CHLPI’s health law and policy work is focused in four main areas:
State and Federal Implementation of Health Care Reform: CHLPI staff and students work to ensure that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is implemented in ways that support increased access to high-quality and comprehensive care and treatment for our most vulnerable residents, particularly for low-income people with chronic illnesses. CHLPI’s work in this area involves: monitoring and enforcing ACA anti-discrimination provisions on both the federal and state levels; developing and implementing a national litigation strategy to address discriminatory insurance practices; evaluating ACA regulations and program development and providing comments and recommendations to improve their design; supporting national and state health reform advocacy leadership and coalition building; and providing direct technical assistance to health and social service providers and government on ACA implementation challenges.
Disease-Specific Initiatives: CHLPI’s work on disease-specific initiatives helps to address the health care needs of all low-income people living with chronic illnesses. By examining disease-specific policies and practices, we are able to extrapolate and apply that knowledge to impact policies at a systemic level for chronic illnesses more generally. Current projects address the specific care and treatment issues confronting individuals living with HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, serious mental illness, and obesity related health conditions such as type 2 diabetes.
Public Health Law and Policy: CHLPI examines health law and policy issues that broadly affect public health at state, national, and international levels. In the U.S., the landscape of health care financing and service delivery is changing rapidly and CHLPI seeks to determine both the potential of health reforms to address public health priorities as well as the evolving role of state public health departments within this changing health care environment. Among other issues, CHLPI staff and students are assessing: how well (or not) new public and private health plans meet prevention, care, and treatment needs for infectious diseases; whether current data privacy and security regulatory regimes adequately protect the privacy needs of vulnerable populations, while at the same time promoting the effective use of electronic health records to meet the health care needs of such populations; and the rights of women to legal abortions in keeping with international human rights standards.
Addressing Social Determinants of Health: While access to healthy food and safe, affordable housing are essential components of holistic health care, they have not traditionally been considered reimbursable “core medical services.” The ACA and other health reforms offer potential opportunities to incorporate food/nutrition and housing providers into newly-created health insurance-based systems. CHLPI is working to identify and promote key legal and policy levers to increase access to healthy foods and housing. Many of the specific projects within this initiative are at the intersection of food and health law and policy.