U.Va. Experts Who Can Comment on President Obama's State of the Union Address

27-Jan-2010 5:00 PM EST

University of Virginia

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Newswise — President Barack Obama is expected to focus on job creation, helping the middle class, fighting the deficit and health care reform in his State of the Union Address tonight, to begin at 9 p.m. E.T.

U.Va. experts who can comment on health care reform are:

Dr. Arthur Garson Jr. Executive vice president and provost of the University of Virginia Robert C. Taylor Professor of Health Science and Public Policy Former dean of the U.Va. School of Medicine Provost Garson is a nationally recognized authority on health policy and reform. He has served on the White House panel on Health Policy and on several national task forces on improving the health care system. Garson helped originate and draft the "Health Partnership Act" (S. 325 and H.R. 5606), which funds grants to states for innovations to improve coverage for the uninsured, quality and efficiency. He teaches the introductory health policy course, Myths and Realities of American Health Care. His book, "Health Care Half Truths: Too Many Myths, Not Enough Reality," was published in April 2007. Garson and co-authors Carolyn L. Engelhard of U.Va. and Stan Dorn of the Urban Institute recently published a provocative paper, "Reducing Obesity: Strategies from the Tobacco Wars," which has garnered a great deal of media attention and comment.

Carolyn Engelhard Assistant Professor of Public Health Sciences Co-author of "Health Care Half Truths: Too Many Myths, Not Enough Reality" Engelhard, co-author of a major book on the challenges and politics of health care reform (see above), excels at breaking down the complex issues involved.

Dr. Thomas Massaro Massaro is associate dean for graduate medical education and director of performance improvement at the U.Va. Medical Center. A professor of pediatrics and the Harrison Foundation Professor of Medicine and Law, he teaches a health care reform seminar and medical care for children. “Health systems should be in a constant state of evolution, but we should strive to have a well-articulated and consistent set of principles that guide the reform agenda,” Massaro said. “Most developed countries have a clear statement of the strategic goals and objectives of their health care programs. We do not. I hope Congress and the executive branch spend some time debating the big picture before they get to the details of who pays for what services for whom.”

Lois Shepherd Professor of law and associate professor of biomedical ethics Author of "If That Ever Happens to Me: Making Life and Death Decisions After Terri Schiavo" Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities Talk of death panels has been a rhetorical trope for those against Obama's health care reform, but the questions of when to "pull the plug on grandma" are tough decisions for millions of families, she says.

Margaret "Mimi" Foster Riley Riley teaches health law at the School of Law and in the Department of Public Health Sciences at U.Va.'s School of Medicine. Riley taught a seminar last year focusing on the health care reform debate and has written and presented extensively about biomedical research, genetics, reproductive technologies, stem cell research, animal biotechnology, health disparities and chronic disease. “Everyone agrees that some change is needed, but they disagree on what that change should be. And everyone's second choice is to do nothing, and that is a position that may have less political risk, especially in this economy.”

Dr. Robert Powers Professor of Medicine and Emergency Medicine A medical professor and emergency room physician, Dr. Powers just taught a January-term course earlier this month on "The American Health Care System."

U.Va. experts on the economy are: Robert F. Bruner Dean of the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia Distinguished Professor of Business Administration Author of seven books and an expert in several areas of finance, including financial crises and mergers and acquisitions, Bruner speaks frequently with the media. Major media have widely quoted him for stories about the current financial crises. He often provides big-picture lessons and historical context, drawing on his recent book, "The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market's Perfect Storm," which examines a financial crisis that bears remarkable similarities to today's turbulence.

William J. Wilhelm Jr. Professor of commerce at U.Va.'s McIntire School of Commerce An expert on financial markets and institutions, Wilhelm's most recent book is a history of investment banking: "Investment Banking: Institutions, Politics, and Law."

George S. Geis Professor of Law, U.Va. School of Law Geis is an expert in business law whose research focuses on business alliances, corporate finance, contract theory, and mergers and acquisitions. He is a former management consultant with McKinsey & Company and has worked for law firms in New York and Los Angeles. David Leblang Professor of Politics http://millercenter.org/about/staff/leblang

David Leblang is a faculty associate in the GAGE program and J. Wilson Newman Professor of Governance and Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia. A specialist in political economy, Leblang has served as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund, The Directorate of Finance and Economics of the European Commission, and the Department of Defense. He is co-author of Democratic Politics and Financial Markets: Pricing Politics (2006). Leblang has written on the politics of economic growth, the determinants of exchange rate policy, the causes of currency crises and the link between elections and economic expectations.

Herman Schwartz Professor of International Relations http://people.virginia.edu/~hms2f/vitae.html Schwartz's research focuses on the political and economic causes for the relocation of production on a global scale, and the political and economic consequences of such shifts. He edited and was a contributor to Employment "Miracles" (University of Amsterdam Press, 2005) and also wrote States vs. Markets: The Emergence of the Global Economy (2nd edition, Palgrave, 2000). In February, he held a colloquium at the Miller Center: It's more than just subprime: The housing crisis, global capital flows, and American power.