Obama turns his hand to health policy analysisBMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i4442 (Published 15 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4442
- Douglas Kamerow, senior scholar, Robert Graham Center for policy studies in primary care, professor of family medicine at Georgetown University, and associate editor, The BMJ
As someone who writes about health policy, I was interested to see Barack Obama’s recent article in JAMA assessing the Affordable Care Act.1 It is not uncommon to see a US president commenting in a newspaper op-ed column, and a few previous presidents have also written commentaries for medical journals. But Obama’s six page JAMA “special communication,” with six graphs—several with new data—and 68 references, seemed more like a research article than an op-ed piece.
Unsurprisingly the article received a lot of attention from the journal and from readers. Not many medical journal articles have three accompanying commentaries (one by the editor) when they are published. Fewer still stimulate a near full page editorial in the New York Times.2 Obama’s article invites questions about its …