The Annals of Health Law Editorial Board is proud to present our Winter 2016 Issue. The
Editorial Board seeks out articles that reflect the diversity of legal issues that arise in a
field as dynamic as the healthcare industry. This year’s Editorial Board has endeavored to
provide a publication that addresses a range of issues, from opportunities for community
health centers, to a proposal tying the ACA to the tort system, and finally to international
perspectives on access to health care as a human right. The selected pieces contribute to
the continued recognition of the Annals of Health Law as one of the country’s preeminent
health law and policy publications.
Our first article, authored by Kathryn Watson, examines the 340B Program and how
community health centers can benefit from relationships with chain pharmacies to reduce
costs and expand access to pharmaceutical products for vulnerable populations. Ms.
Watson details the full origins and development of the 340B program before discussing
the risk-benefit analysis community health centers must undergo before agreeing to
participate in the program. The article offers a comprehensive understanding of the
unique position of community health centers in relation to the 340B program.
Our second article, authored by Professor Maxwell Mehlman, Jay Angoff, Patrick
Malone, Professor Charles Silver, and Peter Weinberger, serves as a response to a recent
proposal that would limit compensation for future medical expenses arising out of tort
actions to the maximum out of pocket limit under the Affordable Care Act. The authors
argue that such a proposal is based upon assumptions and misunderstandings about the
purposes of the ACA, and would result in bad public policy. If accepted, the authors
suggest that the proposal would lead to negative financial consequences for patients,
disrupt the tort system’s fundamental purpose, and pass costs on to taxpayers.
The concluding article addresses a fundamental access to care issue through the lens of
the public health crisis of obstetric fistula throughout Africa and East Asia. Dr. Obiajulu
Nnamuchi, Dr. Edwin Ezike, and Dr. Jude Odinkonigbo address the haunting stories of
women affected by this condition, their lack of access to care, and the demographic issues
that correlate with the continued occurrence of a condition otherwise eradicated
throughout the Western world. The authors analyze the continued fight to eliminate
obstetric fistula through a human rights analysis based on the Millennium Development
Goals set by the UN in 2000, and argue that the future prevention of the occurrence of
obstetric fistula is a fundamental human rights obligation.
The entire Annals of Health Law Editorial Staff would like to thank the distinguished
authors who contributed their outstanding work and innovative discussions to this issue
of the Annals. This issue is the result of our authors’ unbridled enthusiasm and dedication
to health law and policy scholarship. The Editorial Board and I would like to thank every
member of the Annals team for their efforts and dedication throughout the editing
process—the issue would not have been the success that it is without the commitment of
our Editors and Members. I would also like to express my gratitude to my Executive
Board colleagues: Morgan Carr, Sumaya Noush, Amy Michelau, Jennifer Fenton, Elise