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LBJ School Health Policy Experts Inform Debate on Health Care Reform in Multiple Forums

AUSTIN, Texas-- Sept. 9, 2009-- From distilling the key ideas behind the Obama Administrations proposed health care plan to urging President Obama to ease public fear by abandoning rhetoric in favor of addressing common sense questions, LBJ School health policy experts Jacqueline Angel,David Warner, Edwin Dorn, and Ben Sasse are informing the public and offering their opinions on the heated health care debate.

LBJ School Professor Jacqueline Angel, along with Ronald Angel, addresses the serious lack of health care coverage among the Mexican-origin population in an opinion piece from September 15, 2009 in the Austin American Statesman titled "Hispanics get overlooked in health care debate."

Angel points to lower levels of education among the Hispanic population and the tendency of health care coverage to be a employment-based benefit as determining factors in whether or not Hispanics have health care coverage.

These issues and many more will be covered in the upcoming 2009 International Conference on Aging in the Americas, co-organized by Angel, which begins in the evening of September 15 and goes through September 17.

For the full opinion piece, visit: http://www.statesman.com/opinion/content/editorial/stories/2009/09/15/0915angel_edit_.html.

Angel addresses health care issues facing the elderly, gaps in coverage, and the focus of Aging in the Americas Conference in the Daily Texan on September 17 titled "Seminar focuses on healthcare gap between rich, poor" and in a KUT Radio interview titled "Austin conference addresses issues for elderly."

LBJ School Professor David Warner, a member of the executive committee for the LBJ School's Center for Health and Social Policy (CHASP), sat down with KUT Radio's Jennifer Stayton on August 20, 2009, for a piece titled "Health Care 101: Beyond Town Hall Talk," where Warner explained that there are essentially two proposed health care bills. The two bills offer three key methods of providing insurance to the public and differ slightly on the details. First, both bills would offer Medicaid to everyone living under poverty.  Second, the bills propose that anyone from the ages of 55 and 65 who can't find other insurance would be able to buy Medicare. Third, employers above a certain size would either be required to provide insurance or pay into a fund that would essentially subsidize insurance. The two bills agree on what Warner described as a "connector," where insurers would have to say what kind of coverage they will offer to people and people can either buy individually or in a group.

Warner also described the "public option" that has been mentioned so frequently in the media and by both sides of the debate.

"[The public option] is  that one of the options at the 'conenctor' would be a standard plan, a federal government plan where the federal government will pay this much and the insurance companies have to offer that basic plan but also must offer plans that are richer with more benefits that cost more," said Warner.

For the full interview, visit http://kut.org/items/show/17909.

Warner has also taken the debate internationally in a September 4 article in Forbes titled "Medicare in Mexico: American retirees push Congress to allow Medicare benefits in Mexico."

For the full article, visit

http://www.forbes.com/2009/09/04/mexico-medicare-retirees-personal-finance-health-care.html

Warner continues the discussion in a USA Today article from September 1, titled "Mexico's healthcare lures Americans."

For the full article, visit:  http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-08-31-mexico-health-care_N.htm

Proving that the Medicare in Mexico issue is of growing importance, Warner also shared his views on the topic with TIME in an article titled "http://kut.org/items/show/17909. Warner has also taken the debate internationally in a September 4 article in Forbes titled "Medicare in Mexico: American retirees push Congress to allow Medicare benefits in Mexico." For the full article, visit http://www.forbes.com/2009/09/04/mexico-medicare-retirees-personal-finan... Warner continues the discussion in a USA Today article from September 1, titled "Mexico's healthcare lures Americans." For the full article, visit: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-08-31-mexico-health-care_N.htm Warner also participated in a student run health care town hall meeting on September 10, hoated by the University Democrats and The Roosevelt Institution at the University of Texas at Austin. For the full article, visit http://www.dailytexanonline.com/university/university-democrats-bring-st... .">Medicare Savings: Is the Answer in Mexico?" on October 23.

Warner also participated in a student run health care town hall meeting on September 10, hoated by the University Democrats and The Roosevelt Institution at the University of Texas at Austin.

For the full article, visit

http://www.dailytexanonline.com/university/university-democrats-bring-students-into-health-care-debate-1.1874258.

In an opinion piece on September 8, 2009 for the Austin American Statesman titled "Regain Control of the Debate," LBJ School Professor Ed Dorn offers "a few good words" to President Obama to describe his health care plan -- choice, quality and affordability.

"Those are the key ideas that I have distilled from the administration's description of its plan," said Dorn. "They also are the concerns that have risen above the din at health care town meetings."

Dorm goes on to criticize the Whitehouse for being too verbose in its descriptions of the health care proposal.

"Right now, the administration's most succinct statement about health care reform runs several hundred words on the whitehouse.gov web site, and none of those words stands out as being more important than any of the others," said Dorn. "Lacking crisp language of its own, the White House has had to respond to the vocabulary of its opposition: 'government takeover,' 'socialism,' even the vile 'death panel' canard. When you let your opponents define the terms of a debate, your chances of winning are slim."

For the full opinion article, visit http://www.statesman.com/opinion/content/editorial/stories/2009/09/08/0908dorn_edit.html.

Ben Sasse
In his article for Forbes titled "Do Health Care Reformer Fear a Reading Public?," co-authored by Senator John Cornyn, LBJ School Assistant Professor and  U.S. assistant secretary of health and human services from 2007 to 2009 Ben Sasse suggests that more Americans are reading the legislation and demanding answers to commonsense questions, not the rhetoric that Sasse feels has permeated the debate.

"Asking if Washington's rhetoric matches the reality of what the bills say is not only the right but the responsibility of an engaged, educated citizenr," said Sasse. "Beltway insiders do not seem to realize that average Americans no longer take politicians' vague promises at face value."

Sasse goes on to list a series of questions that he feels the President should address in order to bank public trust and urges the President to stear away from the usual talking points.

"By honestly engaging the centrist questions of the voters Wednesday night--instead of parroting the central planners' one-size-fits-all talking points--the president could provide the specificity the people are demanding and lead a supermajority of the middle," said Sasse."

For the full article, visit: http://www.forbes.com/2009/09/08/health-care-debate-reform-polls-opinions-contributors-speech.html.