*Abbreviations under the "Available" column: A = Available // NA = Not Available // R = Previously Registered // WL = Currently on the Wait List

Let’s Debate Future Directions in US Health Care

Our US health care system is a mess, and the participants in this discussion group will figure out how to fix it! Well, more realistically, let’s create some possible road maps to a better health care system of the future. In the US, we have created a system that spends twice as much on health care as some other rich countries and gets worse results, including shorter life expectancy, higher infant mortality, and greater prevalence of chronic conditions. Our high health care spending has far-reaching consequences for the US economy, contributing to wage stagnation, personal bankruptcy, and budget deficits. Furthermore, health care spending is crowding out spending on everything else, including education, infrastructure, environment and other social services, even those that help people lead healthier lives. Proposed solutions are all over the map. Liberals often advocate a greater role for the federal government, e.g., a single-payer system like those in other countries. However, liberals fail to answer such fundamental questions as how to bring federal health-care costs under control or how to encourage efficiency and innovation. Conservatives often advocate for a free market approach, e.g., give the less wealthy a subsidy to buy whatever health insurance best meets their needs. However, conservatives fail to explain how to ensure provider competition or how to generate tax revenues that are sufficient to provide quality treatment for the poor. In a round-table format, we will review, discuss and debate the comprehensive and necessary reform of US health care that goes well beyond whatever incremental changes are currently being discussed by our politicians. We will examine a wide variety of proposals from experts across the political spectrum. Mike Kelley, who is not an expert, will lead this discussion, so you will need to bring your own thinking caps as we sort through these competing ideas.
Note: This course does not meet on Wednesday, November 22.

Instructor Bio:

Mike is an enthusiastic OLLI student who worked in computer technology for 35 years. He has previously led the OLLI discussion group “Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?” We will begin our health care discussion by raising several moral issues. In many ways, the answers to these issues will shape our desired future health care system.

Course Number Instructor Dates Day Time Location Available
B19 Michael Kelley Nov 1, 8, 15, 29, Dec 6, 13 We 9:30-11:30 a.m. OLLI Conference Room WL

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