Inside the Beltway: Federal Policy and the Nonprofit Sector with M. Todd Tuten

UT alum and senior policy analyst at the law/lobbying firm of Patton Boggs in Washington, DC, M. Todd Tuten was at the LBJ School, October 21, 2013, to speak on federal spending and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

Tuten opened the talk with an outline of the federal budget agreement process, summarizing the events that led to the recent government shutdown with a look ahead to 2014. While it is a tough political environment to accomplish anything right now, he said, health care spending is a significant percentage of the national GDP, and recent trends are unsustainable if something is not done. 

In this context, despite the headlines and early technical challenges, implementation of the ACA is moving forward, Tuten said, but will take time. Exacerbating the partisan gridlock on the issue, the timeline for implementation was accelerated for political reasons, and the opportunities for problem-solving were compressed. As a result, in addition to the much-publicized technical problems with the feder