Health Law & Policy Forum

How Medicine Got Hijacked By Business and How We Can Take it Back - 2021 Suffolk Law Health Law and Policy Forum

Please join us for Suffolk University Law School's Health Law and Policy Forum. Our speaker, Elisabeth Rosenthal, MD, is the author of the 2017 New York Times bestseller, “An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take it Back.” She is editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News, an independent non-profit newsroom based in Washington DC, focusing on health and health policy, which is part of the Kaiser Family Foundation. She is also an award-winning Opinions contributor to the New York Times and other media outlets. Before coming to KHN in 2016, she spent 22 years as a reporter, foreign correspondent and senior writer at the New York Times. Her 2013-14 New York Times series, “Paying Till it Hurts,” won numerous awards and is credited with catalyzing a national conversation on America’s high-priced health care. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, she worked as an emergency room physician before converting to full-time journalism. 

Monday November 8
12.00 p.m. - 1.30 p.m.
Sargent Hall function room 1st floor
120 Tremont Street

Luncheon provided to those who register by November 3rd.

Elisabeth Rosenthal, MD, is the author of the 2017 New York Times bestseller, “An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take it Back.” She is editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News, an independent non-profit newsroom based in Washington DC, focusing on health and health policy, which is part of the Kaiser Family Foundation. She is also an award-winning Opinions contributor to the New York Times and other media outlets. Before coming to KHN in 2016, she spent 22 years as a reporter, foreign correspondent and senior writer at the New York Times. Her 2013-14 New York Times series, “Paying Till it Hurts,” won numerous awards and is credited with catalyzing a national conversation on America’s high-priced health care. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, she worked as an emergency room physician before converting to full-time journalism.

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Health Policy Forums

April 16, 2015 - Professor Titti Mattsson

“Registry-based Research in Sweden – a Goldmine for the Health and Welfare System or a Breach of Privacy for the Individual?”

Professor Mattsson lecture examined the risk that data collection into national and regional quality registries conflicts with the rights to privacy of patients suffering from severe cognitive impairments, particularly the incapacitated elderly.

Professor Mattsson is Professor in Public Law, working as a researcher and teacher in public law, social welfare law, and family law at the Faculty of Law at Lund University, Sweden. Her research interests are Social Welfare law, Medical Law, Child law, Elder Law and Data Protection Law. Mattsson's research is cross-disciplinary and is often performed within different national or international research groups. She has done extensive research on child and youth care law. Within this framework, she has examined the legal proceedings before the decision on compulsory treatment of children and young people, children and young people's legal status in the family and in institutions and legal prerequisites and consequences of decisions on foster placements, child custody and adoptions. Another research project has centered on the criminal and social justice system addressing young people who commit gang-related crimes. She also does research in medical law.


February 4, 2014 - Dr. Elliott Fisher

"ReThink Health: A Path to a Sustainable Health System"

Dr. Fisher will discuss the origins and evolution of ReThink Health, a model for community-level multi-stakeholder coalitions focused on improving local area health and health care. A leading researcher and innovator on health care cost containment, Dr. Fisher was named one of the "50 Most Influential Physician Executives" in 2013 by Modern Healthcare magazine. Dr. Fisher is Professor, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine; Director of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice; and Co-director of the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care.

April 1, 2014 - Professor Jennifer Prah Ruger

"Global Health Justice and Governance"

Professor Ruger is Associate Professor of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Ruger's leading research focuses on the ethics and economics of global health policy and public health.

February 7, 2012 - Susan Dentzer

"Putting Meat on the Bones of Health Reform: Health Affairs and the Implementation of the Affordable Care Act"

Susan Dentzer, Editor-in-Chief of Health Affairs, gave a presentation on the major considerations involved in implementing the Affordable Care Act and how the nation's leading health policy journal approaches publishing about major transitions in the structure of health insurance and health care delivery systems, and efforts to deliver higher quality health care at a lower cost.

Health Affairs is the nation’s leading peer-reviewed journal focused on the intersection of health, health care and health policy in the United States and internationally. One of the nation’s most respected health and health policy journalists, Dentzer is an on-air analyst on health issues with the PBS NewsHour, and a frequent guest and commentator on such National Public Radio shows as This American Life and The Diane Rehm Show.

Dentzer is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, and of the Council on Foreign Relations, the independent, nonpartisan membership organization and think tank dedicated to exploring the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries.

At Health Affairs, Dentzer oversees the journal’s team of nearly 30 editors and other staff in producing the monthly publication and web site. Health Affairs has been described by the Washington Post as the “Bible” of health policy. Its articles and their authors are frequently cited in the Congressional Record and in congressional testimony as well as in the news media. The Health Affairs web site recorded 50 million page views in 2010.

Before joining Health Affairs in May 2008, Dentzer was on-air Health Correspondent at the PBS NewsHour. From 1998 to 2008, she led the show’s unit providing in-depth coverage of health care and health policy. Prior to joining the PBS NewsHour, she was chief economics correspondent and economics columnist for U.S. News & World Report, and previously was a senior writer at Newsweek.

