Len Nichols and Gilbert Gimm Publish Ebola Issue Brief in The American Journal of Public Health

Read the publication here.

Len Nichols’ Review Published in The Gerontologist

Read Len Nichols’ review of the book, Health Care Reform and Disparities: History, Hype and Hope, by Toni P. Miles  in The Gerontologist 2013.  Article

Len Nichols and Joel Ario Publish Op-Ed in The Hill – States Take Practical Path on Exchanges

States take practical path on exchanges

When the Affordable Care Act was debated in Congress, the House of Representatives wanted one federal exchange and as much federal control of state insurance markets as possible. The Senate wanted state insurance exchanges and state flexibility to tailor market rules to local market conditions.

You can read the complete Op-Ed article through this link States Take Practical Path on Exchanges.

Len M. Nichols Published in The Hastings Center Report


The issues before the Supreme Court, arising as they did out of multiple cases and divergent appellate court rulings, were quite complex, and its final decision will be parsed rather differently by lawyers, health policy wonks, and economists (or metaphysical philosophers, in Chief Justice John Roberts’s memorable phrase). This essay will focus on one singular element: did the final ruling enhance or detract from our collective power to exercise stewardship over our health care resources?

Clearly Americans diverge on key features of a desirable society and on the wisdom of using government to achieve even mutually desirable goals. But before politics settles the fate of the Affordable Care Act (and perhaps also the federal role in health policy for the foreseeable future), we should focus on what the Court has allowed us to consider: if we want it to, federal power may constitutionally be marshaled to compel insurers to end discrimination against the sick and to offer more transparent products so the marketplace will better serve consumers.

Dr. Nichols’ article titled “Justice Roberts’s Health Care Stewardship” can be read here: The Hastings Center Report September – October Issue


Government Intervention in Health Markets is Practical, Necessary, and Morally Sound

This paper was the result of Len Nichols’ invited address and contribution to the Thomas A. Pitts Memorial Lecture, at Medical Ethics at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston  (October 27-28, 2011).  The paper is under review by the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics.

‘Making Heath Markets Work Better Through Targeted Doses of Competition, Regulation, and Collaboration’

In the Fall of 2011, Len M. Nichols published his articles “Making Health markets Work Better Through Targeted Doses of Competition, Regulation, and Collaboration” in the Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy. Please see the citation below.

“Originally published in Volume 5, Issue 1 St. Louis U. J. Health L. & Pol’y, Pages 7-25, Year 2011”

To view a PDF version of the article, please click here: Making Health Markets Work Better Through Targeted Doses of Competition, Regulation, and Collaboration – Len M. Nichols


‘Obesity and Health System Reform: Private vs. Public Responsibility’ by Len M. Nichols with Tony Yang


The obesity epidemic is not only impairing the health of millions of Americans but also giving rise to billions of added dollars in health care spending. Climbing rates of obesity over the past decades are one of the predominant determinants behind the surging pro­gression of health care expenses in the United States. Moreover, the less fit and less productive U.S. work­force has gradually eroded the nation’s industrial com­petitiveness. Since the early 1970s, adult obesity rates have doubled and childhood obesity rates have more than tripled[i],while health expenditures have risen two percentage points faster than the Gross Domes­tic Product (GDP)[ii], burgeoning from 8.8 percent in 1980 [iii]to a projected 17.9 percent in 2011.[iv]4 Studies analyze that greater than a quarter of America’s health care expenses are attributed to obesity[v]. The stun­ning growth in obesity has been imputed for 20 to 30 percent of the increase in health care costs since the late 1970s. If the proportion of obese population had stayed unchanged, then health care expenditures in America would be approximately 10 percent less on a per capita average than they are today.[vi]

“Obesity and Health System Reform: Private vs. Public Responsibility,” Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics v. 39 #3 (Fall 2011) pp. 380-86, with Y. Tony Yang.

Click here to view this article.

Over Health Care Reform: Vital Lessons from America’s Founding Fathers


Despite the ongoing attempts of House Republicans to kill President Obama’s health-care reform law, the history of America’s intense debate over ratifying the Constitution should make us optimistic about the law being accepted, improved, and implemented.

“Battle Over Health Care Reform: Vital Lessons from America’s Founding Fathers,” Christian Science Monitor, February 24, 2011.

Click here to view the article.

‘Implementing Insurance Market Reforms Under The Federal Health Reform Law’ by Len M. Nichols


Lost in the rhetoric about the supposed government takeover of health care is an appreciation of the inherently federalist approach of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This federalist tradition, particularly with regard to health insurance, has a history that dates back at least to the 1940s. The new legislation broadens federal power and oversight considerably, but it also vests considerable new powers and responsibilities in the states. The precedents and examples it follows will guide federal and state policy makers, stakeholders, and ordinary citizens as they breathe life into the new law. The challenges ahead are formidable, and the greatest ones are likely to be political.

Implementing Insurance Market Reforms Under The Federal Health Reform Law. Health Affairs, 29(6)1152-1157.  June 2010.

Click here to view this article.

‘Be Not Afraid’ by Dr. Nichols


Voters are angry and distrustful of Washington. Democrats have lost their nerve. Republicans, sensing weakness, are closing in for the kill. We have seen this health care reform horror movie before.

Our leaders in Congress and the White House face a fateful fork in the road. They can follow the public’s fear and confusion down the path of perpetual inaction. Or they can lead. They can let the confusion fester or they can leverage the support of health care innovators who can explain the benefits of reform to all. This movie can have a happier ending, one that is good for our health, for our health care system, and for freeing our economy from the debt legacy of the past decade. An ending that might even help restore voters’ faith in our ability to govern ourselves.

“Be Not Afraid,” New England Journal of Medicine (February 24, 2010), v. 362:e30.

Click here to view the article.