UGA experts available to comment on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

University of Georgia experts are available to provide commentary on the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, expected to be delivered June 28.

President Barack Obama signed the PPACA, the principal health care reform legislation of the 111th U.S. Congress, into law March 23, 2010. The act is designed to extend coverage to at least 30 million uninsured Americans and would reshape an industry that comprises approximately 18 percent of the economy. It is considered the biggest overhaul of the U.S. health care system since the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.

The legislation requires individuals not covered by employer- or government-sponsored insurance plans to maintain minimal essential health insurance coverage or pay a penalty unless exempted for religious beliefs or financial hardship. PPACA has been challenged by a majority of states, and organizations and individuals have filed actions in federal court arguing the constitutionality of some or all of its elements.

“This week’s anticipated ruling will be one of the most important and far reaching decisions in recent court history,” said David Bradford, Busbee Chair in Public Policy in the UGA School of Public and International Affairs. “Not only will it be decisive for those uninsured, but may broadly rewrite relationships between the federal government and the states. Whatever decision the court makes will initiate rapid structural change, as the health care sector either scrambles to implement parts of the law that have been delayed or tries to recover from the fallout that will follow from having the court strike down significant components of the legislation.”

UGA’s experts, their qualifications and their contact information are listed below. For more information, contact UGA News Service at 706/542-8083 or [email protected].


W. David Bradford, Busbee Chair in Public Policy
Department of Public Administration and Policy, School of Public and International Affairs
706/542-2731, [email protected]

Bradford serves as a consultant to health insurance companies and medical care centers and has testified in several healthcare industry lawsuits. He has significant experience with funded research and has led almost 20-funded projects. Much of his research involves evaluating the impact of direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription pharmaceuticals. Bradford is a permanent member of the National Institutes of Health’s Health Services Organization and Delivery study section. He also is on the editorial board for the journal Health Economics, serves on the editorial board of the newsletter of the American Society of Health Economists and is on the oversight boards for both the American Health Economics Conference and the Southeastern Health Economics Study Group.
Area of expertise for the PPACA: The economics behind healthcare reform and the impact on health insurance companies
Phaedra Corso, Department Head
Health Policy and Management, College of Public Health
706/369-5958, [email protected]

A health economist who earned her doctorate in health policy from Harvard University, Corso spent 15 years as a management analyst and lead health economist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Her research focuses on the practical application of economic evaluation for setting health policy.
Area of expertise for PPACA: The economics behind health care reform and the role of evidence-based practices in informing policy
Elizabeth Weeks-Leonard, Associate Professor
Torts and Health Law Survey, School of Law
785/766-9794, [email protected]

Along with torts and health law survey, Weeks-Leonard’s additional teaching and research interests include health care financing and regulation and public health law. Her scholarship includes articles published in the Hofstra Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, the Washington University Law Review and the North Carolina Law Review. She has been recognized as one of four emerging health law scholars nationwide by the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics. She currently serves as secretary for the Association of American Law Schools Section on Law, Medicine and Health Care.
Area of expertise for PPACA: Health insurance regulation, role of states in federal health care reform and Medicaid
(Week-Leonard is available for phone and/or email interviews only.)
Toni Miles, Department Head
Institute of Gerontology, College of Public Health
502/593-1010, [email protected]

A professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, Miles was a Health and Aging Policy Fellow for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee during the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010. She has authored more than 125 publications, including an analysis of PPACA titled “Health Care Reform and Disparities,” which includes an extensive discussion of the reform and its impact on the fault line between Medicaid and employer-sponsored health care.
Area of expertise for PPACA: The expansion of Medicaid achieved by the legislation (roughly 20 percent of Georgians benefit from Medicaid-related policy)

Posted July 2, 2012.