Featured Events

June 13

Private Philanthropy and Immigrant Dreamers

Private Philanthropy and Immigrant Dreamers

The private sector is stepping up to help young immigrant Dreamers while Congress continues to debate their future. Few Americans have done more than Donald Graham, the chairman of the board of Graham Holdings Company and former publisher of the Washington Post. Mr. Graham cofounded TheDream.US to fund college scholarships for hundreds of Dreamers, and he recently received significant donations to expand the program to thousands more. Graham will discuss the success of his initiative, his future plans, and his views on immigration policy and philanthropy. Marisela Tobar and Sadhana Singh, two Dreamers who graduated from Trinity Washington University this year after receiving scholarships from his foundation, will share their perspectives on how his program changed their lives, their hopes for the future, and what barriers they still face to attaining the American dream.

June 8

Overcharged: Why Americans Pay Too Much for Health Care

Overcharged: Why Americans Pay Too Much for Health Care: Panel 1

Why is America’s health care system so dysfunctional and expensive? Why do hospitalized patients receive bills laden with inflated charges that come out of the blue from out-of-network providers, or that demand payment for services that weren’t delivered? Why do we pay $600 for EpiPens that contain a dollar’s worth of medicine? Why is more than $1 trillion—one out of every three dollars that passes through the system—lost to fraud, wasted on services that don’t help patients, or otherwise misspent?

In a new book published by the Cato Institute, Overcharged: Why Americans Pay Too Much for Health Care, Cato adjunct scholars Charles Silver and David Hyman answer these questions. Overcharged shows how government replaces competition and consumer choice with monopolies and third-party payment, making America’s health care system as expensive as possible.

At this special book conference, the authors, joined by other national health care experts, will lay bare the root causes of our health care system’s ills and show how the health care sector will become more efficient and pro-consumer when it is subjected to the competitive forces that apply to the rest of the economy. Prices will fall, quality will improve, and medicine will become more patient-friendly when consumers take control of their health care dollars and exert pressure from below.

To see how this transformation will work, please join us in person or online to learn about the potent “medicine” Overcharged prescribes.


9:00 – 10:20AM Panel 1 – Misdiagnosis: The Problems Congress Has Ignored

  • David A. Hyman, Coauthor, Overcharged; Professor of Law, Georgetown University; Adjunct Scholar, Cato Institute
  • Andy Slavitt, Chairman, United States of Care; Former Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Gail Wilensky, Senior Fellow, Project HOPE; Former Administrator, Health Care Financing Administration
  • Moderator: Elisabeth Rosenthal, Editor-in-Chief, Kaiser Health News; Author, An American Sickness
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10:20 – 10:35AM Break
10:35 – 11:55AM Panel 2 – Mistreatment: Why Obamacare Failed and What Will Succeed

  • Charles Silver, Coauthor, Overcharged; Professor of Law, University of Texas-Austin School of Law
  • John E. McDonough, Professor of Public Health Practice, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Moderator: Megan McArdle, Columnist, Washington Post
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11:55AM – 12:15PM Break
12:15 – 1:15PM Keynote Address

  • Eric D. Hargan, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Introduction by Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute
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1:15 – 2:00PM Lunch

May 31

Will Social Media Save Democracy?

Will Social Media Save Democracy?

Many critics think social media poses a novel threat to liberal democracy. Seeking to divide Americans, agents of the Russian government bought ads on Facebook. Extreme speech also finds a home on the internet, fostering conflicts that appear to generate more heat than light. Governments and consumers worry about “fake news” designed to misinform readers for fun, profit, and power. And yet social media has made more information more widely available at less cost than any technology since the printing press. Less reliant on gatekeepers than traditional media, the new purveyors of news arguably better satisfy the diverse preferences of the American electorate. Following up on the Project on Political Reform at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, we will consider the troubles and triumphs of the social media platforms that promise to host American political debate for generations.

Past Events

June 15

William Howard Taft: The Last Constitutional Presidency?

William Howard Taft: The Last Constitutional Presidency?

Featuring the author Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO, National Constitution Center; with comments by Hon. Douglas H. Ginsburg, Senior Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia; moderated by Gene Healy, Vice President, Cato Institute.