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'Dream Team' of Medicare Experts to Advise The Medicare NewsGroup, Journalists

Date: September 25 2012

GLENCOE, IL ­– September 25, 2012 – At a time when competing proposals to reform Medicare have become a key part of the presidential campaign, four of the nation’s most respected health care experts have joined a Medicare NewsGroup advisory board aimed at helping journalists provide accurate coverage of the program.

Members of the new Medicare Leaders Advisory Board include two former heads of the Medicare program, the former head of its physician payment office and the former chair of a prestigious advisory commission on the program. The two Democrats and two Republicans on the board have each advised presidents and presidential candidates on Medicare and other health policy issues, and each has held positions in and out of government.

“This is the dream team of advisors on Medicare policy, politics and the intersection of both,” said Judi Israel Rosen, publisher and co-founder of The Medicare NewsGroup. “Their deep expertise and commitment to ensuring the public receives fair and accurate information will help journalists better inform the American people about the critical choices facing them about Medicare’s future.” provides print and electronic media with unbiased facts, provocative opinions and innovative tools to assist them in producing more accurate and comprehensive stories about Medicare, a program that now covers nearly 50 million Americans. Each Medicare Leader, in addition to advising The Medicare NewsGroup on its content and tools, will have the opportunity to use the site to directly address journalists about improving Medicare coverage.
The members of the Medicare Leaders Advisory Board include:

·      Stuart H. Altman, Ph.D., an economist who served as chair of an advisory commission on Medicare payment under President Ronald Reagan and was a member of the U.S. Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare under President Bill Clinton. Altman, a Democrat, is the Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy in the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

·      Robert A. Berenson, M.D., who was a member of the White House domestic policy staff under President Jimmy Carter, a senior official in the Medicare program under President Bill Clinton and former vice chair of a commission advising Congress on Medicare policy.  Berenson, a Democrat, is Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute and adjunct faculty at The George Washington University Schools of Medicine and Public Health and the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

·      William L. Roper, M.D., M.P.H., who headed the Medicare program under President Ronald Reagan and served as a White House domestic policy advisor under presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush. Roper, a Republican, is currently Dean of the School of Medicine, Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs and Chief Executive Officer of the UNC Health Care System at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also is Professor of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine and Professor of Health Policy and Administration in the School of Public Health.

·      Gail R. Wilensky, Ph.D., an economist who was a White House policy advisor to and headed the Medicare program under President George H. W. Bush. She later served as chair of a commission advising Congress on Medicare policy. Wilensky, a Republican, is currently a Senior Fellow at Project HOPE, an international health foundation.

“These four individuals know the research literature, know what it’s like in the health care front lines, know how to break down political spin and, just as importantly, know how to communicate all of that in plain English to reporters on deadline,” said Everett “E.J.” Mitchell II, the managing editor of and a former editor of several Gannett newspapers. “At a time when journalists everywhere are trying to do more with less, we are proud and grateful that these nationally respected leaders have agreed to help us help them.”
focuses on journalists who may not have the resources of large national news organizations. To assist those journalists in getting beyond campaign trail claims and counter-claims, each of the four Medicare Leaders was asked to respond to one question: “What context should journalists have in order to evaluate competing Medicare reform proposals?” Their answers are posted in Understanding Medicare on
About The Medicare NewsGroup

Created by journalists, for journalists, The Medicare NewsGroup is an independent resource for Medicare news, policy and legislation with original and curated content. Optimized for reporters, writers, bloggers and editors who produce news and commentary on Medicare, aims to be a digital encyclopedia of Medicare that organizes past and current information, news, events, research and legislation relating to the topic. Registration on the site is free.
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