MORGANTOWN -- As the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives wrestle with the issue of health care reform, the debate over this critical issue becomes more and more obscured by partisan conflict.
In an effort to provide a forum free from political infighting the editorial board at the West Virginia Law Review—the student run legal journal produced at the West Virginia University College of Law—will host a three-part lecture series that will attempt to look beyond the political struggle and focus instead on the social disparities in access and outcomes that are ingrained in our current health care system.
"The goal of the Law Review's lecture series is to start a discussion in West Virginia on the fairness in health care systems in America and the world," said West Virginia Law Review Editor-in-chief Brandon Stump. "This lecture series will not focus on the politics surrounding health care reform in America but will be about the fairness of our system for rural Americans, racial and ethnic minorities, and the people of the world."
This event, produced in association with the West Virginia University College of Law Donley Lecture series, will publish articles based on the speaker's presentations in Volume 113 of the West Virginia Law Review.
The first lecture in the series is titled "Realizing the International Human Right to Health: The Role of Private, For-Profit Enterprise." It will be presented by Eleanor Kinney, the Hall Render Professor of Law, and co-director of the William S. and Christine S. Hall Center for Law and Health at the Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis, and will be held on Feb. 9, 2010 at noon in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom at the WVU Law Center. All three events in the series are open to the public and can be viewed live at http://law.wvu.edu/healthcare2010.
"Professor Kinney is one of the nation's leading experts on health law who has dedicated much of her professional career to health law," said Stump, a third year student at the WVU College of Law. "Her lecture on the role of for-profit industry in health care and the impact that has on people will raise many questions of fairness in the world's view on health care."
Professor Kinney is the founding director of the internationally recognized William S. and Christine S. Hall Center for Law and Health at the Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis, and is one of the nation's leading experts on health law. She is a widely published author and respected lecturer on the subjects of America's health care system, medical malpractice, health coverage for the poor, and issues in administrative law.
Kinney will examine the role that profit and the market should play in the delivery of health care, in light of the idea that for-profit enterprises contribute little added value and operate in ways that threaten access to health care products and services for many. Her lecture will analyze the contributions and damage of for-profit enterprises in the health care sector, and propose that policies should be designed to maximize the contributions and minimize the damage of for-profit enterprise in health care.
The lecture series continues on Feb. 25 with "Fiduciary Solutions to Health Care Disparities in America," presented by Dean & Professor of Law Dayna Bowen Matthew, from the University of Colorado Law School. Matthew will describe racial and ethnic disparities that are prevalent and persistent in the American health care delivery system.
The final presentation will be March 18 on "Mending the Fabric of Small Town America: Health Reform as Social and Economic Development," presented by Sidney D. Watson, professor of law at the Saint Louis University School of Law. Watson will examine health care access issues in rural areas and the impact that access barriers have on individuals, families, and the communities in which they live. A panel discussion will be held following Professor Watson's talk featuring local experts in rural health care who will provide a regional perspective on the issue.