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

January 27, 2010 — 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
434-924-8419, garson@virginia.edu
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"
434-982-6744 (office)
434-962-1603 (mobile)
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
434-982-4323, tam3j@virginia.edu
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
Office Phone: 434-982-3970
Mobile Phone: 434-249-4489
E-mail: loisshepherd@virginia.edu
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
434-924-4671, mf9c@virginia.edu
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
434-924-8485, rdp5p@virginia.edu
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
434-924-7481 (office)
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
434-924-7666 (office)
434-244-6363 (home)
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