Dentzer’s other work in television has included appearances as a regular analyst or commentator on CNN and The McLaughlin Group. Her writing has also earned her several fellowships, including a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, where she studied health economics and policy, and a U.S.-Japan Leadership Program Fellowship, during which she researched the effects of the rapidly aging Japanese population.

Dentzer is an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization made up of the nation's leading experts on social insurance, is a fellow of the Hastings Center, a nonpartisan research institution dedicated to bioethics and the public interest.

Dentzer is a member of the Board of Directors of Research!America, the nation's largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance committed to making research to improve health a higher national priority. She is also a member of the Board of Overseers of the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian organization providing relief to refugees and displaced persons around the world. She chairs the IRC board’s Program Committee, which oversees the organization’s activities in resettling refugees in the United States and in dealing with refugees and displaced persons in roughly 25 countries. Formerly, Dentzer served on the Board of Directors of the Global Health Council and was its chair from 2008-2010.

A graduate of Dartmouth and holder of an honorary master of arts from the institution, Ms. Dentzer is a Dartmouth trustee emerita and chaired the Dartmouth Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2004. She serves on the Board of Overseers of Dartmouth Medical School.

April 18, 2012 - Stephen I. Vladek

"Enforcing Medicaid's Equal Access Mandate: The Obama Administration, the Supreme Court, and the Douglas Case.

Stephen I. Vladek Stephen I. Vladeck is a Professor of Law and the Associate Dean for Scholarship at American University Washington College of Law. His teaching and research focus on federal jurisdiction, constitutional law, national security law, and international criminal law. A nationally recognized expert on the role of the federal courts in the war on terrorism, he was part of the legal team that successfully challenged the Bush Administration's use of military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U.S. 557 (2006), and has co-authored amicus briefs in a host of other major lawsuits, many of which have challenged the U.S. government's surveillance and detention of terrorism suspects. Vladeck, who is a co-editor of Aspen Publishers' leading national security law casebook, has drafted reports on related topics for a wide range of organizations, including the First Amendment Center, the Constitution Project, and the ABA's Standing Committee on Law and National Security.

In Douglas v. Independent Living Center of Southern California, 565 U.S. , 132 S. Ct. 1204 (2012), the United States Supreme Court reviewed a decision in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had held, among other things, that Medicaid providers and beneficiaries were able to challenge state Medicaid rate reductions in an action based on the Supremacy Clause. Because the posture of the case had changed after oral argument, the Court vacated the judgments and remanded the cases so that the lower courts could determine whether the plaintiffs were now required to seek review under the Administrative Procedure Act rather than in a Supremacy Clause Action. As the Court noted, the change in posture does not change the substantive question whether the California rate reductions are consistent with federal law, "But it may change the answer." The answer may change because the courts may now be required to give deference to the intervening action of the United States Department of Health and Human Services in approving certain of the California rate changes.

Stephen I. Vladeck, the Health Law and Policy Forum speaker, will discuss the issues involved in, and the implications of, the Court's ruling in Douglas. Professor Vladeck filed an amicus brief in Douglas, arguing, on behalf of former senior officials of the Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") or its predecessor, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare ("HEW"). The amici responded to the brief filed by the U.S. Department of Justice as amicus curiae in support of the Petitioner, which argued that private enforcement of the "equal access" provision of the Medicaid Act is inconsistent with congressional intent and would interfere with the Secretary's discretion to administer the Medicaid program. In this brief, the former HHS officials argued that HHS has never embraced such a view of private enforcement. To the contrary, it has consistently been HHS's position that private enforcement is not just appropriate, but also necessary to ensure that states comply with this critical regulatory mandate. Nor is there anything to the Justice Department's suggestion that private enforcement would interfere with the Secretary's discretion. As a matter of both historical practice and current law, private enforcement only complements the Secretary's authority.


March 21, 2011 - Alexander Morgan Capron, University Professor at the University of Southern California and Co-Director of the Pacific Center for Health Policy and Ethics spoke on "The Road to Rockville: The Peculiar Role of the US in Global Governance of Research with Human Subjects".

April 14, 2011 - Nancy Tomes, Professor of History at Stony Brook University spoke on "Medicine and Madison Avenue: Historical reflections and contemporary challenges."

April 25, 2011 -The Health Law and Policy Forum along with The Health and Biomedical Law Concentration, The Rappaport Center for Public Service, The Litigation Concentration, and The LL.M. in Global Law and Technology presented "Symposium: Comparative Medical Malpractice Law, Dispute Resolution And Reform: France And The United States"


September 13, 2010 - Dorothy Roberts, Kirkland & Ellis Professor at Northwestern University School of Law and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research spoke on, "The New Biopolitics of Race and Health."


Wednesday February 25, 2009 - Tim Westmoreland, Visiting Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, spoke on Federal Budgets and Health Reform .

Wednesday April 1, 2009 - Jerome P. Kassirer, M.D., Distinguished Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine and Visiting Professor at Stanford University, spoke on The Current Landscape of Financial Conflicts of Interest.

