LBJ School to Host Conference on Medicare

April 25, 2008

Event: "LBJ Centennial Conference: Medicare: Past, Present, and Future," a conference on Medicare featuring keynote addresses by Peter Orszag and Mark B. McClellan, followed by a panel discussion with other policy makers and healthcare experts.

When: Monday, April 28 from noon-9 p.m.

Where: The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum.

Background: The Center for Health and Social Policy (CHASP) at the LBJ School of Public Affairs will host the "LBJ Centennial Conference, Medicare: Past, Present, and Future" on Monday, April 28 at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum starting at noon. The conference will be webcast live. Visit www.utexas.edu/lbj/webcasts on the day of the event to access the webcast. You will need to have QuickTime installed to watch the streaming video.

A delayed webcast of this event will be provided by kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation and will be available after 9 p.m. EST, Friday, May 2 at http://www.kaisernetwork.org/healthcast/commonwealth/28apr08. Along with the webcast, a transcript will be made available.

The conference will examine the past, present and future of Medicare, with keynote addresses from Peter Orszag, Ph.D., director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., a former administrator of the centers for Medicare and Medicaid and a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. Orszag, who will open the event, has become an influential figure in the national health care debate for directing a large increase in health care related research during his tenure at the CBO. Recently, the Wall Street Journal wrote that because of the stockpile of data his office has collected and his knack for thorough economic analysis, he will "play a key role in the fate of the next president's efforts to re-organize the health care-system" (CBO Chief is Health-Care Referee, 4-21-08).

McClellan, in addition to his role as the top health care policy maker in George W. Bush's administration, is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a visiting professor in health policy at the LBJ School. Said McClellan, "Medicare is not just an important part of the health care system, but it is key to driving innovation, availability and effective use of treatments throughout that system. Medicare reform is essential to health care reform, and vice versa." McClellan will deliver his keynote at 6:30 p.m.

Medicare policy has recently been in the shadow of other health and social policy challenges. Yet, it will come to the top of the agenda for the next Congress and president by necessity as costs rise, disparities worsen, and the needs of seniors and people with disabilities change. With this in mind, CHASP has reached out to several key policy makers to present at the conference, including Karen Davis, former deputy assistant secretary for health policy in the Department of Health and Human Services and president of the Commonwealth Fund; Roger Wilkins, historian and civil rights leader; Barbara B. Kennelly, a former member of Congress and president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare; Chris Jennings, former senior health policy adviser to President Bill Clinton and the president of Jennings Policy Strategies; and John C. Goodman, president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis.

"CHASP is uniquely positioned to host this conference given its roots in the legacy of LBJ and its research that is preparing the nation for the next great health reform debate," said Dr. Jeanne Lambrew, conference organizer, associate at CHASP and former senior adviser on health care policy to President Clinton. Lambrew has recently written two books on the health care crisis in America. "Critical: What We Can Do About The Health Care Crisis" was released in February and was co-written with Scott Greenberger and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. "Reforming Medicare: Options, Tradeoffs, and Opportunities" will hit bookstores in May and was co-written with Henry J. Aaron.

The Center for Health and Social Policy is part of the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and focuses its research on health care, disability, aging, welfare, retirement and U.S.-Mexico health care and border health issues. In addition to Lambrew, CHASP associates and LBJ Professors David C. Warner and Jacqueline L. Angel will moderate the panels. The conference is one of the special events scheduled in the year long celebration of Lyndon B. Johnson's 100th birthday (1908-2008). It is being co-sponsored by the Commonwealth Fund, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin.

For more information, contact: John Fournier;  Susan Binford, Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs, 512-415-4820.