Cato Institute | 1000 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001

| About the Conference | Registration |

The Cato Institute invites you to participate in a one-day conference, featuring health care experts from across the political landscape, on the state and future of health care reform in America.   Even before the results of the 2008 elections were known, lawmakers in Washington, D.C., were preparing some of the most sweeping health care reforms America has seen in decades.

The need for changes could not be clearer. Health care costs are growing unsustainably. And, while America leads the world in medical innovations and responsiveness to patients, there are large deficiencies in many areas, including the frequency of medical errors, and patients losing their health insurance at the very moment they need it most. Further, much of the U.S. health care sector lacks basic advances that have been incorporated by other parts of America's economy, electronic recordkeeping in particular.  Why isn't the marketplace fixing these problems?  Will the reforms being crafted in Congress improve this picture, or make these problems even more acute?

Cato has assembled an outstanding group of recognized experts and distinguished speakers for a significant one-day examination of the issues surrounding this year's health care reform effort. We hope you'll be able to join us.

Conference Schedule:

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Registration — F. A. Hayek Auditorium Foyer

9:00 – 9:30 a.m. Opening Remarks

Edward H. Crane, President of the Cato Institute, will welcome guests to the conference and offer guidance for the day's discussion.

9:30 – 10:00 a.m. Health Care Reform: the Long-Term Perspective

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) will discuss the impacts of various possible health care reforms. What positive reforms could be done? What will happen if we pass the wrong reforms? And what would the cost be of no reform at all?

Download Podcast of the Opening Remarks and Health Care Reform: the Long-Term Perspective

10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Panel 1: Should Congress Mandate Coverage?

Moderator: Megan McArdle, blogger at The Atlantic
Panelists: Jon Kingsdale, Executive Director of the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector; Aaron Yelowitz, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Kentucky and Adjunct Scholar, Cato Institute; Michael D. Tanner, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute and Coauthor, Healthy Competition: What's Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It.

Among reformers seeking universal health insurance coverage, a legal requirement that individuals purchase and/or that employers offer health insurance is a potential area of compromise. How will mandates affect the insured and uninsured, employers and workers, and the cost and quality of health care?

Download Podcast of Panel 1: Should Congress Mandate Coverage?


11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Panel 2: Where Does Delivery-System Reform Fit?

Moderator: Susan Dentzer, Editor-in-Chief of Health Affairs
Panelists: Shannon Brownlee, Senior Fellow, the New America Foundation, and Author, Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer; Alain Enthoven, Marriner S. Eccles Professor of Public and Private Management, Emeritus, Stanford University; Regina Herzlinger, Nancy R. McPherson Professor of Business Administration Chair, the Harvard Business School and Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute; Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute, and Coauthor, Healthy Competition: What's Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It.

The rising cost of health care is not the only problem crying out for reform. Health care quality in America falls far short of what it could be. How will reform affect the way clinicians practice medicine and the quality of care patients receive?

Download Podcast of Panel 2: Where Does Delivery-System Reform Fit?

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 – 2:15 p.m. Luncheon Address: Perspectives on reform from the U.S. Congress

Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), and Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA), will each offer his opinion on how health care ought to be reformed and how health care will be reformed, as well as the challenges reform faces in Congress. Afterward, John Reichard, Editor of CQ Healthbeat, will moderate a joint question and answer session.

Download Podcast of the Luncheon Address: Perspectives on reform from the U.S. Congress

2:15 – 3:30 p.m. Panel 3: Another Government Health Insurance Program?

Moderator: Karen Tumulty, National Political Correspondant for Time Magazine
Panelists: Cathy Schoen, Senior Vice President, the Commonwealth Fund; Gail Wilensky, Senior Fellow, Project HOPE; David A. Hyman, Richard and Marie Corman Professor of Law and Medicine at the University of Illinois, Adjunct Scholar, Cato Institute, and Author, Medicare Meets Mephistopheles; Karen Davenport, Director of Health Policy, Center for American Progress.

A major sticking point is whether Congress should create a new government health insurance program to compete with private insurers to cover Americans not yet eligible for Medicare. Is fair competition between public and private insurance feasible? And how would it affect the cost and quality of care?

Download Podcast of Panel 3: Another Government Health Insurance Program?


3:45 – 5:00 p.m. Panel 4: Is There a Free-Market Alternative?

Moderator: Tom G. Donlan, Barron's Editorial Page Editor
Panelists: Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Former Director, Congressional Budget Office, and Director of Domestic and Economic Policy for the McCain presidential campaign ; Mark V. Pauly, Bendheim Professor and Professor of Health Care Management, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; Stephen T. Parente, Associate Professor and Director of Medical Industry Leadership Institute, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota; Richard L. Scott, Chairman, Conservatives for Patients' Rights.

At the White House summit on health care reform, President Obama said, “If there is a way of getting this done where we're driving down costs and people are getting health insurance at an affordable rate, and have choice of doctor, have flexibility in terms of their plans, and we could do that entirely through the market, I'd be happy to do it that way.”  Are there free-market reforms that can meet those goals?  Can the market reform health care?

Download Podcast of Panel 4: Is There a Free-Market Alternative?

5:00 – 5:45 p.m. Reception

Free to Attendees — Healthy Competition

Healthy Competition Attendees of the Conference will receive a free copy of Healthy Competition: What's Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It. Published by the Cato Institute — and coauthored by two of the Conference speakers, Michael Cannon and Michael Tanner — the book provides a wealth of analysis on the best and worst ideas in health care reform.

Also available for separate purchase

Crisis of AbundanceCrisis of Abundance: Rethinking How We Pay for Health Care

How a greater reliance on private saving and market innovation would eliminate waste, contain health care costs, and improve the quality of care.

Medicare Meets Mephistopheles Medicare Meets Mephistopheles

Let's say you're the devil, and you want to corrupt the American republic. How would you go about it? Well, you might create something like Medicare, the federal health care program for the elderly.