Morgan Downey, STOP Alliance Policy Advisor, weighs in on where Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is today as it moves closer to the key date, October 1, 2013. What do you need to know? Individual mandate? State exchanges? Essential health benefits?
Thank you for the warm welcome to my new role with the STOP Obesity Alliance. It’s been an exciting time as I settle in at the George Washington University. As I’ve been working with the STOP staff to discuss our body of work and future direction internally, the external obesity landscape continues to evolve rapidly.
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View Dr. Richard H. Carmona’s, 17th U.S. Surgeon General and the Alliance’s Health and Wellness Chairperson, letter of support for the Essential Health Benefits Task Force recommendations here.
Morgan Downey, J.D. serves as Policy Advisor for the STOP Obesity Alliance, providing daily counsel and oversight for the Alliance's ongoing research, writing and advocacy efforts.
Mr. Downey is among the most respected names in obesity policy. Formerly Executive Vice President of The Obesity Society and Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the American Obesity Association, Mr. Downey has dedicated more than 10 years to driving awareness, support and actionable change to policies affecting obesity in America and has more than 30 years of experience in health policy.
Among Mr. Downey's many accomplishments are his successful efforts to have the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Social Security Administration recognize obesity as a disease, and his work to have obesity elevated in both Democratic and Republican Party Platforms. This ultimately resulted in both political parties holding forums on future obesity policy, at their respective 2008 national conventions.
Other notable accomplishments include Mr. Downey's success in changing Internal Revenue Service policies to allow taxpayers to deduct costs of obesity treatments as a medical deduction and in expanding National Institutes of Health research funding on obesity. He created the first series of conferences on obesity and public policy 10 years ago, collaborated with the Federal Trade Commission Partnership for Healthy Weight Management on efforts to control weight-loss fraud, and led efforts to create "The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity, 2001."
Mr. Downey also served as the director of the Washington office of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery, where he organized major expansions of Medicare coverage of bariatric surgery in National Coverage Determination.
His expertise is built on decades of briefing various government entities on health issues, including Congress, the Food and Drug Administration, the Social Security Administration, the Health Care Financing Administration, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mr. Downey brings extensive experience with the media, having been featured in numerous leading news outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall St. Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, C-SPAN, CNN, BBC, the Today Show and National Public Radio, among many others. A published researcher, he is consistently in demand for speaking engagements at health policy and obesity-oriented conferences and events.
Mr. Downey holds a B.A. from Fairfield University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.