Ukraine Exchange Open World Presentation
February 15, 2012
Ms. Joy Wilson, Senior Federal Affairs Counsel, Health Policy Director, State-Federal Relations Division of the National Conference of State Legislatures spoke to a group of political and civic leaders from Ukraine. These leaders visited the U.S. on an Open World exchange program which facilitates visits to multiple cities across the country. The U.S. Congress established Open World in 1999 to bring emerging political and civic leaders to the United States for 10-day visits to meet their U.S. counterparts and gain firsthand knowledge of how the U.S. civil society works.
At the orientation seminar on February 9, Joy spoke about U.S. federalism, NCSL and health policy. She described the services NCSL offers to legislators and legislative staff in the U.S., but it was Joy’s knowledge of the United States’ health field that the Ukrainians were most interested in. Those in attendance were very interested to learn about aspects of the Affordable Care Act, especially the provisions regarding health insurance. Many Ukrainians were interested in how health insurance is provided in the United States and why there is currently controversy surrounding the issue. Joy touched upon other aspects of healthcare, such as the current trend of individuals opting out of vaccinations and the concerns arising as a result of this. A point of interest for the Ukrainians was how the United States entices doctors to work and stay in rural areas. The event was a great learning opportunity for Ukrainians to understand the health care system in the United States and they took full advantage by asking questions and networking with Joy afterwards.