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Deciphering the Affordable Care Act

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GREENVILLE, S.C.—Whether you love it, hate it or don’t understand it, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is coming to America and South Carolina.

How will the ACA, also known as Obamacare, affect businesses and ordinary Americans?  How is South Carolina preparing to implement the ACA? And what are the ethical and economic reasons government should or shouldn’t be involved in America’s healthcare system?

These questions and other issues involving healthcare in the United States will be addressed when the Riley Institute at Furman University and Furman’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute present their third annual summer lectures series in July and August.

“Straight Talk: Healthcare Reform in SC” is a series of four presentations that will take place on consecutive Wednesdays beginning July 17 in Shaw Hall of Younts Conference Center on the Furman campus. Each program will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The program is facilitated by Mark Quinn, former host of SCETV’s “The Big Picture.”

The series is open to the public. The cost for all four events is $45 ($35 for OLLI members), or $15 per single event.  The series, which features some of the nation’s top health experts, includes the following:

July 17: Healthcare in America: Best in the World?

The series will begin with a look at how healthcare is currently delivered in the U.S. and the issues the ACA seeks to address. What are the ethical and economic reasons government should or shouldn’t be involved?

July 24: Opposing Visions for Improving Health in SC

South Carolina is one of 14 states whose legislatures are rejecting federal funding for Medicaid expansion. The state’s leading voices debate whether this decision is the right one for South Carolina.

July 31: Rationing Healthcare Rationally

The U.S. spends much of its limited healthcare dollars on high-priced ER visits and expensive end-of-life care, and uses a fee-for-service system. How can we change our approach to provide better care at a lower cost?

August 7: Obamacare in SC: Beyond Debate to Implementation

Some like it, others do not. Either way, the ACA is coming to South Carolina. What will Obamacare look like and how is South Carolina preparing and responding?

The July 17 opening session, “Healthcare in America: Best in the World?” presents factual, pragmatic information about the country’s current system of healthcare delivery, the principles underlying healthcare reform, and the government’s role in providing access to care. Part one of the event features Hugh Greene, CEO and president of Baptist Health in Jacksonville, Fla. Greene’s keynote address is titled “Understanding the Healthcare System and Healthcare Reform.”

Part two of the July 17 session, “Economics and Ethics: The Role of Government in Healthcare,” is led by Melanie Cozad, Furman economics professor, and George Khushf, philosophy professor and director for the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at University of South Carolina.

For more information about each of the programs, visit the Furman website here, or contact the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at 864-294-2998 or

Last updated February 22, 2016
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director