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Affordable Health Care to Be Spotlighted at Susquehanna University

March 9, 2009

SELINSGROVE, Pa. - A panel of respected health policy experts—including lawmakers, a best-selling author and a foundation executive—will meet at Susquehanna University this month to discuss health care reform, a signature issue of the Obama administration. 

Author Jonathan Cohn; Pennsylvania state Sen. Ted Hughes; Cara James, director of the Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars Program at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation; and Cybele Bjorklund, of the health subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, are just four of 15 experts who will weigh in on the issue of universal health care coverage at a symposium March 25 and 26 at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa.

Sponsored by the Arlin M. Adams Center for Law and Society, the symposium is a unique opportunity for audiences to hear from all sides: medical, socio-economic, legislative and business, with perspectives from consumers, practitioners, insurers and policy makers. Highlights of the two-day event are:
- On March 25 at 7:30 p.m., the keynote presentation by Jonathan Cohn, author of “Sick: The Untold Story of America's Health Care Crisis--and the People Who Pay the Price.” The talk will take place at the Degenstein Center Theater.

- On March 26, 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., panel discussions with participants from national and state government, insurance companies, health care practices, public health enterprises and educational institutions. All panel discussions will be held at Stretansky Concert Hall.

- Also on March 26, at 7 p.m., a concluding dialogue presenting both sides of the issue, for and against universal health care coverage, at the Degenstein Center Theater.

Panel discussions include The Role of Government, Employers and Insurers in Health Care, at 9:45 a.m.; Balancing Affordability and Comprehensive Coverage, at 12:30 p.m.; and Barriers to Reforming the Health Care System, at 2:30 p.m.

“President Obama announced last week to a joint session of Congress that the most important issues facing the nation are energy, education and health care,” said Allen Sobel, director of the Adams Center. “This symposium could not be more timely or on a more important topic. Those who attend will walk away better able to make informed decisions about whether our health care system can be saved and, if so, what needs to be done to save it.”

About 45 million Americans are without health insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office, which estimates that, without policy changes, the number will rise to about 54 million in 2019. Rising unemployment rates will only accelerate the problem. “The expense of sudden illness cannot be postponed like the purchase of a new car or clothes,” Sobel said. “Consequently, millions of American constantly face looming financial disaster.”

The symposium is free and open to the public.

The mission of the Arlin M. Adams Center for Law and Society at Susquehanna University is to provide educational opportunities that engage students and others in a rich, multidisciplinary examination of contemporary societal concerns; serve as an informational resource on issues affecting human rights and societal responsibility; and promote and support measures that enable members of the public to expand their understanding of the justice system. Its multifaceted programs allow students and others to investigate the connections between law and other fields of study, and to enhance their appreciation of the contribution of all disciplines in shaping local, state, regional, national and global policy. As part of an academic institution located in central Pennsylvania, the Adams Center is especially interested in promoting within its locale a fair, competent and accessible rural justice system that may be used as a template nationwide.

Founded in 1858, Susquehanna University is a private liberal arts college that prepares students for achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, interconnected world. Academic excellence, study and service learning abroad, collaborative research among students and faculty, and rich opportunities for creative and personal growth are hallmarks of a Susquehanna University education. Susquehanna students come from 30 states and 12 countries, and more than 90 percent of them find jobs or pursue graduate study within six months of graduation. The university is located in central Pennsylvania, in the town of Selinsgrove, along the banks of the scenic Susquehanna River and about three hours from major East Coast cultural, financial and recreational centers.

Contact: Karen Jones

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