Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Two Billionaires and Health Reform

What do two billionaires and reforming the American health care system have in common?

We're not sure. But we're going to get a little TMZ on you here.

The Brookings Institution's Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform hosted a Nov. 17 meeting focused on the various aspects of reforming the health care system in 2009. The series of panels addressed health care delivery, reimbursement reform, political prospects and mobilizing consumers.

Some of the leading minds and players attended and offered their thoughts on what's next and what it will look like: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala, ex-FDA Commissioner/CMS Administrator Mark McClellan, Harvard Business School's Michael Porter, and AHRQ's Carolyn Clancy, to name a few.

While we were watching the lively debate onstage, we couldn't help but notice a "Hey, I know that guy from somewhere but where?" person walk by us to his seat. It was Nike founder Phil Knight. While wondering what Phil Knight could possibly be doing at an Engelberg briefing on health reform with the wonkiest of the wonks, another "Hey, where do I know her from?" person brushed by us. Oh, it was just Teresa Heinz Kerry catching a session on "Policy Reforms to Improve Health Care Delivery."

Okay, one billionaire in a room of 75 people is fine, but TWO billionaires? That's a bit much. Turns out Brookings was holding their trustees meeting this week, which is why they happened to catch the meeting. What was interesting to us was they stayed for almost the entire 4-hour event and looked pretty interested in the discussion from what we could gather.

We don't know what to make of the fact that two billionaires sat through and were engaged in a half-day policy meeting, but we figure it's got to mean something, right?

Next week on the IN VIVO Blog, we'll tell you about Brangelina's secret baby and whether Britney and Lindsey are planning a supergroup of bad singers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can't speak to Phil Knight, but Ms. Heinz Kerry and the Heinz Foundation has long organized and sponsored a series of conferences on "Womens' Health and the Environment", with the 11th annual conference held at the end of October in Boston.

To conference website