The Welfare State in Crisis: Health Spending v. Other Social Needs

June 12, 2014 —


The Welfare State in Crisis: Health Spending v. Other Social Needs

In Washington, rising medical costs are often seen as a uniquely American problem. But around the world, soaring health care spending is inflating sovereign debt and crowding out urgent social needs. In wealthy and poor countries, courts and political leaders confront the challenge of managing conflict between demands for medical care and pressures to meet other public needs. And in both wealthy and poor nations, powerful health care industry stakeholders distort legal and political efforts to manage this conflict rationally. Are there lessons to be learned – for American leaders and for global economic institutions – from diverse national efforts to deal with this conflict?

9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.


M. Gregg Bloche, Georgetown Law: Introduction: The Politics of Avoidance: What Scandals at the Veterans Administration, the U.K.’s National Health Service, and Elsewhere Should Teach Us (but won’t) about Limiting Health Spending

9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Panel I: Toward a Sensible Balance Between Medical Care and Other Social Needs: Is Law a Help or a Hindrance?

Kent Roach, University of Toronto:  The "Right to Health" in Constitutional Jurisprudence: a Comparative Examination

Maria Luisa Escobar, World Bank: Investing in Universal Coverage: A World Bank Perspective


Diane Millman, Powers, Pyles, Sutter & Verville; Georgetown Law

Julian López-Murcia, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Law School (Bogota, Colombia)

11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Panel II: Powerful Stakeholders & Political and Legal Dysfunction

Ann O'Connell, University of Melbourne: How Tax Subsidies (& the Stakeholders that Support Them) Distort Health Spending

Trudo Lemmens, University of Toronto: How a Transatlantic Trade Deal Could Empower Drug Companies to Keep Adverse Clinical Trial Data Secret 


Amy Goldstein, The Washington Post 


Thursday, June 19, 2014


Georgetown University Law Center
Gewirz 12th Floor
120 F Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001


The event is organized and sponsored by the Center for Transnational Legal Studies, with the generous support of the O'Neill Institute.

Media interested in attending should e-mail

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