Sarah Wetter, JD, MPH is a Senior Consultant with the Network for Public Health Law’s Western Region Office. She also serves as a Fellow with the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University. She holds a JD from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University (ASU), and her MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Sarah has previously worked with the Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland. In this role, she consulted with state and local health departments on preparing for disasters and emergencies via law and policy. She has also worked as a Research Scholar with ASU’s Center for Public Health Law and Policy, and a staff attorney with the Network for Public Health Law. In these roles, she helped provide technical legal assistance to state and local policymakers seeking to implement evidence-based strategies to improve public health. She has published numerous articles on public health law topics including emergency preparedness, food and nutrition, and preemption.

Articles & Resources

The No Surprises Act: Congress Acts Against Costly Medical Bills

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19 and Health EquityMechanisms for Advancing Public Health

January 26, 2021
by Sarah Wetter

Each year, millions of Americans receive unexpected and often unaffordable medical bills that are not only an economic hardship, but can also dissuade them from seeking needed medical care in the future. On December 21, 2020, Congress passed the No Surprises Act as part of the $900 billion COVID-19 spending deal. The Act addresses one of the main causes of unexpected bills, banning the practice of “balance billing,” where out-of-network medical providers bill patients for costs not covered by the patient’s health insurance.

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Judicial Trends in Public Health 2020: Year in Review

WebinarsJudicial Trends in Public Health

January 19, 2021
by Brooke Torton, James G. Hodge, Jr., Jennifer Piatt, Kathleen Hoke, Kerri McGowan Lowrey, Leila Barraza, Mathew Swinburne and Sarah Wetter

Join Network attorneys as they highlight their top choices for pivotal, influential judicial decisions over the past year on topics including emergency legal preparedness, religious freedoms, reproductive rights, food insecurity, health justice, and the future of the ACA.

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Reopening America: Protecting Employees as They Return to Work During COVID-19

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19Social Distancing Measures

May 29, 2020
by Sarah Wetter

Across America, governments are allowing businesses to reopen as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Employees may be eager to return to their jobs and income, but could be at heightened risk of COVID-19 transmission. The "return to work" push is emerging with employees bringing various legal claims. Meanwhile, legislation is arising that could immunize companies complying with state-level or CDC reopening guidance. Yet adhering to guidance is not a foolproof guard against COVID-19, especially as the White House refused to implement CDC’s specific guidelines for reopening businesses such as restaurants, child care centers, churches, and schools. This blog examines legal claims available to employees returning to work and how new legislation could impact public health.

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COVID-19: Navigating Public Health Emergency Legal Responses Underlying Re-opening State/Local Economies

WebinarsCOVID-19Emergency Legal Preparedness and ResponseEmergency Response

May 28, 2020
by James G. Hodge, Jr. and Sarah Wetter

This webinar focused on emerging constitutional and other legal and policy challenges to state and local efforts to re-open their economies despite concerns of public health officials and health care practitioners over the potential for significant impacts on communal health.

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