Emory Report
November 12, 2007
Volume 60, Number 11

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November 12, 2007
Institute for Advanced Policy Solutions hosts meetings on health care reform

By lydia ogden

On Monday, Nov. 12, Emory’s Institute for Advanced Policy Solutions will host two meetings examining the critical issue of health care reform in the United States, the first in a series of colloquia probing critical policy issues confronting America.

“Rising health care costs represent the most important domestic policy issue facing employers, families and government,” said Kenneth E. Thorpe, director of the Institute. “Since 2000, the cost of health insurance has increased by nearly 60 percent — about three times the rate of growth in wages. The U.S. spends nearly 50 percent more on health care compared to other countries, yet key health care outcomes, including infant mortality, rates of chronic disease and life expectancy, are roughly equivalent to or, by some measures, not as good as other countries.”

The first meeting, held in conjunction with the Center for American Progress, will convene local corporate leaders in a roundtable discussion examining employers’ experiences in providing health insurance coverage, including health care costs, employer-based coverage and strategies for change. The conversation will be facilitated by former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. This is an invitation-only event.

In April, Daschle appeared before the House Subcommittee on Health, testifying that comprehensive health care reform “will demand that everyone check ideology at the door — and that everyone focus not on what ideology dictates should work, but on what experience shows will work. To get to that point, there needs to be business leadership. Businesses are a major payer of health care and player in the political system.” Emory is collaborating with the Center for American Progress to include business sector perspectives in the national dialogue on health reform.

The second meeting, open to all members of the public, will feature a presentation by Daschle on the prospects for meaningful health reform in today’s political environment, and the essential elements of reform. This meeting will be held in the Cox Hall ballroom and will begin promptly at 1:30 p.m. Daschle and Thorpe will take questions from the audience following the presentation.

“Factors generating the rise in health care spending are complex and require comprehensive solutions, not piecemeal policies,” Thorpe said. “Tom Daschle has a unique perspective on health care reform, and the myths that prevent meaningful progress. Anyone who is concerned about health, health care and health system change should make a point to attend this seminar.”