"Coast" vs "Heartland" Debate: Resolved, the Affordable Care Act is a Huge Success

Associate Dean Michael Prislin; University of California, Irvine School of Medicine
Associate Dean Michael Prislin; University of California, Irvine School of Medicine

During the 2014 Senate and House elections, one of the issues often asserted was that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act brought about significant change in the existing American health care system.

Both its supporters and detractors apparently agreed that  “patient protection” could be excised from ithe Act’s title, and more often than not, both sides referred to PPACA by its politically charged nickname, “Obamacare”.

All contested political campaigns are designed to be divisive – dividing the electorate into voters who favor one set of policies endorsed by (or attributed to) one candidate from those voters who do not).

This is especially evident, since the group of “independent” voters who will not automatically side with one poltical party or another have become crucially important in so many states and congressional districts.

Charles Q. North, MD, University of New Mesico School of Medicine, Albuquerque
Charles Q. North, MD, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque

The statements and slogans used in contexted elections are rarely nuanced, and, in the heat of electoral battle abound in overstatement. However, it is quite plausible that five months after one national election and 19 months before another one, it would be possible and arguably useful to state with a degree of dispassion what the position of proponents of PPACA were as well as the position of the Act’s opponents.

For the first plenary sessions of the 26th National Conference on Primary Health Care Access, we will create a “debate” format.

Two of our permanent plenary faculty members will present what we will call lthe “Coast” position in support of PPACA and the “Heartland” position in opposition to it.

John Boltri, MD; Chair, Department of Family Meidicine, Northeast Ohio School of Medicine, Rootstown
John Boltri, MD; Chair, Department of Family and Community  Meidicine, Northeast Ohio School of Medicine, Rootstown

Associate Dean Michael Prislin of the University of California Irvine College of Medicine will represent the “Coast” and University of New Mexico faculty member and retired Indian Health Service Clinical Physician Charles Q. North, the “Heartland”.

We have asked that, whatever their personal beliefs, that they fairly present each side of this important debate.

Monitoring the debate will be a newly invested Senior Fellow of the National Conferences, the Chair of the Department of Family and Community Meidicine of the Northeast Ohio College of Medicine, Doctor John Boltri.

The great debate will occur at 8:30 a.m on Monday April 13, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County in Garden Grove, California.