W&L Professor Receives 300K Grant to Study Health Exchanges

Lexington, VA Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Prof. Timothy S. Jost
Washington and Lee Law Professor Timothy S. Jost, one of the nation's leading health law experts, has received a nearly $300,000 grant from the Commonwealth Fund to research implementation issues involved with the recently passed health care reform legislation.

The grant for the project will be shared by three institutions, with Jost serving as the project director. Also participating are Mark Hall of Wake Forest Law School and Katherine Swartz of the Harvard School of Public Health. The grant comes from the Commonwealth Fund's program on Affordable Health Insurance.

The project, to be conducted in several stages, will focus on the implementation of health insurance exchanges, organized markets for the purchase of comparable health insurance plans. The project will provide real-time analysis of implementation, both to educate the public as to how implementation is proceeding and to inform policy makers as to how likely implementation is to succeed.

"One of the least controversial, but most important, features of the health care reform legislation is the health insurance exchange," said Jost, a strong advocate for national health reform. "Among other goals, our study will determine to what extent exchanges will succeed in becoming the locus of managed competition, the core dynamic that hopefully will make health insurance more affordable and thus more accessible."

W&L President Ken Ruscio said, "Professor Jost has been an important voice throughout the health care debate, and this grant will allow him and his colleagues to make further contributions on this critical issue."

Jost has been a fixture of the health care reform debate since it began in earnest last June. The author of numerous books and articles on health policy, including the nation's leading casebook on the subject of health law, Jost first drew the attention of policy makers and the media for his comparative health system research and analysis of early failed health co-op systems. Whether the subject was so-called "death panels," the timing of legislative triggers, the function of health exchanges, potential constitutional challenges to a health care mandate, or provisions regarding federal funding of abortion, Jost has been a frequent commentator in the print and broadcast media. Jost authored numerous substantive articles and opinion pieces exploring confusing facets of the various versions of the health legislation in an attempt to make this complex issue accessible to everyday Americans.

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that supports independent research on health care issues in order to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults.

Timothy S. Jost is the Robert L. Willett Family Professorship of Law at the Washington and Lee University School of Law. He is a co-author of the casebook Health Law, used widely throughout the United States in teaching health law, and of a treatise and hornbook by the same name. He is also the author of Health Care Coverage Determinations: An International Comparative Study; Disentitlement? The Threats Facing our Public Health Care Programs and a Rights-Based Response; and Readings in Comparative Health Law and Bioethics. His most recent book is Health Care at Risk: A Critique of the Consumer-Driven Movement from Duke University Press.

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