WAMU 88.5 : The Big Fix

The Big Fix: Health Care

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Our focus turns to ideas to improve health care services, while reducing costs. Proposals include paying for medical care only when healthy, extending Medicare benefits to people as young as 60 and allowing communities to sponsor doctors' education. We analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the ideas with Tom Scully, General Partner at Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, and Ron Pollack, Founding Executive Director of Families USA.

Guests:

Tom Scully is currently General Partner at Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe and Senior Counsel at Alston & Bird LLP - a law and lobbying firm where he focuses on health care regulation and legislation. He was Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under President George W. Bush from 2001-2004. CMS is now Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP, the largest agency in the U.S. Government.

At CMS, Mr. Scully had an instrumental role in designing and passing Medicare reform and Medicare Part D legislation and in making the agency more open and accountable to the public. He initiated the first public reporting and disclosure for comparative quality among hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and dialysis centers. Before joining CMS, Mr. Scully served as president and CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals from 1995 to 2001.

Ron Pollack is the Founding Executive Director of Families USA - a national organization for health care consumers. The Hill, a weekly newspaper covering Congress and their staffs, named Mr. Pollack one of the nine top nonprofit lobbyists. Modern Healthcare named Mr. Pollack one of the 100 Most Powerful People in Health Care.

He was appointed by President Clinton as the sole consumer representative on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry in 1997. Mr. Pollack helped prepare the Patients' Bill of Rights, which has been enacted by many state legislatures.

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