Key architect of Obama's health care plan to speak at Mason

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel will speak to students about health care policy (photo courtesy of Mason professor, Steven Pearlstein)
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel will speak to students about health care policy (photo courtesy of Mason professor, Steven Pearlstein)

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, one of the primary architects of President Obama’s health care reform plan, will be visiting Mason next week to give a lecture on health care policy.

Now head of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Emanuel was invited as a guest lecturer by Robinson Professor Steven Pearlstein to present for his government course titled, "Money, Markets and Economic Policy."

"I chose Zeke because I know him and because he has . . . become the public face of the health reform legislation," said Pearlstein in an email. "Zeke is controversial. Conservative Republicans are particularly critical of earlier writings in which he argues that we waste a lot of money providing care to people in the last days and weeks of their lives."

The lecture will take place on Wednesday, April 16 1:30 p.m. in the Johnson Center Cinema and is open to all members of the Mason community.

According to Pearlstein, "Money, Markets and Economic Policy" is based around a single central question each week. The week of Dr. Emanuel’s lecture, the theme is “Why Do Health Care Costs Rise Faster than the Costs of Everything Else?” Emanuel will address this question in his lecture.

Dr. Emanuel became one of the key architects of the healthcare reform plan while serving as a health policy advisor for the Obama administration. His younger brother, Rahm Emanuel, is a former White House Chief of Staff under President Obama and is now mayor of Chicago. Additionally, his youngest brother, Ari, is a Hollywood talent agent and the inspiration for the character, Ari Gold, on the HBO series '"Entourage."

Pearlstein said he hopes to bring in at least one high profile guest speaker each semester. Last semester he brought in Tim Noah, TRB columnist at The New Republic, to talk about income inequality.

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