"Unless we fix our health care system--in both the public and private sectors--rising health care costs will have severe, adverse consequences for the federal budget as well as the U.S. economy in the future." This is one of the key messages that Comptroller General David M. Walker has been delivering across the country in town-hall style meetings, in speeches, and on radio and television programs. Using another format to explore issues with health care experts, Mr. Walker convened a forum at GAO on May 17, 2007. Attendees included health policy experts, business leaders, and public officials selected for their subject matter knowledge and representation of various perspectives. Participants examined health care cost, access, and quality challenges in discussion sessions led by distinguished economists Robert Reischauer and Mark Pauly and other leading health care authorities Carolyn Clancy and Suzanne Delbanco. Nationally known health insurance expert Leonard Schaeffer served as the keynote lunchtime speaker. At the conclusion of the forum, participants were polled for their views on points raised during the discussions. The poll was conducted using electronic voting technology that produced real-time, but confidential, results.
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