Foley Hoag Partner Thomas Barker a Featured Speaker at Columbia University Medical Center Election Forum

Foley Hoag partner and healthcare policy expert Thomas Barker will be one of the featured speakers at a Columbia University Medical Center forum examining the two presidential candidates’ healthcare plans and their possible effects on academic medicine.

Barker will represent Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s healthcare positions and Dr. Vivek Murthy will represent Democratic President Barack Obama’s. Their discussion will follow opening remarks by Dr. Lee Goldman, executive vice president and dean of Columbia University Medical Center. Sree Sreenivasan, chief digital officer of Columbia University, will moderate.

Murthy is co-founder of Doctors for America, a physicians group that advocates for quality affordable healthcare for all. He is also an internal medicine hospitalist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and founder of two medical research services companies, TrialNetworks and Epernicus, LLC.

Barker is co-chairman of Foley Hoag’s Healthcare Practice and a veteran of public healthcare policy.
His practice focuses on complex federal and state healthcare legal and regulatory matters with a special expertise in Medicare and Medicaid law and regulations.

Prior to joining the firm, Barker was acting general counsel at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and general counsel of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Serving in the Bush Administration, he played a key role in the implementation of every major health policy initiative enacted during his tenure, including the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit (Medicare Part D) and Medicaid modernization.

Each speaker will be asked to explain why their candidates’ health plan is better for the country. Barker has spoken at multiple public forums on the Supreme Court’s healthcare ruling in June and the future direction of American health care policy after the November presidential election.
“Governor Romney and President Obama have fundamentally different visions for the American health care system,” Barker said.  “Today’s forum will give participants an opportunity to hear both sides of this important debate. Health care is deeply personal to every American and ensuring that the American health care system works for everyone is an important goal of both candidates.”

The forum will take place Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012, from 4:00-5:30 Columbia University Medical Center’s Alumni Auditorium. Track the conversation on Twitter via #CUMCforum.