Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Speaker Spotlight: Tom Campbell, Ph.D., Dean of Chapman University School of Law

Tom Campbell
Campbell, Ph.D., a former U.S. congressman and state senator who serves as dean of the Chapman University School of Law, will give the keynote address for CHI 2012, the annual meeting of CHI. CHI 2012 focuses on the relationship between biomedical innovation and public policy. The goal of the meeting is to focus on the biomedical community’s work and needs, and how the industry can sustain California’s leadership in medical innovation.

Campbell served five terms in Congress, was also a California senator, and the director of finance for the state of California. He also served as the dean at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and a Stanford University professor for almost two decades before that. He will provide CHI 2012 attendees with economic predictions based on the election, share insights on the future of healthcare legislation and address what is wrong with the political process. Campbell graduated with a doctorate degree in economics from the University of Chicago. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School.

Q: In your opinion, how likely are we to see the Affordable Care Act repealed?

A: The outcome of the presidential, Senate, and House elections will determine the future of our nation’s healthcare system. Bearing in mind that the president’s healthcare act passed under reconciliation, by which a Senate filibuster was avoided, it is also true that it can be repealed by a simple majority without the possibility of a filibuster. Thus, it is safe to assume that if the Republicans gain the presidency and have 50 senators, and hold the House majority, the president’s healthcare statute will be repealed. What will replace it is not certain, of course; but it is unlikely that the individual mandate will survive.

Q: What features of the ACA do you anticipate will survive if Obama is not re-elected?

A: Gov. Romney has recently announced he’ll keep the obligation for carriers to take all insurance applicants, even those with pre-existing conditions. Obviously, that will necessitate higher premiums in all insurance contracts than before the law was enacted, but no higher than what they are at present. As there will no longer be a minimum set of coverages that have to be present in all contracts, we can expect a wider choice of such options, offered by private insurers. Some, for instance, will not include contraceptive care.

Q: Do you anticipate Medicare will be turned to a voucher system?

A: A capitated federal grant to the states for Medicaid, and to seniors directly for Medicare, is likely, with increased numbers of eligibles, but reduced compensated services. If the president is re-elected, then we might still see some changes, as individual states take advantage of that part of the National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius decision that allows states to exempt themselves from federal compulsion.

Q: How are states currently dealing with this anticipated change?

A: The governor of Maine is attempting the argument that his state should be allowed to cover fewer people under Medicaid, with, admittedly, less money than coming from the federal government, rather than being compelled to cover with Maine’s own matching money the broader categories required by the federal government. Also, the president announced several months ago that he was going to propose a compromise with religious institutions; the details of that compromise will have to be worked out if he is re-elected.

Q: What will you draw on to give your keynote speech to CHI’s audience of legislators, biomedical entrepreneurs and executives, investors and academic researchers?

A: I will draw on my own experience in public life, having served as a member of Congress in what seemed a permanent Republican minority (1988-1992), then as part of the first Republican majority in 40 years (1995-2000), and in a legislative body with a very different set of procedures, the California Senate, just as term limits were being applied (1993-1995). I’ll have some iconoclastic recommendations regarding term limits, super-majority requirements for votes, and selection of committee chairs. I’ll touch on the effect of money in politics over the time the U.S. Supreme Court has redefined the relevant rules, my efforts as part of the bipartisan team to adopt McCain-Feingold (since struck down by the Supreme Court), and the rise of both self-funded candidates and super PACs.

It is not too late to register for CHI 2012, taking place Nov. 8 at Gilead Sciences Campus in Foster City, Calif. Click here to view the full agenda and speaker line-up for CHI 2012.

CHI-Advancing California biomedical research and innovation

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