Shalala leads health care discussion

President Donna E. Shalala presented “UM and Health Care Reform” Wednesday at 12 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the UM Field House.

The presentation focused on the national health care reform, how its impact will be felt on campus, and answered questions from the crowd.

Although some citizens are concerned that the mandatory purchase of health insurance will infringe upon their rights, Shalala countered their claim.

“Currently, I think that there are shortcomings in the plan, because there is a mandate on everyone to become insured, yet the government has not created a pathway for everyone to obtain affordable healthcare,” law school student Georgia Vitzileos said.

In the presentation, Shalala said that the government’s intention is not to decrease health care costs, but to stop them from increasing. The main issue government dealt with, and is currently dealing with, was making sure all citizens are insured. The public debate has been about the role of the government and its authority to enforce such reforms.

Shalala said that health care reform is a natural role for the government since private sectors have failed in taking responsibility and getting all citizens insured.

“This is a giant step in terms of health and social policy,” Shalala said.

Stephanie Parra may be contacted at