Fifty years after the passage of Medicare and Medicaid, and four years after the passage of the landmark Affordable Care Act, the Yale Law School hosted a conference to examine the current state of health law in the United States.

The event consisted of a series of presentations by leading experts in the field of health law, some of whom played crucial roles in designing and implementing the various statutes under discussion. Professor Abbe Gluck said that despite the event’s affiliation with the Law School, she aimed to make it interdisciplinary, and made sure that public health experts, economics professors and history professors were featured as speakers. With the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act and continued discussion bringing the subject of health policy to the forefront of national debate, Gluck said she wanted to host an event that analyzed the role that the interaction between Congress, the executive branch and its agencies and state governments played in the evolution of all three health care statutes.

“My intellectual goals were to bring the legal side into this year of 50th anniversary celebrations, to illustrate how rich the conversation can be when we bring multiple disciplines together, and to facilitate more connections across the University on matters relating to health,” Gluck said.

She added that she wanted to analyze the legal aspects of all three laws, which she feels are almost always discussed from a political rather than legal standpoint.

The event itself consisted of five panels and two keynote speeches, which were delivered by Jonathan Cohn, senior editor at The New Republic, and Ezekiel J. Emanuel, vice provost for global initiatives and chair of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania. Gluck said she chose Cohn and Emanuel as speakers because she wanted to feature non-lawyers from outside of Yale, whose work bridges multiple disciplines.

Alix Rogers LAW ’15 and Claudia Kraft LAW ’15, co-executive editors of the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law and Ethics, are publishing a symposium issue in conjunction with the conference. The issue will include papers written by 17 of the featured speakers.

“Professor Gluck has really energized the health law program here at Yale, and she’s been very enthusiastic and inclusive of the students,” Rogers said. “We really had the who’s who of health law here today, and to bring them together in one place so we could interact with them both academically and professionally was really special.”

Gluck invited each of the event’s 30 speakers personally, most of whom she knew as friends and colleagues.

Director for the Yale Health Law and Policy Society Christine Monahan LAW ’16 said she felt that the event was an important landmark for the health law program at Yale.

“It’s not every day that you get to have all of these distinguished people together in one place,” she said.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which include both programs, as well as the ACA health exchanges and the Children’s Health Insurance Program covers more than 100 million Americans.