Weekend Voices: Democracy Forum 10/04/08

Producer: Marge May,  Host: Ann Luther, Co-president, League of Women Voters of Maine

Topic: Case Study in Democracy:  Health Care Reform

How do things work that we don’t yet have universal coverage?  Other industrialized countries have universal health care systems which provide better health outcomes than ours at a lower cost.    What does our failure to enact meaningful health care reform say about the state of our democracy?  Describe the ongoing impasse within the Congress with respect to passage health care reform.  How is health care reform legislation is drafted?   Who are the key players?  How do the House and Senate differ in their treatment of legislation in this area?  Over the years, health care has become increasingly privatized and run for profit.  What role has this played in the decision making process?   How big a factor is campaign finance?   What can be done to get the health care reform most people want in the U.S.?

Brian Biles, Professor in the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University.  In various roles, he has been helping to analyze and shape the nation’s health care policy for more than three decades. He spent much of that time in government service, having served as staff director of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health and later, as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Trish Riley, currently serving as the Director of the Maine Governor’s Office of Health Policy and Finance.  Prior to joining the Governor’s staff, she served as president of the nonprofit Center for Health Policy Development and the executive director of its National Academy for State Health Policy.  She has served in appointive positions under four Maine governors and in numerous other leadership positions nationally and here in Maine in the field of health policy.
FMI: www.lwvme.org