November 22, 2007

Dr. Louis Sullivan

America's health care system is a perennial subject for politicians and citizen groups alike. Marcia Franklin talks with the former head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about his ideas for improving health care.

According to the U.S. Census, about one in seven Americans, or 46 million people, are without health insurance. At the same time, the National Coalition on Health Care reports that Americans are spending more than two trillion dollars on medical care and that those costs are rising at twice the rate of inflation. Our health care system and how to pay for it are the subjects of intense national debate, particularly at election time. Yet solutions always seem to be mired in politics.

Dr. Louis Sullivan has some ideas about that, and he's in a position to share them. Dr. Sullivan was the director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1989 to 1993, under President George H.W. Bush. A specialist in internal medicine and hematology, Dr. Sullivan is also the founding dean and the first president of Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, which he led for more than 20 years. Since his retirement from that institution in 2002, Dr. Sullivan has been involved in a variety of health care issues, including co-chairing the President's Commission on AIDs and HIV. He was also the host of the PBS series, Frontiers of Medicine.

Dr. Sullivan was in Boise to speak at Boise State University's Distinguished Lecture series.