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George Washington University — DEBATE: Be it resolved: Providing quality healthcare to the poor is best achieved through free markets and charity, not government programs

April 1, 2016 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Be it resolved: Providing quality healthcare to the poor is best achieved through free markets and charity, not government programs

Arguably the most important question in America’s current debate about healthcare is: Who can deliver the best results for the most people? A free market, or government (“single payer”)? Is there any common ground between these two greatly differing views?

BRI provides educational debates, lectures, events and resources supporting our mission to promote healthcare solutions that protect the doctor-patient relationships the primary means of delivering quality medical care. This debate at GWU is an important part of that mission, to expand discussion, education, and information about all sides of healthcare issues.

George Washington University is the Host Chapter for BRI’s 4th annual leadership conference and is a proud partner with BRI in producing this debate. For the 4th consecutive year, a Friday night debate has been one of the most anticipated parts of BRI’s Leadership Conference, and it is the only part of the conference open to the public.

Please use the green Register button above to RSVP for this event.

We look forward to seeing you & thank you for being part of this important part of our healthcare future.

6:30 Pre-debate Reception & pre-debate voting
7:00 – 8:00 Debate & post-debate voting

AFFIRMATIVE:BRI Speaker Jules Madrigal, MD
Jules Madrigal-Dersch, MD. Dr. Madrigal is a member of BRI’s Board of Directors and runs a successful direct pay practice in Marble Falls, TX. She is featured on the documentary, Wait Till It’s Free. Says Dr. Dersch: “I have had a practice with little government restrictions for the last 12 years. I have never taken 3rd party insurance nor Medicaid and have not taken Medicare for 8 years. I work very hard to keep my practice and my patients from intervening government influences and thereby keeping the relationship between the patient and the physician sincere.”


BRI Debater David HogbergDavid Hogberg, PhD. Dr. Hogberg is a former health care policy analyst for the National Center for Public Policy Research. Previously, Dr. Hogberg was a Washington Correspondent for Investor’s Business Daily, specializing in his coverage of health care and Medicare. Prior to IBD, he worked as a policy analyst studying health care and other issues for various think tanks, including the National Center for Public Policy Research, and for the office of Representative Jeff Fortenberry. Dr. Hogberg holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Iowa. He is author of the book Medicare’s Victims: How the U.S. Government’s Largest Health Care Program Harms Patients and Impairs Physicians.



BRI debater Troy Russell, MDTroy Russell, MD, MPh. Dr. Russell is an author of various book chapters and peer-reviewed articles found in Neuroimage, Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, and American Family Physician with his current research and health policy interest centering on providing low cost, accessible and high quality primary care to medically under-served communities through the patient-centered medical home and direct primary care models.


BRI debater Leighton KuLeighton Ku, PhD, MPh. Dr. Ku is a Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, whose career has been built around the effort to understand and improve access to affordable health care for vulnerable populations. He directs the multidisciplinary Center for Health Policy Research which includes over 20 faculty and 50 staff, and is also on the Executive Board of the District of Columbia’s Health Benefits Exchange Authority and has helped establish and develop the state-based insurance exchange that serves D.C. residents and employees, as well as members of Congress.

Moderator: Dr. Rodney Whitlock, PhD, Adjunct Professor, GWU Graduate School of Political Management
Rodney Whitlock completed his doctorate in political science in March of 1998. Past accomplishments include promoting the Patients’ Bill of Rights, working on the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, the Medicaid provisions of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, and the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006. Late in 2010, he became the Acting Health Policy Director for Senator Grassley and shepherded the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010 into law during his brief tenure. He remains Health Policy Director for Senator Grassley. Rodney also teaches at The George Washington University in both the Department of Health Policy and the Graduate School of Political Management.

POST-EVENT SUMMARY: 100 people, including 53 students from BRI’s 4th Annual Leadership Conference attended the debate at George Washington University. After the debate, 69 students, debaters and physicians joined for dinner at The Caucus Room. Debate & Dinner Night is a fundamental and traditional part of Benjamin Rush Institute’s Leadership Conferences, and we thank the student leadership that organized and produced this event.


April 1, 2016
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Jacob Leedekerken


Ross Hall, Room #117
2300 I St NW
Washington, DC 20052 United States
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