Park University’s Hauptmann Lecture to Feature Dialogue on Obamacare

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

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Dr. Frank ThompsonFrank J. Thompson, Ph.D., distinguished professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark (N.J.) and an affiliated faculty member with the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy in New Brunswick, will be the keynote speaker at Park University’s 23rd annual Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann Distinguished Guest Lecture Series event on Wednesday, April 29. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the National Archives at Kansas City, 400 W. Pershing Road, in Kansas City, Mo., starting at 6:30 p.m. A reception will be held prior to the lecture beginning at 6 p.m.

Thompson’s lecture topic will examine “The Struggle to Implement Obamacare: Implications for American Governance.” According to Thompson, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 was an epic policy breakthrough, culminating a century of effort to expand health insurance coverage to nearly all Americans, but those striving to implement the law have faced a difficult, contentious context marked by deep-seated partisan polarization.

Thompson’s discussion will track the progress to date in implementing two major provisions of the PPACA — the creation of viable insurance exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid. The lecture will also show how the PPACA intersects with broader issues of American governance: the rise of the executive branch within the separation-of-powers system, the increased importance of the administrative presidency and the emergence of fractious federalism rooted in partisan polarization.

He has published extensively on issues of politics and administration, implementation, public management and health policy. In 2007, Thompson received a Robert Wood Johnson Investigator Award to study the evolution of Medicaid during the Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. The research resulted in a book, Medicaid Politics: Federalism, Policy Durability and Health Reform (Georgetown University Press), that examines the genesis and expansion of Medicaid, and its impact on the American health care system. Thompson was recognized in March by the American Society for Public Administration with the Dwight Waldo Award, which honors outstanding contributions to the professional literature, and with the Charles Levine Award for his demonstrated commitment in teaching, research and service to the wider public administration community.

The lecture series is named in honor of the late Park University professor emeritus of political science and public administration, Jerzy Hauptmann, Ph.D. Hauptmann taught at Park for more than 50 years, and he launched the University’s first graduate degree program in 1982. In 2001, Park’s School for Public Affairs was renamed the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs in honor of this remarkable educator.

The Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann Distinguished Guest Lecture Series was established through the generosity of alumni, colleagues and friends of Hauptmann upon his 40th anniversary at Park University. The Lecture Series brings outstanding scholars to the Kansas City area to address topics related to Hauptmann’s three areas of study: international politics, public administration and democracy.

While the lecture is open the public, reservations are required as seating is limited. To make a reservation, contact the National Archives at Kansas City at or (816) 268-8010. Requests for Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations must be submitted five business days prior to the event.

For more information about the lecture and the lecture series, co-sponsored this year by the National Archives at Kansas City, visit