Published on February 10, 2016 at 8:40 a.m. by Katie Stripling  
U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer
U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer

U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer addressed McWhorter School of Pharmacy students and faculty for the school’s annual policy and advocacy lecture on January 29 in Samford’s Reid Chapel. The discussion focused on national health care reform.

“We must change how health care is delivered and paid for,” said Palmer. “When there is no connection between the service provided and the price paid, the system tends to be overused.”

Palmer outlined a proposed plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to implement an individual health savings account program with incentives for healthy living and opportunities to reduce administrative cost through cash transactions. Palmer also emphasized a need for malpractice reform in order to restore the physician patient relationship and improve patient outcomes.

“Congressman Palmer’s remarks challenged our students to better understand the evolving health care environment,” said pharmacy dean, Michael A. Crouch. “Students gained a broader perspective of healthcare reform, and learned more about proposed national legislation,” added Crouch.

Palmer is a co-sponsor of H.R. 592, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, which would amend the Social Security Act to cover pharmacist’s professional services. According to Michael D. Hogue, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice, H.R. 592 is a key piece of federal legislation important to the pharmacy profession.

“We’re grateful for Congressman Palmer’s support of the pharmacist’s ability to practice at the full scope of our license,” said Hogue. “The passing of H.R. 592 will allow pharmacists in Alabama to address the needs of our state’s medically underserved,” he added.
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.