October 2021 Legacy Faculty Spotlight
Professor and Luciano Chair of Health Care Policy Jessica Greene’s expertise is in health reform-related policies and strategies intended to improve the quality of health care. She discusses and shares with us her views on one of the most pressing issues of recent months, Affordable Care Act (ACA) and shares her opinion on what it will mean to repeal and replace ACA.
What classes are you currently teaching?
I am very lucky to be able to teach two of my favorite classes at the Marxe School. Statistics (9170 Research and Analysis 1) has long been my favorite because it is so rewarding to convince students, who are often a little skeptical, that statistics is a powerful tool for exploring pressing policy and management questions. I really try to demonstrate that statistical tests are not only relevant to students’ interests, but that analyzing and interpreting data can be fun.
The other class I am teaching examines racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in health care. I have long been interested in issues related to equity in health care, and in this class we explore the factors that cause disparities in health outcomes, like residential segregation and implicit bias, as well as strategies to address the disparities. Students are currently conducting qualitative interviews to learn about how people from different backgrounds feel they are treated getting health care in New York. I am very much looking forward to learning what they find.
What do you think is one of the most major developments in the health policy and primary care in your lifetime?
The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, is definitely the most important health policy legislation in my lifetime. The ACA has increased the number of people in the country with health insurance coverage by 20 million, reducing reduced the rate of uninsured nonelderly adults almost in half (from 20.3% to 11.5%). In addition to the increases in coverage, the ACA also launched a number of efforts to improve health care quality and contain costs, such as testing new payment models and organizational arrangements, some of which are promising.
How do you feel about plans to repeal and replace the ACA?
I am very concerned about what will happen to the ACA under the Trump administration. In particular, I am concerned about how many people will lose access to affordable insurance, and what that will mean for their health and their life more generally. The Urban Institute projects that a partial repeal of the ACA will result in more uninsured than we had prior to the ACA, because it will destabilize the insurance market. I am planning to conduct research on people’s experiences with health care, as insurance coverage will inevitably change over the next few years.
What sets apart the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs from the other institutions you’ve taught at?
The Marxe School is a wonderful place to be a faculty member. One reason is the truly unique students, many of whom work for public agencies and nonprofit organizations, who enrich the classroom by bringing in their real world experiences. The faculty community in the Marxe School is also wonderful. The faculty have a very broad range of expertise, are very collegial, and enjoy coming together to debate all types of policy-related research. It’s a great academic home!