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Health of the Nation--Coverage for All Americans


In May 2008, the New England Journal of Medicine and the Massachusetts Medical Society brought together 13 panelists—physicians, academics, and business, insurance, and political leaders—for the 2008 Shattuck lecture on U.S. health policy and health coverage. These experts included Charles Baker, president and chief executive officer of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care; Susan Dentzer, the editor-in-chief of Health Affairs; Bill Frist, M.D., a former U.S. senator (R–TN); and Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis, among others.

The vigorous discussion—moderated by Arthur R. Miller, J.D., of the New York University School of Law—focuses on challenges faced by to the U.S. health care system, including the inherent flaws of a reimbursement system that rewards high-tech procedures over time spent with patients, the disproportionately high costs of new drugs, and the obstacles the nation faces in providing universal access. The panelists also discuss potential solutions, like payment reform, the creation of patient-centered medical homes, and the promise of information technology.

A video of the seminar, entitled "Health of the Nation—Coverage for All Americans," as well as written excerpts, are available at:

Publication Details



C. D. Baker, A. Caplan, and K. Davis et al., Health of the Nation--Coverage for All Americans, New England Journal of Medicine, Aug. 21, 2008 359(8):777–80.