For the casebook’s second edition, the authors address changes to the ACA shaped by the Trump administration.
The health law field has undergone remarkable shifts in the eight years since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) was signed into law. The Law of American Health Care, authored by BU Law & SPH Professor Nicole Huberfeld, BU Law Professor Kevin Outterson, and University of Georgia Law School Professor Elizabeth Weeks, was the first casebook to fully incorporate the new legislation into a cohesive resource for law students.
The first edition was published in fall 2016 after the major litigation challenging the ACA was resolved. Given the statutory and administrative changes made to the ACA since the election of President Donald Trump, the authors have updated their casebook with a second edition.
Available for the fall from Wolters Kluwer, The Law of American Health Care, 2nd ed. addresses the repeal of the tax penalty that enforced the individual mandate in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the federal guidance allowing states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients, and other important policy shifts.
“Even though efforts to repeal and replace the ACA haven’t been successful, there have been changes that alter the way the law is interpreted,” says Huberfeld. “The themes the book is built around—federalism, individual rights, fiduciary relationships, the modern administrative state, and markets and regulation—make the book’s approach durable, but some key revisions were needed.”
Published to serve the needs of a rising generation of health care lawyers in a new legal landscape redefined by the ACA, The Law of American Health Care was conceived and structured as a departure from many traditional casebooks. The book eschews lengthy case notes in favor of greater engagement with a broader array of primary sources. For a more comprehensive view of the field, they incorporate statutes, regulations, policy, and other non-case-based aspects of health law. The authors pose questions and hypotheticals to help students better understand the cases.
The casebook also benefits from Outterson’s work with the American Health Lawyers Association to create new curriculum guidelines for health law programs throughout the United States. He began in 2010 by surveying hiring partners and practice leaders in the health law arena to see if BU Law’s curriculum met their needs. After presenting his findings to the AHLA, he spoke with the organization’s leaders about expanding the study with the help of a task force with some of the nation’s leading health care lawyers and professors. The final guidelines were published on July 1, 2014, with the input of hundreds of health law scholars and practitioners.
“The great thing about this process is that it allowed professors and practicing attorneys to work together to identify key priorities in health law teaching,” Outterson said in 2014.
One of the aims of The Law of American Health Care is to create a casebook that meets these guidelines.
“The project began with the goal of better preparing students for the workforce, but we also recognize that health law is a remarkably dynamic field,” Outterson said. “Students need to understand context and theory in addition to the law on the books today so they can adapt to the fast-changing landscape.”
- The Law of American Health Care, Coauthored by Kevin Outterson, Published
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