Experts View Landmark Legislation as an Experiment in Translational Research

BOSTON (September 12, 2013) – A researcher’s voice of reason entered the national debate on “Obamacare” today when Springer Science+Business Media released The Affordable Care Act as a National Experiment: Health Policy Innovations and Lessons, edited by Harry P. Selker, MD, MSPH and June S. Wasser, MA. The book’s fresh perspective asserts that health policy innovation is translational research directed at improving the public’s health.

The Affordable Care Act as a National Experiment outlines the history and impact of healthcare reform from 16 authors who were on the ground for its inception. Experts in health policy, public health, government, and medicine from universities, research institutes, hospitals and health plans explain the nuances of the purpose and creation of the ACA, review case studies, and explore opportunities for the future of healthcare delivery. Readers will appreciate the book’s compelling, measured contribution to the often contentious public discourse.

“The ACA is the largest health policy experiment our nation has ever undertaken, and we have a tremendous opportunity, and responsibility, to learn from this innovation,” says Selker. “Unlike experiments in a laboratory, changes to health policy face numerous real-world challenges. Our book tells the story of many of these challenges through the lens of translational science.”

Selker is Dean of Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and Executive Director of the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Center. He provided counsel around healthcare delivery and research to the House and Senate authors of the ACA, and is an advocate and advisor in Washington in support of clinical research, research training, and for improvements in the healthcare delivery system. Nationally, Dr. Selker has served as president of the Society of General Internal Medicine, the Society for Clinical and Translational Science, and the Association for Clinical Research Training, and on the boards of many organizations. He has been an active advisor on research and research training programs in the United States and internationally. Board-certified in internal medicine, he maintains his medical practice at Tufts Medical Center. Dr. Selker is the author of 200 articles about health policy, clinical and translational research, and comparative effectiveness research, and has covered decades of research in the delivery of emergency cardiac care (see also: Emergency Diagnostic Tests for Cardiac Ischemia (Wiley-Blackwell, 1997).

Wasser is Instructor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine with extensive experience in the promotion of clinical and translational science and a focus on policy around the translation of medical research into real-world impact.


About Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)

Tufts CTSI (, a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported partnership among all the schools and hospitals of Tufts University, Northeastern University, Brandeis University, RAND, and healthcare industry and community organizations, was established in August 2008. Its purpose is to accelerate the translation of laboratory and medical research into clinical use, widespread medical practice, and into improved healthcare delivery and health policy. It connects people to research resources, consultation, and education, and fosters collaboration with scholars of all disciplines and with community members, with the ultimate goal of improving the health of the public. It was originally funded by grant number UL1RR025752 from the NIH National Center for Research Resources, and now by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, grant number UL1TR000073. .