ahead, Health Care Reform 101: Understanding Obamacare considers the future of American health care reform.
Ohio’s Opioid Crisis: Its Causes, Consequences, and Future
Ohioans know that our state is in the midst of a crisis with opioid addiction. But do we really know the details of how this came about, and why it persists? Originally, this crisis was driven by prescription drugs, but has expanded to include illegal street drugs. The fact that opioid use and overdose has proliferated in the state of Ohio forces tough questions regarding what local conditions facilitated this problem. In other words, why is Ohio such a target and fertile home for opioid addiction? In this talk, Dr. Skinner, who is co-editing a book of narratives from individuals whose lives have been affected by opioids, explains what we know about the crisis, both in its historical and present form. Beyond the better-known statistics on the scale of the epidemic, Dr. Skinner refocuses the existing narrative to include how individual opiate use in Ohio intersects with racial and socioeconomic stratification, gender norms, chronic illness, and incarceration, among other factors.
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