UNIVERSITY PARK, CENTRE COUNTY – It is not just people in Washington who are dealing with the aftermath of Sunday Night’s historic health care vote.
Students in Penn State's Health Policy and Administration Department are already hitting the books trying to decipher the new legislation. These students will be the ones watching how this bill is implemented, and they will try to determine whether or not the promises of President Obama and Congress will actually be carried out in the years to come.
With a revamped U.S. Health Care system taking shape, Dennis Scanlon, PhD may have to make some major changes to his lesson plans.
“As a researcher, as a faculty member who teaches about the us healthcare system this is the most comprehensive overhaul that there's been in years,” Scanlon said.
Scanlon teaches a class on Health Care Finance and Policy at Penn State.
Students say they will be tasked with determining whether the bill delivers quality health care to more Americans, or if it falls short.
“It just gives us a larger variety of questions to look at, and over the coming years the research community is going to be looked at to see how it progresses or how the changes are being implemented,” Namerta Uberoi, a student in the class, said.
Monday, Scanlon assigned a project for students to look at the new bill from every conceivable perspective: patients, hospitals, and insurance providers.
They will need to become familiar with a bill longer than most books.
“The Kaiser Family Foundation has sort of done an up to date synthesis of what's been passed, and it's probably 80 pages or so and that's a synthesis,” Scanlon said.
The trade off is that the health care industry research jobs students have been preparing for now appear to be in demand.
“Maybe we will have more opportunities because there will be more questions, because I think this, it's been a hot topic for the last year, and I think it'll be a hot topic for the next several years,” Uberoi said.
Scanlon said he thinks this bill is going to be tweaked numerous times before we know exactly what it will look like in reality, and he said it is he and his students’ job to be on top of any and all changes.