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    Syracuse University to Host Debate on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at National Press Club March 29

    March 12, 2012

    Capitol HillPanelists will debate constitutionality of the PPACA and whether it’s good public policy

    Syracuse University is set to host a thought-provoking debate on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) at the National Press Club on March 29. A panel of experts will be assembled by SU from the Cato Institute, the National Senior Citizens Law Center and Princeton University, along with a moderator who has more than three decades of experience on Capitol Hill, to debate the constitutionality of the PPACA and whether it is good public policy. The debate will serve as the inaugural event for the Syracuse University Greenberg Speaker Series and comes a day after the Supreme Court of the United States will have heard an unprecedented six hours of arguments on this issue. This event will take place in the main ballroom of the NPC at 7 p.m.

    The panel comprises Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies, Cato Institute; Simon Lazarus, policy counsel, National Senior Citizens Law Center; Robert Levy, chairman, Cato Institute board of directors; and Uwe Reinhardt, James Madison Professor of Political Economy and professor of economic and public affairs at Princeton University. Michael Lewan, principal, Brown Rudnick, will moderate the debate.

    “When the Supreme Court issues its decision on the Affordable Care Act the impact will be felt across every corner of this nation. Accordingly, I can’t begin to express how important it is to have this public debate now,” says Lewan G’74, a public policy alumnus of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. “I am excited that SU, long known as a leader in public policy, has assembled a Who’s Who of healthcare and constitutional thought leaders in our nation’s capitol to have an open, honest dialogue that will challenge people’s ideologies and notions about health care.”

    Lazarus will argue that the PPACA is constitutional and that arguments to the contrary are using a set of core buzzwords and messages that are designed to reframe the debate, thereby shifting the political and legal consensus. Lazarus is a trustee of the Center for Law and Social Policy, and writes frequently on issues of law and policy. His articles have appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Newsweek, The New Republic, The American Prospect, Roll Call, Slate, The Hill, Politico and The Huffington Post. Lazarus writes frequently for the American Constitution Society’s ACS Blog and has published several ACS issue briefs.

    Levy will argue that the Affordable Care Act allows unprecedented expansion of federal power, which debases individual liberty, rendering it unconstitutional. Levy founded CDA Investment Technologies, a major provider of financial information and software, and was its CEO until 1991. Levy received his Ph.D. in business at age 24, went to law school at age 50, and then clerked on the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. From 1997-2004, Levy was an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University. He has written numerous articles on investments, law and public policy. His writing has appeared in the Washington Post, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, National Review, and many other publications.

    Reinhardt will argue that the thinking behind the Affordable Care Act is sound and good policy because the health care system cannot correct itself and therefore the government needed to act. Recognized as one of the nation’s leading authorities on health care economics, Reinhardt has been a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences since 1978. He is a past president of the Association of Health Services Research. From 1986-1995, he served as a commissioner on the Physician Payment Review Committee, established in 1986 by Congress to advise it on issues related to the payment of physicians. He is a senior associate of the Judge Institute for Management of Cambridge University, UK; and a trustee of Duke University and the Duke University Health System.

    Cannon will argue that President Obama could have developed a law improving our health care system, making it affordable and more secure, through a bottom-up process of innovation. Prior to working with the Cato Institute, Cannon served as a domestic policy analyst for the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee under Chairman Larry E. Craig, where he advised the Senate leadership on health, education, labor, welfare and the Second Amendment. Cannon has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, C-SPAN, Fox News Channel and NPR. Cited by the Washington Post as "an influential health-care wonk at the libertarian Cato Institute," his articles have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Huffington Post, Forum for Health Economics & Policy and the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law and Ethics.

    The Greenberg Speaker Series was created by Paul Greenberg ’65 to strengthen the Syracuse University presence in Washington, DC, by bringing together alumni, friends and the Washington, DC, community for a series of events led by world-class individuals who motivate, fascinate, challenge and inspire.