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“The U.S. Health Care System 'In Irons' — in Which Direction Will It Emerge?”
Oliver C. Schroeder, Jr. Scholar-in-Residence Lecture
presented by the Law-Medicine Center
SEP 25, 2007
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Moot Courtroom (A59)

In sailing, there is a term, "In Irons" that describes a boat caught between winds pushing in opposite directions. The sails are flapping wildly but the boat is not going in either direction. This term could be used to describe the current U.S. health care system. The cost of private and public health insurance has been growing at or near double digit rates; the number of uninsured continues to creep upwards; and persistent quality of care problems plague the system.

  • Is the U.S. health care system directionless?
  • How did we get into this situation?
  • Is there something we could do to get the health care system moving in a different direction?
  • If we are not skillful at controlling our own destiny, which direction are we likely to head?
  • Do we know in what direction we would like to go?

Speaker Information
Stuart N. Altman, Ph.D.
Dean, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management and Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy, Brandeis University

Stuart AltmanStuart Altman is an economist whose primary research interests are federal and state health policy. He has an M.A. and Ph.D. degree in Economics from UCLA and has taught at Brown University and the Graduate School of Public Policy at University of California, Berkeley.

Dean Altman was Co-Chair for the Legislative Health Care Task Force for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (2000-02). In 1997, President Clinton appointed him to the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare. Dean Altman was Dean of The Florence Heller Graduate School (1977-1993) and interim President of Brandeis University from 1990-1991. For twelve years, he chaired the congressionally legislated Prospective Payment Assessment Commission responsible for advising Congress and the Administration on the functioning of the Medicare Diagnostic Related Group (DRG) Hospital Payment System and other system reforms.

A member of The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, Dean Altman is also on the Board of Tufts-New England Medical Center and Co Chairs the Advisory Board of the Schneider Institute for Health Policy at The Heller School at Brandeis. He chairs The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sponsored Council on Health Care Economics and Policy, a private non-partisan group whose mission is to analyze important economic aspects of the U.S. health care system and evaluate proposed changes in the system. In addition, Dean Altman is Chair of The Health Industry Forum, which brings together diverse group leaders from across the health care field to develop solutions for critical problems facing the healthcare system.
Additional Information
Free and open to the public. There will be a $25 fee for CLE for lawyers who attend.

Supplemental Readings:
· Altman Bibliography
· Will the US Continue to Allocate

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