Former congressman to lead talks about future of U.S. healthcare

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News
Photo of former congressman Bart Stupak standing in front of an American flag.

Stupak

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—"For All Americans? The Future of Healthcare in America," is the title of an event at the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25. The panel discussion focuses on improving healthcare in today’s conflicted political and social climate and is sponsored by the WMU-Cooley Law School and the WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine.

The event at the medical school’s downtown Kalamazoo campus will feature Bart Stupak, former congressman and author of "For All Americans: The Dramatic Story Behind the Stupak Amendment and the Historic Passage of Obamacare." He will provide the keynote address before a panel of experts discusses methods for improving the nation's healthcare system. Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Jane Markey will moderate the session.

"For All Americans? The Future of Healthcare in America" is free and open for the public to attend. Parking is free, and there will be a book-signing event with Congressman Stupak following the discussion.

Stupak's book is a first-person account of the collaboration between former President Barack Obama and a small group of dedicated legislators to achieve the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

"I am honored to share my story during this important discussion in Kalamazoo about the future of healthcare," says Stupak. "Our country's leaders need to move beyond politics and listen to the messages that come from our local community leaders who are on the frontlines of the healthcare system."

During an interview with The Hill in July, Stupak told reporter Morgan Chalfant, "If they want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, every Congress has that right. All I ask is you do it based on policy reasons and not based on political reasons. The policy decisions are no longer debated. It's all politics."

Panelists

Panelists who will be discussing methods for improving healthcare for Americans include:

  • Lisa DeMoss, professor and director of WMU Cooley Law School's Master of Laws Program in Insurance Law.
  • James B. Falahee Jr., senior vice president for legal and legislative affairs, Bronson Healthcare Group.
  • Dr. Tyler Gibb, and attorney and co-chief and assistant professor of the Program in Medical Ethics, Humanities and Law at the WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine.

"We are extremely pleased to have such esteemed individuals take part in this timely and important discussion on healthcare," says WMU Cooley Auxiliary Dean Devin Schindler, who assisted in developing the program. "With healthcare being such a divisive issue, we believe our panelists will be able to shed light on the difficult policy choices that will need to be made to improve healthcare in the United States."

DeMoss has experience and expertise in insurance, healthcare financing, health insurance, corporate compliance, corporate board governance and business ethics. She joined WMU Cooley in 2010 as a visiting professor and director of the LL.M. Program in Insurance. DeMoss became the director of the graduate program in corporate law and finance in 2014. Before joining the law school, she was senior vice president, general counsel and corporate compliance officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in Detroit. Earlier in her career with Blue Cross Blue Shield, she served as vice president, deputy general counsel, litigation; principal counsel, Auto-National Division; litigation counsel; and division counsel, responsible for all transactions, litigation, subrogation and oversight of trial counsel throughout the country. 

Falahee joined Bronson in 1987 and has more than 40 years of experience in healthcare law and legislation. He has been named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in healthcare. He is a frequent speaker about healthcare policy and reform. Falahee is a founding member, past president and a fellow of the Health Care Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, and past president of the Michigan Society of Hospital Attorneys.

Beyond teaching at the WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, Gibb is vice-chair of the Institutional Review Board. He completed a clinical ethics fellowship at the University of California‐Los Angeles' Health System Ethics Center. Gibb earned his Ph.D. in healthcare ethics from Saint Louis University and obtained a law degree from the Saint Louis University School of Law, where he was the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Health Law and Policy. He has authored a number of publications, including peer-reviewed and law review articles on clinical bioethics, health law and research ethics.

Markey was first elected to the Court of Appeals in 1994. Before joining the court, she served as a district court judge, was a prehearing attorney, law clerk and worked as an attorney in private practice. A life fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, Markey is a member of the Personnel and Quality Review committees of the Court of Appeals and a member of the board of directors of the WMU Cooley Law School. She has served on faculties for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, the Hillman Federal Trial Skills Workshop and the Michigan Judicial Institute.

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