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Does “Obamacare” Go Too Far – Or Not Far Enough?

October 8, 2012 | 0 Comments

2012 Stanton/Anthony Conversations at the University of Rochester

The debate over health care reform has become a prominent issue in the 2012 presidential election. But while some accuse the affordable health care act, or Obamacare, of going too far to reform health care, a distinguished voice in the fight for reform says it is actually inadequate to answer many of the problems.

“The president’s plan is another giant incremental program that will address concerns in many states, but it is not the solution to the problem of providing fair, accessible care, especially to women, families, and children,” said Dr. Deborah Richter, the University of Rochester educated physician behind the initiative for Vermont to become the first single-payer health care system in the nation. “We can’t solve any of these major problems without a very different solution—a publically financed health system.”

This topic and more will be discussed at the Stanton/Anthony Conversations and luncheon, where Dr. Richter will deliver this year’s keynote address on Friday, Oct. 12.

Sponsored annually by the University’s Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership, the event brings together leaders to explore social hurdles women face as they seek to lead in business, academia, and government.

“How to best provide accessible health care to women, families, and children is a central question in our upcoming presidential, federal, and state elections,” said Catherine Cerulli, director of the Anthony Center. “This event will provide a wonderful opportunity for our students, alumni, and local community members to learn more about healthcare and be able to participate in the upcoming election with accurate information.”

Dr. Richter has been credited with providing the leadership behind Vermont’s effort to establish a single-payer health care system. She currently serves as president of Vermont Health Care for All, an organization that educates the Vermont community about the structure and features of universal health care systems. She is a past president of Physicians for a National Health Program and the co-author of Gridlock: The Unhealthy Politics of Health Care in Vermont. In 2011 she was honored as one of Yes! magazine’s “Fifteen Extraordinary People Transforming the Way We Live.” She lives with her husband in Montpelier, Vt. where she practices primary care and addiction medicine.

Also participating in this year’s panel discussion, “Sick of It: Issues of Health Care Inequities in America,” is Theodore Brown, Rochester professor of history and public health sciences and medical humanities; Georgetown Law School graduate and advocate Sandra Fluke, and Charles Phelps, provost emeritus and author of Health Economics (2012) and Eight Questions You Should Ask About Our Health Care System (2010). The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Nancy Bennett, professor of medicine and public health sciences, director of the Center for Community Health, and associate vice president at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

According to Bennett, “There’s a lot of misinformation being spread around, which makes it vital that we have these conversations to clarify the issues and help people understand the facts behind health care reform.”

The 2012 Stanton/Anthony Conversations will take place Friday, Oct. 12 as part of Meliora Weekend. Richter will deliver the keynote speech during a sold-out luncheon at noon on the river level of the Interfaith Chapel. The panel discussion, which begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Chapel’s sanctuary, is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Anthony Center at 585.275.8799 or email

Category: Society & Culture