Public Administration Review Highlights Health Reform Challenges & Opportunities for Public Administrators

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Renowned health policy experts and scholars offer advice to public administrators for implementing Affordable Care Act in special issue of Public Administration Review.

As city and county managers, state program administrators, policy leaders and analysts, and other public administrators, you can play an important part in outreach and education efforts by helping to mobilize your communities.

As states prepare for the first major enrollment of individuals under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Public Administration Review, the premier journal of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), has released a special issue focused on health care. Frank Thompson of Rutgers University, a recognized health policy and administration scholar, served as guest editor.

The special issue features a number of experts that offer advice to public administrators. Among those featured in the special issue are U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. In her Perspective article “Implementing the Affordable Care Act: An Historical Moment for Public Administrators”, Secretary Sebelius notes the important role of public administrators in “outreach and education efforts to mobilize communities.” She admits the complexity of public policy but urges that the reforms under ACA are “a historic moment,” unanticipated by many. Her piece is a call for action to administrators. "As city and county managers, state program administrators, policy leaders and analysts, and other public administrators, you can play an important part in outreach and education efforts by helping to mobilize your communities," Sebelius notes in her article.

Other pieces are written by Alice Rivlin, economist and former Cabinet member, who discusses health care financing and the opportunity for incremental change presented under the ACA. As Rivlin points out, “Its effectiveness will depend heavily on how well it is implemented by numerous players, especially the states.”

The PAR special issue confronts the complexity of the ACA and the controversies that surround its implementation. For example, Sara Rosenbaum, PhD., a renowned scholar on the U.S. health system, addresses the ongoing legal issues on Medicaid expansion in her article National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius and the Medicaid Aftermath.

PAR’s special issue bridges theory and practice for state and federal administrators as they get ready for the biggest launch of the ACA. The collection of articles offers a number of expert recommendations for public servants implementing the law. Among the other topics that are addressed in the issue are nursing homes, veterans care, insurance exchanges and pay for performance. To access the issue, visit http://www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com.

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Melissa Williams
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