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'It's Still Too Early to Be Popping Champagne Corks' - Expert to Comment on Health Care Reform- House Healthcare Proposal

Friday, September 18, 2009 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, July 29 As you continue to cover the House healthcare proposal Dr. Leighton Ku, health policy researcher and professor is available to speak with you about this subject. Below is a statement about the new House Healthcare Compromise from Dr. Leighton Ku, professor in the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University Medical Center.

"The news that conservative Democrats in the House, also known as the Blue Dogs, have reached a basic agreement on the House health reform bill is very good news, because it suggests that the House of Representatives will have a framework that could enable it to pass a health reform bill in the near future. Similar news that the Senate Finance Committee is moving closer to agreement on a bipartisan bill also suggests that the Senate will also be able to move forward. Of course, many groups still desperately want to block health reform, so it is still too early to be popping champagne corks."

About Leighton Ku, PhD, MPH

Professor of Health Policy

The George Washington University

As a health policy researcher, a public policy analyst, and an advocate, Dr. Ku's career has been built around the effort to understand and improve access to affordable health care for vulnerable populations. Among his areas of expertise are Medicaid, the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), immigrant health, state health reform, and health care financing and budgets, with an emphasis on strengthening the health care safety net. "I am interested in applying the lessons of research to policies and programs at the federal and state levels, and working with governmental officials, community groups and advocacy organizations to do it," he says.

Professor Ku joined SPHHS as a full-time faculty member in 2008, but he has held adjunct positions at GW's School of Public Policy and Public Administration since the early 1990s. During that time, he also served as a senior fellow at the Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which focuses on improving policies for low- and moderate-income Americans; as principal researcher at the Urban Institute; and as a policy and budget analyst for the federal Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program.

Education

Bachelor of Arts (Biochemistry), Harvard College, 1975

Master of Science (Nutritional sciences), University of California, Berkeley, 1979

Master of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, 1979

Doctor of Philosophy (Health policy), Boston University, 1990

Research

Professor Ku is the author, or co-author, of more than 200 articles and reports about health policy and public health focused on health care access and insurance coverage for low-income and vulnerable populations.

Community Service

Dr. Ku has testified before Congress and state legislatures and has submitted expert affidavits in federal and state lawsuits involving Medicaid cost-sharing and immigrant rights. He serves on the National Advisory Board of the Center on Social Disparities on Health at the University of California at San Francisco and on the board of the Alliance for Fairness in Reforms to Medicaid. In 2005, he earned an award from the Mississippi Center for Justice for promoting racial and economic justice.

SOURCE George Washington University
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