Wednesday April 15, 2009 - Ruth R. Faden, Ph.D., M.P.H., Philip Franklin Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Director of the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins and Senior Research Scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University, spoke on The Return of the Right to Health Care: The Moral Case for Health Reform in the United States.

Wednesday October 7, 2009 - Bob Evans, Killam University Professor (Economics) at the University of British Columbia, and Founding Director of the Program in Population Health, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, spoke on Financing Health Care: Why everyone is out of step except Uncle Sam.

Wednesday October 28, 2009 - Trudy Lieberman, director of the health and medical reporting program at the Graduate School of Journalism, City University of New York spoke on "The Press, the Public, and Health Reform."

Wednesday November 16, 2009 - Suzanne Gordon, freelance journalist and author, spoke on "The Return of the Right to Health Care: The Moral Case for Health Reform in the United States."


Wednesday February 13, 2008 - Professor Keith Wailoo, Martin Luther King Professor of History at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, who spoke on "The Cultural Politics of Pain Medicine in America."

Wednesday March 5, 2008 - Lawrence D. Brown, Ph.D., Professor of Health Policy and Management, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, spoke on "The Collapsing US Health Care System: What is Taking So Long?"

Wednesday April 2, 2008 - Lisa I. Iezzoni, M.D., M.Sc., Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, spoke on "Health Care Quality and Access for People with Disabilities."


Monday, February 26, 2007 - Michele Goodwin, Professor of Law, DePaul College of Law, spoke on "Private Ordering and the Negotiation for Body Parts: Does Really Race Matter?"

Monday, March, 19, 2007 –John Lantos, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics; Section Chief, General Pediatrics; Associate Director, MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics; and Co-Director, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, at the University of Chicago, spoke on "A Tiny Baby in a Court of Law."

Tuesday, April 3, 2007 - George Annas, Edward R. Utley Professor and Chair, Department of Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights, Boston University School of Public Health, spoke on "Human Rights and Bioethics: Lessons from the Geneva Conventions, the Guantanamo Hunger Strikes, and the Nuremberg Code."


Tuesday, March 28, 2006 – Michael Millenson, Mervin Shalowitz, M.D. Visiting Scholar, at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, spoke on "Farewell to Hippocrates:  Medicine in the Information Age."

Thursday, April 20, 2006 – Sidney Watson, Professor of Law, at Saint Louis University School of Law, spoke on "From Risk to Ruin:  Shifting the Costs of Health Care to Patients."

Thursday, February 17, 2005 - Thomas L. Greaney, Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Center for Health Law Studies at Saint Louis University Law School, spoke on "Challenges to Nonprofit Hospitals: Balancing Mission and Margin in Light of Sarbanes and Consumer Class Actions."

Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - Deborah Stone, Research Professor, Department of Government at Dartmouth College, spoke on "From Scholar to Daughter: Reflections on End-Of-Life Care." 

Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - Bruce C. Vladeck, Ph.D., Principal and East Coast Director, Academic Medical Center Advisory Services Practice Group, Ernst & Young LLP, spoke on "The Future of Medicare."


Monday, February 23, 2004 - Edward N. Beiser, Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Former Associate Dean of Medicine (Humanities and Social Sciences) at Brown University, spoke on "The Economics and Ethics of Informed Consent - Time to Admit Our Mistakes and Move On." A portion of Professor Beiser's lecture focused on his teaching video, "Peter Wegner is Alive and Well and Living in Providence," a documentary chronicling the treatment and rehabilitation of Brown Professor Peter Wegner following a tragic bus accident resulting in brain damage.

Monday, March 22, 2004 - Lori Andrews, Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Chicago-Kent College of Law Institute for Science, Law and Technology at the Chicago-Kent College of Law, spoke on "The Body as Property - Gene Patents and Health Care Policy."

Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - Henry T. Greely, C. Wendell and Edith M. Carlsmith Professor of Law at Stanford University, spoke on "Advances in Neuro-Science & the Future of Litigation."


February 12, 2003 - Sara Rosenbaum, Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy and Director, Center for Health Services Research and Policy, George Washington University Medical Center, School of Public Health and Health Services, spoke on "Ending Health Insurance As We Know It."

March 6, 2003 - Barry Furrow, Professor of Law and Director, Health Law Institute, Widener University School of Law, spoke on "Health Care System Failures: New Trends in Liability."

April 9, 2003 - James Morone, Professor of Political Science, Brown University, spoke on "Hellfire Nation: Sinners, Morals and Health Care Policy."


March 26, 2002 - Marcia Angell, M.D., Senior Lecturer, Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, spoke on "Science in the Courtroom: The Breast Implant Case."

April 3, 2002 - David Rothman, Professor, Columbia University, Center for Study of Society and Medicine, spoke on "American Health Care Entitlements: An International Comparison."

May 15, 2002 - Timothy Jost, Robert L. Willett Family Law Professor, Washington and Lee University, spoke on "The Historian in Court: Radiation Experiments at Vanderbilt University."