medical school

Meet the press: Rep. Patrick Kennedy stayed on-message during and after the panel discussion while addressing the challenges of healthcare reform.

Credit: John Abromowski/Brown University

Can we agree on healthcare reform?

At an Alpert Medical School panel discussion, the ups, downs, pros and cons of a national health insurance program provided grist for debate – and a brief protest.
By Mark Hollmer  |  December 2, 2009  |  Email to a friend

More than 150 people and reporters from some 15 news organizations who attended the Alpert Medical School’s Levinger Lecture on November 30 witnessed a vivid debate about health insurance and the politics behind it. They heard why those shaping the future of healthcare coverage must find a way to end the rapid price escalation that is crushing individuals and businesses across the country. And they saw a brief interruption by protestors who oppose the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions in any government healthcare plan.

Panelists (from left) Wing, Kennedy, Kelly, and Mor: Panelists (from left) Wing, Kennedy, Kelly, and Mor The panel discussion in Andrews Dining Hall marked the first public appearance by U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) since his highly publicized tussle with the Catholic Bishop of Providence over health care reform and abortion.

Edward Wing, dean of medicine and biological sciences, led the discussion and a question and answer with the panel, which also featured Vincent Mor, chair of the Department of Community Health, and Alpert Medical School student Erin Kelly ’07.

Erin Kelly: ‘Politics have narrowed the focus.’: Erin Kelly: ‘Politics have narrowed the focus.’ “The panel discussion was a great opportunity to deal withmisconceptions about the current healthcare reform legislation and why the current system is unsustainable,” Kelly said this week.

“It explained how current politics have forced Congress and the Obama administration to narrow their focus,” she added, “and why insurance reforms and universal coverage are the necessary first steps to any successful overhaul of the American health care system.”