Forum Session

After the Affordable Care Act: Transforming Public Health
May 15, 2015


Jennifer Jenson, MPH, MPP


Public health is beginning to realize new visibility and appreciation for its important role to promote healthy behaviors; prevent injuries, epidemics, and the spread of disease; protect against environmental hazards; respond to disasters; and assure the quality and accessibility of health services. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) included a variety of initiatives that affect public health, including expanding access to Medicaid and private insurance coverage, developing and testing new health care payment and delivery models that emphasize population health, and increasing funding for federally qualified health centers. These policies are changing the environment for state and local public health departments and creating new risks and opportunities related to an evolving relationship between public health and the health care system. This Forum session explored how public health is changing and the impact of federal policies on state and local public health departments.


John Auerbach, MBA (bio)
Associate Director of Policy, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Former Commissioner of Public Health (2007-2012), Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Kim E. Barnhill, MS, MPH (bio)
Deputy Secretary for County Health Systems, Florida Department of Health

David Fleming, MD (bio)
Vice President, Public Health Impact, PATH
Former Director and Health Officer for Public Health (2006-2014), Seattle and King County

Related Materials

For an overview of public health, including information on the role and structure of federal, state, and local agencies, legal authorities, and financing, see Sarah Lister's presentation at the National Health Policy Forum, "Public Health: Policy Essentials" (February 13, 2015).

Institute of Medicine (IOM), For the Public’s Health, Investing in a Healthier Future (The National Academies Press, 2012).

For additional information on state and local public health agencies, see the Forum's publication by Eileen Salinsky, "Governmental Public Health: An Overview of State and Local Public Health Agencies" (Background Paper No. 77, August 18, 2010).

↑ back to top

Browse Topics Side ArrowDown Arrow