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Ask the Experts About Reform: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Headed?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Before the Congressional summer recess began, four committees approved major reform bills; negotiations continue among some members of another. Now Congress returns having heard an earful from constituents about health care. We are clearly at a crucial stage in our consideration of how, and to what extent, we should reshape our health care system.

What is the status of major reform bills? How do they differ from each other, and from the plan that may emerge from the Senate Finance Committee? What are some of the outstanding issues that will need to be decided to get a bill to the President’s desk? Will the public option remain, or be replaced by nonprofit co-ops? What are some models for the co-op alternative? How far up the income scale will the subsidies for low income persons go under the various proposals? What financing mechanisms are on the table -- Capping the tax exclusion for employer-provided health benefits? Cuts in some Medicare expenditures? Will there be an employer mandate, and, if so, which employers will be affected? How ambitious will the final proposal be? How exactly do these proposals contain costs, and reform the delivery system, and how long will those steps take?

Attendees at this briefing, cosponsored by Eli Lilly, came prepared to pose whatever questions they had about the current health reform efforts to an expanded panel of prominent experts which included: Henry Aaron, The Brookings Institute; Joe Antos, American Enterprise Institute; Bob Berenson, The Urban Institute; Judy Feder, Georgetown University; and Dennis Smith, the Heritage Foundation. Julie Rovner, of National Public Radio, provided a status update on the progress of the bills under consideration. Ed Howard of the Alliance moderated.


Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform, Moderator
Henry Aaron, The Brookings Institute, Speaker
Joe Antos, American Enterprise Institute, Speaker
Bob Berenson, The Urban Institute, Speaker
Judy Feder, Georgetown University, Speaker
Dennis Smith, The Heritage Foundation, Speaker
Julie Rovner, National Public Radio, Speaker

Transcript, Event Summary and/or Webcast and Podcast

Transcript: Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 9/14/2009
Event Summary: Event Summary (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 9/14/2009
Full Webcast/Podcast: Ask the Experts About Reform: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Headed?

The full webcast and podcast for this briefing, as well as videos of individual speakers' presentations, are provided by Kaiser Family Foundation.

Source Materials

Sourcelist (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 9/14/2009
Speaker Bios (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 9/14/2009
Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 9/14/2009
Event Summary (Adobe Acrobat PDF), , 9/14/2009

Offsite Materials (briefing documents saved on other websites)

Why Paying for Health Care Reform Is Difficult and Essential, New England Journal of Medicne, 8/5/2009
Full Text of Rep. Charles Boustany's Republican Response, White House, 9/9/2009
Baucus Framework for Comprehensive Health Reform (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Sen. Baucus, 9/8/2009
Obama Heath Care Speech: Full Text, White House, 9/9/2009
Congressional Budget Office Letter to Rangel (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Congressional Budget Office, 6/17/2009
Fannie Med?Why a “Public Option” Is Hazardous to Your Health, The Cato Institute, 8/6/2009
Health reform side-by-side (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Kaiser Family Foundation, 8/7/2009
Setting Medicare Payment Policy: Is There a Role for an Independent Entity? (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Kaiser Family Foundation, 8/1/2009
New Fee on Health Insurance Companies Is Proposed to Help Expand Coverage, The New York Times, 9/7/2009


Julie Rovner, NPR's health policy correspondent, reviewed the status of health reform bills in Congress at the Sept. 14 briefing cosponsored by Eli Lilly.

Henry Aaron, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, was one of the experts answering questions about health reform legislation at the Sept. 14 briefing cosponsored by Eli Lilly.


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