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Intelligence Squared

Tuesday, October 10 at 2:00 pm

The U.S. Health Care System Is Terminally Broken

The United States spends more on health care than any other nation, but the system remains woefully inefficient. Consumers are fed up with soaring costs and poor outcomes, insurers take issue with market instability, and providers lament rising barriers to quality care. And while government is forced to contend with enormous financial strain, employers fear that rising health care costs will impact wages and sap their competitive advantage. Have the structural shortcomings of America’s fragmented system put us on the road to total system failure? Do we need to design tomorrow’s health care on a clean slate, or can innovations to the existing health care framework jolt the system back to life?

The Debaters:
Shannon Brownlee
Visiting Scientist, Harvard School of Public Health & Sr. Vice President, Lown Institute
Shannon Brownlee is senior vice president of the Lown Institute and a visiting scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is co-founder of the Right Care Alliance, a network of activist patients, clinicians, and community leaders. Brownlee is author of Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer, which she published while serving as acting director of the Health Policy Program at the New America Foundation. She is a nationally recognized writer and essayist whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, Times of London, Time, and others.

Dr. Robert Pearl
Fmr. CEO, The Permanente Medical Group
Robert Pearl, M.D., is one of the most influential physician leaders today, according to Modern Healthcare, and author of the bestselling book Mistreated: Why We Think We're Getting Good Healthcare—And Why We're Usually Wrong. As the former CEO of The Permanente Medical Group, the largest medical group in the nation, and as president of the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, he was responsible for the medical care of 5 million Kaiser Permanente members on both coasts.  Pearl is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, a clinical professor of surgery at Stanford University, and on the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel
Bioethicist & Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania
Ezekiel J. Emanuel, M.D., is an oncologist, author, and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. He was founding chair of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health. Previously, he served as a special advisor on health policy to the director of the Office of Management and Budget and National Economic Council. Emanuel is author of several books including Prescription for the Future and Reinventing American Health Care. He is currently Vice Provost for Global Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania, a Venture Partner at Oak HC/FT, and a Fox News contributor.

Dr. David T. Feinberg
President & CEO, Geisinger
David T. Feinberg, M.D., MBA, is president and CEO of Geisinger, one of the nation’s largest health services organizations known for reinventing medical care. Named one of the most influential people in healthcare by Modern Healthcare, Feinberg is a well-known national speaker, especially on the subject of patient experience, and has published numerous articles. He is triple-board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in child, adolescent and addiction psychiatry. Prior to joining Geisinger, Feinberg served as CEO of UCLA’s hospitals, associate vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences, and president of UCLA Health System.

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