Replacing Obamacare: U-M experts available

January 23, 2017
Laurel Thomas,
Laurel Thomas Gnagey, 734-647-1841, or Kara Gavin, 734-764-2220,

Republican members of the Senate announced alternatives to the Affordable Care Act today. U-M has experts who can weigh in.

John Ayanian, director of the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, the Alice Hamilton Professor of Internal Medicine and professor of public health and public policy, is a long-time researcher on how access to health insurance affects individuals’ access to health care, the quality of care they receive and their health outcomes. He leads IHPI’s federally approved objective evaluation of the Healthy Michigan Plan, the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The evaluation recently found that Michigan’s expansion of Medicaid health insurance coverage has boosted the state’s economy and budget, and will continue to do even as the state assumes more of the cost of caring for the 638,000 Michiganders who have signed up for the program. Read a news release on those findings.

Contact: Via Kara Gavin, 734-764-2220,

Nicholas Bagley, professor at the Law School, concentrates his research on health care law, with a focus on Medicare and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. He is also a frequent contributor to “The Incidental Economist,” a prominent health policy blog.


Sue Anne Bell, clinical associate professor in the U-M School of Nursing. Bell focuses on health outcomes in relationship to emergencies and acute care, with an eye towards affecting policy change, particularly in terms of health disparities.

“The repeal of the ACA will have tremendous negative impacts on the health of low-income populations, who are already more likely to have ill health due to poverty. The ACA allowed millions of Americans access to health insurance, with undeniably positive results. For example, a recent study showed that children on Medicaid had better health outcomes as adults, including lower rates of death and disability, as well as higher incomes (which means less use of government benefits). With close to 20 million Americans expected to lose health insurance if the repeal passes, we stand to lose the progress we have made in health and health outcomes for Americans who need health care the most.”

Contact: or on Twitter: @sueannebell

Vanessa Dalton is an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Medical School who examines the impact of health care reform on reproductive health services utilization. She is using data from private insurance companies to analyze patterns of contraceptive use, preventive screening and women’s health visits before and after the ACA mandate for women’s health services took effect.

Contact: Via Beata Mostafavi, 734-764-2220,

Chad Ellimoottil is an assistant professor of urology at the Medical School who studies the impact of several programs rolled out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, which was created under the Affordable Care Act. His research has evaluated the bundled payment programs that pay hospitals in a new way based on quality and cost; as well as the impact of the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program. Read the news release on his most recent work.

Contact: Via Kara Gavin, 734-764-2220,

Mark Fendrick is a professor in the Medical School Department of Internal Medicine who holds a joint appointment at the School of Public Health, and heads the Center for Value-Based Insurance Design. He has proposed new models for private and public health insurance plans that build on his research about the impact of out-of-pocket costs on consumers’ health behaviors. Read the news release on one such proposal.

Contact: Via Kara Gavin, 734-764-2220,

Scott Greer, associate professor of health management and policy at the School of Public Health, is a political scientist. He researches the politics of health policies and recently published research about a scorecard that shows how public health will be impacted under the new administration.

Contact: 734-615-3711,

Laura Gultekin, assistant professor in the U-M School of Nursing, works with low resource families through research and clinical practice. She can discuss the huge decline in the numbers of people who’ve needed free care at clinics before and after the ACA.

“The Affordable Care Act provided families who were working in low-wage, no-benefit jobs the opportunity to enroll in insurance and access the primary and specialty care services they needed to maintain and improve their health. I anticipate a repeal of the ACA will result in loss of insurance for many of those families, whether because they remain ineligible for benefits from their employers, or because they’ve now been identified as having pre-existing conditions.”

Contact:, (734) 647-0193

Richard Hirth, professor and chair of the Department of Health Management and Policy at the School of Public Health, can discuss the economics of health insurance, health care costs and payment system design. Hirth recently talked about the issues at hand: and

Contact: 734-936-1306,

Jeffrey Kullgren is an assistant professor of internal medicine at the Medical School. He studies how people make decisions about the health care they use and how those decisions are affected by the out-of-pocket costs they face through high-deductible health plans, and the “transparency” tools made available by public and private insurers and nonprofits. He is working with a major private insurer to develop a price-transparency tool that can be used during a patient visit. Read about his most recent research.

Contact: Via Kara Gavin, 734-764-2220,

Helen Levy is a research professor at the Institute for Social Research and holds joint appointments at the School of Public Health and Ford School of Public Policy. She is a health economist who studies the causes and consequences of uninsurance, and evaluates the impacts of public health insurance programs. She also is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and served as a senior economist to the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. She co-wrote a January 2017 article in the New England Journal of Medicine titled Economic Effects of Medicaid Expansion in Michigan, with John Ayanian. Read the news release about that study.


Renuka Tipirneni is a clinical lecturer in internal medicine at the Medical School, studies health reform, primary care practice redesign and Medicaid policy, including the impact of Medicaid expansion on access to primary care in Michigan. She is also interested in the potential impact of health care reform on health disparities and generally in issues related to health care access, immigrant health and vulnerable populations.

Contact: Via Kara Gavin, 734-764-2220,

Marianne Udow-Phillips is the executive director of the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation, an independent 501(c)(3) impact organization based at U-M, and a lecturer at the School of Public Health. Before CHRT, Udow-Phillips spent more than 20 years in leadership positions at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and served as director of the Michigan Department of Human Services. Her expertise includes access to health care, as well as health insurance, and payment and financing.

Contact: Via Heather Guenther, 734-998-8514,

All are members of the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, which brings together nearly 500 U-M faculty from 17 schools and colleges who study health care and health policy. Learn more about its work and additional experts at