A healthcare system for all Americans has its roots in the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, received unprecedented support from his successor, Harry Truman, and was a critical issue in the campaign of Bill Clinton, who was unable to deliver on his promise.
As yet another president makes the subject a priority, and the major issues of cost, access and the government's involvement are debated at kitchen tables and in Congress, the National Constitution Center hosts a discussion on healthcare with former Senators Rick Santorum and Harris Wofford.
Stefan Frank is the Director of National Programs at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, PA, an independent, non-partisan, and non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of, and appreciation for, the Constitution, its history, and its contemporary relevance.
Since joining the Center in 2006, Stefan has developed an aggressive outreach program and nonpartisan forum for all issues related to public affairs, free speech, democracy and the rule of law. He has produced hundreds of public events with internationally known historians, politicians, journalists, and other various experts, to provide substantive conversations about key issues facing the nation.
Before arriving at the Center, Stefan was the Fellow of Media and Public Policy for the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. There he assisted in the production of the weekly National Public Radio program Justice Talking and its educational arm "Justice Learning," an online resource for engaging high school students in informed political discourse.
Stefan received his MLA from The University of Pennsylvania and his BFA in Film Studies from Syracuse University. Between degrees he worked in Los Angeles, CA as an executive developing and producing feature films, documentaries, and episodic television.
As CNN's political editor, Mark Preston helps oversee the network's day-to-day and long-term political coverage. He also serves as an on-air political analyst on CNN/US, CNN International, HLN, and CNN.com. In 2008, Preston won a Peabody Award for the network's coverage of the Presidential Primary Campaigns and Debates.
Additionally, he received Syracuse University's i-3 Mirror Award for the YouTube presidential debates, an EPpy Award for Best News/Politics Blog, and an Emmy Award for CNN's Midterm Election Night programming. Prior to joining CNN, Preston was a senior staff writer for the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call.
Rick Santorum served as the Congressman from Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District from 1991 to 1995 and as the Commonwealth's junior United States Senator from 1995 to 2007. From 2001 to 2007, Senator Santorum served as the Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, the third highest ranking member of the Republican leadership and the highest ranking Pennsylvanian to serve in Washington in over three decades.
While representing Pennsylvania in Washington, Santorum spearheaded the passage of a wide-range of legislation such as the landmark Welfare Reform Act, Partial-Birth Abortion Act, Health Savings Accounts, and the Iran Freedom and Support Act. He served on several important committees, including the Senate Armed Services Committee for 8 years and the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees all healthcare legislation, for 6 years.
Santorum is now a Senior Fellow with the Ethics and Public Policy Center and President of Mpower Media.
Senator Harris Wofford
Harris Wofford represented the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States Senate from 1991 to 1994. He brought universal health care into the national spotlight by making it a core issue of his campaign and Senate service. He served as Gov. Casey's Secretary of Labor and Industry.
He was president of Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, PA from 1970 to 1978. In the 1960s, Wofford served as President Kennedy’s Special Assistant for Civil Rights, and worked closely with Sargent Shriver in organizing the Peace Corps. Later he served as the Peace Corps’ Special Representative to Africa and its Associate Director. In 1949 he and his wife Clare had a fellowship in India to study Gandhi, after which they wrote the book India Afire. Wofford became an advisor to Martin Luther King in the 1950s after the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
After Rick Santorum defeated him in 1994, Wofford was appointed by President Clinton to be CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, the Senior Corps, Service-Learning and other national service programs. He is the author five books, including Of Kennedys and Kings: Making Sense of the Sixties.
Former Republican Senator Rick Santorum says there's no chance Democrats will try to pass a bipartisan bill that's palatable to Republicans. "Liberals in Washington have been waiting for this moment all of their lives," says Santurum. "They are going to try to change this country foundationally from its traditions."
This country is run by corporation, no doubt about it. Politicians only do what pays more. I can't wait until people wake up and finally start doing things for them selves instead of depending on the BIG FED. I don't believe in socialism because it gives someone else the responsibility. If only people can start working together at a local level and set aside their petty differences you can change the world one town at a time.
Kevin from gall bladder symptoms
That people do not want to be in charge of their own lives is truly saddening. If I wanted Western European Socialism, I would move there. The United States of America and Europe seem to be ships passing one another in the political night, with Europe finally realizing the unsustainability of their bloated nanny states and electing more free-market minded politicians and America under Obama racing to achieve the socialist dream. Very interesting times we live in, indeed.
France is currently DESTROYING SOCIAL SECURITY. It's destroying everything 'social' like postal services, railways, etc.
He who sees socialism in Europe should check his facts first. The ideology of selfish stupidity known as 'capitalism' is destroying society here in Europe. Today's capitalism means more power for the already too powerfull.
The US is the most powerful and most successful country in the world. We didn't get that way by being socialist. We work hard and pay our own way. Obama's plan will cause more layoffs, outsourcing and off-shoring. It's too big and costs too much money. Why not focus more on getting people meaningful jobs so they can pay for health care themselves? If you want more socialism you can move to Europe.
Considering Mr. Santorum's public intrusion into the private affairs of the family of Terri Schiavo, any discussion he might offer regarding the nexus of government and medicine is without merit. Just more reactionary jive.