Yale/Hastings Kickoff


Health care reform is a leading issue of American health policy. Reform will be difficult and controversial, and at this point uncertain in its outcome. President Obama has put it high on his list of policy initiatives and there is every expectation that bills will shortly be introduced in Congress. This symposium will examine where the country and Congress presently stand on reform. The symposium will also mark the first event at Yale of the newly established Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and Health Policy, a major initiative of cooperation between The Hastings Center and the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics.




Erika Blacksher, Ph.D., Research Scholar, The Hastings Center


Erika Blacksher joined the Hastings Center as a Research Scholar in Fall 2008 after two years as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at Columbia University. Her research agenda examines the ethical and policy implications of the social determinants of health and the well-documented and widening social inequalities in U.S. population health. She is particularly interested in questions related to health system reform, children’s health inequalities and the developmental origins of health, theories of health justice, and the ethics and politics of health promotion. In addition to her work in normative ethics, Dr. Blacksher has developed a line of empirical inquiry to identify the public’s values and priorities as they relate to social inequalities in health. She has published in leading bioethics journals on topics that include disparities in health and health care, healthy behavior policies, and children’s health inequalities. She holds a Ph.D. in bioethics from the University of Virginia and undergraduate degrees in both philosophy and journalism from the University of Kansas.




James Morone, Professor of Political Science and Urban Studies, Brown University


I received my Ph. D. at the University of Chicago and have taught at University of Chicago, Yale, Brown, and the University of Bremen. My books focus on politics, history and social policy. I’ve also written over 100 articles and essays – my recent favorites range from Harry Potter (“Dumbledore’s Wisdom”) to welfare reform (“American Ways of Welfare”) and political culture (Story Book Truths about Americans) to health care reform (Healthy, Wealthy and Fair). I am a frequent contributor to The American Prospect and the London Review of Books. I’m also active in policy work and have testified before Congress numerous times – most recently (April, 2006) addressing the 45 US Senate Democrats on a health policy vision for the future. Among my awards, I’m proudest of the three Hazeltine citations for teaching (1993, 1999, 2001), the APSA’s Kammerer Award for the Democratic Wish and my Pulitzer nomination (for Hellfire Nation).


Theodore R. Marmor, Professor Emeritus of Public Policy and Management & Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Yale University


Theodore (Ted) Marmor’s scholarship primarily concerns welfare state politics and policy in North America and Western Europe. He particularly emphasizes the major spending programs, which is reflected in the second edition of The Politics of Medicare (Aldine de Gruyter, 2000) and the book written with colleagues Mashaw and Harvey in the early l990s, America’s Misunderstood Welfare State (Basic Books, l992). The author or co-author of eleven books, Marmor has published over a hundred articles in a wide range of scholarly journals, as well as being a frequent op-ed contributor to U.S. and Canadian newspapers. Ted regularly writes op-ed essays for the Philadelphia Inquirer with long-time Yale law colleague, Jerry Mashaw.  Professor Marmor began his public career as a special assistant to Wilbur Cohen (Secretary of HEW) in the mid-1960s. He was associate dean of Minnesota’s School of Public Affairs, a faculty member at the University of Chicago, the head of Yale’s Center for Health Services, a member of President Carter’s Commission on the National Agenda for the 1980s, and a senior social policy advisor to Walter Mondale in the Presidential campaign of 1984. He has testified before Congress about medical care reform, social security, and welfare issues, as well as being a consultant to government and non-profit agencies. Marmor lectures frequently on health policy, management issues, and law to both management and law students. He has been an expert witness in cases ranging from the constitutionality of the Canada Health Act to asbestos disputes and drug pricing fraud.  He has also been a commentator on a variety of television and radio programs.


Peter A. Swenson, C.M. Saden Professor of Political Science, Yale University


Peter A. Swenson, (Ph.D., Yale University, 1986), is Yale’s C.M. Saden Professor of Political Science. He specializes in the comparative political economy of labor markets and social welfare in Europe and the United States. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on the economic, political and social foundations of social policy and market regulation in developed capitalist democracies. Among other things, Swenson is the author of two books, Fair Shares: Unions, Pay and Politics in Sweden and West Germany (1989) and Capitalists against Markets: The Making of Labor Markets and Welfare States in the United States and Sweden (2002). Recently he was awarded the APSA’s Follett Prize for best article in politics and history for “Varieties of Capitalist Interests: Power, Institutions, and the Regulatory Welfare State in the United States and Sweden” (Studies in American Political Development, 2004). His current project, Brought to Heal: A Century of Medical Politics in America, turns to the history and political economy of medical reform and medical progress. It covers subjects like medical education and research, the financing and organization of health care delivery through various forms of inisurance, and the evolution of evidence-based regulation of medical decision making. This is part of a larger long-term research project which is comparative in nature, analyzing the shifting interests and coalitions of organized provider, business, and labor groups in the evolution of national health care systems.


Daniel Callahan, Senior Researcher and President Emeritus, The Hastings Center, Garrison, New York


Daniel Callahan is Senior Researcher and President Emeritus of the Center.  He was its cofounder in 1969 and served as its president between 1969 and 1996. He is also co-director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and Health Policy. Over the years his research and writing have covered a wide range of issues, from the beginning until the end of life. In recent years, he has focused his attention on ethics and health policy. He has served as a Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Medical School and is now a Senior Scholar at Yale. He received his B.A. from Yale and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard. He has honorary degrees from the Charles University, Prague, the Czech Republic, the University of Colorado, Williams College, Oregon State University, the State University of New York and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr. Callahan is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences; a former member of the Director’s Advisory Committee, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and of the Advisory Council, Office of Scientific Responsibility, Department of Health and Human Services. He won the 1996 Freedom and Scientific Responsibility Award of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Callahan is the author of the forthcoming book, Taming the Beloved Beast: How Medical Technology Costs are Destroying Our Health Care System (Princeton University Press, 2009), and is the editor of a new blog, The Health Care Cost Monitor.


Learning Objectives:

  • Describe current plans for Health Care Reform in the US
  • Identify various barriers to implementing Health Care Reform in the US
  • Describe how to resolve the tension between Universal health care and increased spending


CME Credit Available

CME Accreditation Statement


 This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of The John D. Thompson Hospice Institute for Education, Training and Research, Inc. and the Yale Bioethics Center.  The John D. Thompson Hospice Institute for Education, Training and Research, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  The John D. Thompson Hospice Institute for Education, Training and Research, Inc. designates this education activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.



It is the policy of the John D. Thompson Hospice Institute for Education, Training and Research to ensure balance, independence, objectivity and scientific rigor in all its educational programs.  All faculty and planning members participating in these programs are expected to disclose to the program audience any real or apparent conflict of interest related to the content of their presentation.  When an unlabeled use of a commercial product or an investigational use not yet approved for any purpose, is discussed during their educational activity, the speakers are required to disclose that the product is not labeled for use under discussion or that the product is still investigational.