Rutgers-Sponsored Journal Issue Examines Critical Obamacare Issues

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With a key step in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act looming, a special journal issue sponsored by the Rutgers Newark School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) is laying out the latest thinking on critical elements of the law known as Obamacare.

On Oct. 1, open enrollment is slated to begin for the new, state-based health insurance exchanges, one of the cornerstones of Obamacare. In January, New Jersey is among the states that will participate in a major Medicaid expansion authorized by the new law. In conjunction with these events the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers-Newark has sponsored a special issue of the Public Administration Review which assembles analysis from prominent scholars, government officials, and opinion leaders. SPAA Distinguished Professor, Frank J. Thompson, served as special editor for the issue as well as a contributor. 

Major contributions to the special issue include the following:

  • Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius makes the case for public administrators to rise to the challenge of implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  • Alice Rivlin, a former top official in the Clinton administration, offers a perspective on the future of health reform in the U.S. and ways to move beyond the current partisan impasse.
  • Frank J. Thompson details the implementation challenges buffeting health reform in the face of a polarized Congress and a national divide over Obamacare. In the short term, this has exacerbated problems for public administrators at the federal and state levels. But in the long run he predicts a dampening of this contentious context as Americans begin to receive more tangible benefits from the law with the insurance expansions slated for 2014.
  • Simon Haeder and David Weimer examine the implementation of the health insurance exchanges, or market places, noting the factors that led most states to cede operation of the exchanges to the federal government.
  • Charles Brecher and Shanna Rose explain how Medicaid will be affected by the ACA and how the program has expanded dramatically since its launch in the 1960s.
  • Robert Agranoff looks at the impact of the ACA on programming for people with developmental disabilities.

“Taken together, we believe the articles in the special issue cast important light on a wide range of issues raised by the upcoming implementation of the ACA and health reform more generally,” said Dean Marc Holzer of the School of Public Affairs and Administration in Newark. “The issue provides new and valuable information for anyone concerned about the future of health reform, whether in government, the health care sector, think tanks, academia, the media, or more generally.”

The special journal issue is now published online and can be accessed at

About the Public Administration Review
Published for more than 70 years, the bi-monthly Public Administration Review has long been the leading journal in the field of public administration. It is published for the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing and is the only journal in public administration that serves both academics and practitioners interested in the public sector and public sector management.

About Rutgers-Newark School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA)

The School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers-Newark educates and motivates students to choose careers in public service and administration through its innovative and comprehensive undergraduate (BA), Master of Public Administration (MPA), Executive MPA, PhD, and professional and graduate certificate programs. The school’s faculty generates knowledge and best practices in public service and administration, and collaborates with public and nonprofit sector organizations and professionals throughout the U.S. and the world. Guided by the principles of knowledge, competence, diversity, and service – with an emphasis on public service values and competencies for effective performance – SPAA promotes accountability, transparency, and performance in the public and nonprofit sectors.

U.S. News & World Report ranks Rutgers SPAA in Newark:

  • 4th nationally in Information and Technology Management
  • 7th nationally in Public Management/Administration
  • 10th nationally in Public Finance and Budgeting
  • 11th nationally in City Management and Urban Policy
  • 18th nationally in Nonprofit Management
  • 23rd nationally in Public Affairs
  • 24th nationally in Public Policy Analysis

MEDIA CONTACT:  Frank J. Thompson, PhD;; 973-353-5367