Miller Center Series to Provide Historical Perspectives, Insights on Obamacare

September 30, 2013

The University of Virginia’s Miller Center will hold a series of symposia this fall that will offer historical perspectives and provide insights into the challenges that the Affordable Care Act might pose when it is implemented.

The series, which will draw on recent scholarship, will focus on several issues, including health care cost control, long-term care, health care employment and public health research.

The first in the series will take place Friday and will focus on the lessons learned in one of the bitterest battles in the history of public health research: a 1990s lead-paint abatement study conducted on inner-city children in Baltimore by Johns Hopkins University’s Kennedy Krieger Institute. Two panels will discuss the study and how research into public health questions informs policy.

The 10 a.m. session will feature Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner, authors of “Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America’s Children,” a recent book on the Baltimore case. They will be joined by U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who filed one of the first major lawsuits against the lead paint industry when he was Rhode Island attorney general.

At 1 p.m., a panel of health care and ethics scholars will discuss the Baltimore study and the insights raised by Markowitz and Rosner’s book. Participants will include James Childress of U.Va., Merlin Chowkwanyun of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin, Patricia King of the Georgetown Law Center, and Jack Schwartz, former assistant attorney general of Maryland, now at the University of Maryland.

The symposium will take place at the Miller Center, located at 2201 Old Ivy Road in Charlottesville. It also will be live streamed at

The symposium is co-sponsored by U.Va.’s Institute for Practical Ethics and Public Life and the Department of Public Health Sciences at the U.Va. School of Medicine. It is being organized by Miller Center faculty member Guian McKee and Chowkwanyun, who is a former Miller Center fellow.

More information is available here.

There will be two more symposia in the series.

On Oct. 25, Yale University professor Jennifer Klein will discuss the intersections between the expanding role of long-term, home-based care and the growth of low-wage labor in an economy in which health care accounts for huge numbers of jobs.

On Dec. 6, Rick Mayes of the University of Richmond will discuss what past efforts to reform Medicare payment policies suggest about the potential of Obamacare initiatives aimed at controlling the rate of health care cost increases in the United States.

Media Contact

Kim Curtis

Miller Center

Kristy Schantz

Miller Center