Published: February, 2008

NASI’s 20th annual policy conference focused on achieving affordable health coverage for all Americans. Taking place in the midst of the early Presidential primaries, the conference brought together the major participants in the health coverage debate to frame the problem, compare specific policy proposals, and identify ways of overcoming the obstacles to reform.

Conference Co-Chairs

  • Jonathan Gruber, Professor of Economics at MIT and member of the board of the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector
  • Marsha Lillie-Blanton, Senior Advisor on Race, Ethnicity and Health Care at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Associate Research Professor at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services
  • Chris O’Flinn, President of ELM Income Group and former Vice President for Corporate Human Resources, AT&T

**Click on the session title below to access PowerPoint presentations from each session. Most sessions are available for viewing via archived webcast by, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation.**


Day One: Thursday, January 31, 2008

9:00am Registration Opens

10:00am Welcome and Opening Speaker

  • Welcome
    Margaret Simms, President, National Academy of Social Insurance, and Senior Fellow, the Urban Institute
  • Opening speaker: What are the big issues (coverage, cost, and quality), and why should we tackle them now?
    Uwe E. Reinhardt, James Madison Professor of Political Economy, Princeton University
  • >> Webcast available from <<

10:45am Session I: What Should be the Role of Employers in Delivering Health Insurance?

  • Moderator: Chris O’Flinn, President, ELM Income Group
  • The Role of Employers: Past, Present, and Future? Sherry Glied, Professor and Chair, Department of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University
  • Employer’s Perspective: Henry Eickelberg, Vice President for Human Capital Processes, General Dynamics
  • Labor Perspective: Mary Kay Henry, International Executive Vice President, Service Employees International Union
  • >> Webcast available from <<

12:30 Luncheon

1:00pm Luncheon Speaker: Is a Consensus Developing on How to Expand Coverage?

1:45pm Session II: How Should the Private Insurance Market be Structured in a Universal System of Coverage?

  • Moderator: Jennie Chin Hansen, President-Elect, AARP
  • Insurance Markets 101: Cori E. Uccello, Senior Health Fellow, American Academy of Actuaries
  • Federal and State Roles in Health Reform: Lawrence D. Brown, Professor of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University
  • Administrative Issues: Elliot K. Wicks, Senior Economist, Health Management Associates
  • Integrating Occupational and Non-Occupational Medical Care: Frank Neuhauser, Research Faculty, University of California Survey Research Center
  • >> Webcast available from <<

3:30pm Session III: How Should We Balance Affordability and Comprehensive Coverage?

  • Moderator: Marsha Lillie-Blanton, Senior Advisor on Race, Ethnicity, and Health Care, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Associate Research Professor of Health Policy, George Washington University
  • Overview: Jonathan Gruber, Professor of Economics, MIT, and Board Member, Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector
  • No Free Lunch-But Government-sponsored Reinsurance Could Improve the Balance: Katherine Swartz, Professor of Health Economics and Policy, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Role of Medicaid: Christine Ferguson, Associate Research Professor of Health Policy, George Washington University
  • Ethical Implications of Policy Choices in Health Insurance: Ruth Faden, Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Director, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
  • >> Webcast available from <<

5:00pm Reception and Presentation of the 2008 Heinz Dissertation Award

6:00pm Dinner

7:00pm Dinner Speaker

  • Jonathan Cohn, Senior Editor, The New Republic and author of Sick: The Untold Story of America’s Health Care Crisis—and the People Who Pay the Price

Day Two: Friday, February 1, 2008

8:00am NASI Member Breakfast

9:00am Concurrent Roundtable Sessions

  • The Role of States in Financing and Implementation of Universal Coverage
    Moderator: Brian Quinn, Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    Participants: Genevieve Kenney, Senior Economist, Urban Institute; Alan Weil, Executive Director, National Academy of State Health Policy; Helen Halpin, Professor of Health Policy, University of California, Berkeley; Judith Moore, Senior Fellow, National Health Policy Forum, GWU.
  • Addressing the Invisible Uninsured: Long-term Care as Part of Health Care Reform?
    Participants: Chris Jennings, President, Jennings Policy Strategies, Inc.; Robyn Stone, Executive Director, Institute for the Future of Aging Services; Stephen McConnell, Vice President Public Policy and Advocacy, Alzheimer’s Association; Ron Pollack, Executive Director, Families USA.
  • Partnerships for the Employment of People with Disabilities
    Kenneth McGill, Independent Consultant, CESSI
    Participants: Sue Suter, Associate Commissioner for Employment Programs, Social Security Administration; Alexandra Kielty, Program Manager, Employment and Training Administration, Dept. of Labor; Joseph Razes, Team Leader, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Dept. of Health and Human Services.
  • Too Many Cuts in Unemployment Insurance Financing?
    Steve Wandner, Economist, U.S. Department of Labor
    Participants: Wayne Vroman, Economist, Urban Institute; Robert Pavosevich, Economist, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Managing Life and Spending Changes During Retirement—Insights From Research
    Participants: Anna Rappaport, Independent Consultant; Barbara Butrica, Senior Research Associate, Urban Institute; Zenaida Samaniego, Department of Labor
  • Social Security Education: Reaching Communities of Color, Women and Youth
    Moderator: Kilolo Kijakazi, Program Officer, Ford Foundation
    Participants: Heidi Hartmann, President and CEO, Institute for Women’s Policy Research; Luisa Grillo-Chope, Economic Security Policy Analyst, National Council of La Raza; Maya Rockeymoore, President and CEO, Global Policy Solutions, LLC; Virginia Reno, Vice President for Income Security Policy, NASI

10:15am Session IV: Can an Individual Mandate Promote Individual Responsibility?

  • Moderator: Gail C. Christopher, Vice President, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Overview: Mark Pauly, Bendheim Professor and Chair of the Health Systems Department, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
  • Administrative Issues: Eugene Steuerle, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute and Paul Van de Water, Vice President for Health Policy, NASI
  • The Massachusetts Experience: Jonathan Gruber
  • Experience in the Netherlands: Kieke G.H. Okma, Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Policy, New York University
  • >> Webcast available from <<

12:15pm Luncheon: Point-Counterpoint: Is a Single-Payer Plan the Best Option?

  • Moderator: John K. Iglehart, Founding Editor, Health Affairs
  • Yes: James A. Morone, Professor of Political Science, Brown University
  • No: Len M. Nichols, Director of the Health Policy Program, New America Foundation
  • >> Webcast available from <<

2:00pm Session V: How Can We Overcome the Barriers to Change?

  • David Colby, Vice President, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Christine Cassel, President and CEO, American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Cybele Bjorklund, Staff Director, Subcommittee on Health, House Committee on Ways and Means
  • Leonard Schaeffer, Chairman, Surgical Care Affiliates, and Senior Advisor, TPG Capital
  • G. William Hoagland, Vice President for Public Policy, CIGNA
  • Juan A. Figueroa, President, Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut
  • >> Webcast available from <<

3:30pm Adjournment

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has provided major financial support for this conference.

Student Scholarships: Support to NASI is provided from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation for scholarships for students covering the full conference registration fee. A limited number are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, contact Sarah Cody at (202) 452-8097 or by e-mail at

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