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November 30, 2020

Experts to discuss effects of the election and pandemic at ABA meeting

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2020 — Government officials and health law experts will address a variety of emerging health industry topics during the American Bar Association Washington Health Law Summit on Dec. 7-9. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the event will be held virtually.

John Simpkins, president and CEO of MDC, a nonprofit based in Durham, North Carolina, that works to improve economic mobility and advance equity, will deliver the keynote address on Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 10 a.m. CT. He will speak on the causes of racial inequities in health care and the efforts made to address and alleviate these disparities. Simpkins will also discuss the role that nonprofits, government, business and grassroots organizers play in addressing deeply rooted racial, economic and health care challenges through research, consensus-building and effective programming.

What:   Washington Health Law Summit
Sponsored by the ABA Health Law Section

Monday-Wednesday, Dec. 7-9


Program highlights include:

“What Comes Next: Evaluating the Aftermath of Election 2020” — An expert panel, including Kavita Patel of the Brookings Institution, will examine the federal legislative and policy outlook following the 2020 election and analyze its anticipated impact on the future of health care in the U.S.

Monday, 10-11 a.m. CT

“Inside the Halls of Congress” — Experts will examine the health care legislative priorities on Capitol Hill following a presidential election year. Congressional staffers will provide insight into the priorities of both political parties and what they hope to achieve at a critical time in health care policy.

Monday, 12:30-1:30 p.m. CT

“The Revolving Door: Ethical Principles in Entering or Leaving Government” — It’s common for attorneys to move from their roles as an attorney for the government to opposing defense counsel. With the specialized experience that these attorneys have, they are sought after as key weapons in a defendant’s strategy. This session will examine the ethical challenge that arises when one is defending a client against his former client – the United States of America.

Tuesday, 10-11 a.m. CT

“The Effect of the Pandemic on Medicaid, Public Health Funding and the Healthcare Safety Net” — The interconnected health care and economic crises have also brought to the foreground long existing health and funding inequalities that are disproportionately impacting safety net providers and the communities they serve. This panel, including Mia Keeys, director of health equity policy and advocacy at the American Medical Association, will provide an overview of the impact of COVID-19 on the public health system and safety net providers and discuss the policy implications going forward, including the future and financing of Medicaid. Panelists will also address social determinants of health, telehealth, reimbursement, value-based care and privacy issues with contact tracing.

Tuesday, 1:15-2:15 p.m. CT

“Elections, the Supreme Court and the Affordable Care Act” — The U.S. Supreme Court set oral arguments in Texas v. California for Nov. 10, right after the presidential election. A panel of experts, including Katie M. Keith, professor at Georgetown University Law Center, and Sara Rosenbaum, professor of health law at George Washington University Law School, will review the pending case, and how it and the election results will affect future implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Tuesday, 2:30-3:30 p.m. CT

“Provider Challenges Surrounding COVID-19 Relief Funding” — Experts will examine the federal financial relief opportunities made available to providers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. They will offer practical insights such as best practices for avoiding duplication of benefits; strategic allocation of costs incurred to respond to the PHE, including supplies, labor and medical care; and ways to prepare for audits. They will also consider lessons learned as the pandemic continues.

Wednesday, 12:10-12:55 p.m. CT

“Maintaining Healthcare Delivery in the Midst of a Pandemic” — The pandemic impacted physicians and changed how they care for patients. Office closures, cancellation of hospital elective procedures and determining how to ensure access for COVID-19 positive patients or those at risk for infection escalated the use of telehealth to unprecedented levels. Additionally, waivers of federal laws, governors’ executive orders and phased reopening plans have created a patchwork of compliance obligations, especially for physicians with multi-state practices. A panel of experts, including Matthew Edgar of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in Baltimore and Tripti Kataria of the Chicago Medical Society, will provide their unique perspectives on the impact of COVID-19 on health care delivery, ongoing compliance issues and the ability to move forward during the pandemic.

Wednesday, 3:25-4:25 p.m. CT

A complete agenda can be found online.

This event is free and open to members of the press. For media credentialing, please contact Priscilla Totten at [email protected].


The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.