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Trudy Lieberman and Marcia Angell
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July 24, 2009

The political posturing in the health care reform debate has provided plenty of grist for the news mill. But some important information is lost in the rhetoric. What exactly is in the plans Congress is considering, and will any of them help provide health care to more Americans affordably?

To get a clearer picture of what is and isn't being considered during the debate, Bill Moyers sits down with two experts on health care policy. Trudy Lieberman covers health care reform for COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW and is the director of the health and medical reporting program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Marcia Angell is a senior lecturer in social medicine at Harvard Medical School and the former editor-in-chief of the NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE.

Marcia Angell

Photo by Robin Holland In 1999, Dr. Marcia Angell became the first woman to serve as editor-in-chief of the NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE, the premier journal of medical science in the United States. She has also written for a general audience on the relationships between medicine, ethics, and the law.

After completing her undergraduate studies in chemistry and mathematics at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, Marcia Angell spent the next year as a Fulbright Scholar studying microbiology in Frankfurt, Germany. She received her M.D. degree from Boston University School of Medicine in 1967 and completed residencies in both internal medicine and anatomic pathology.

Currently serving as a senior lecturer in the department of social medicine at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Angell has devoted her life to researching, writing and speaking on topics incorporating medical ethics, health policy, the nature of medical evidence, the interface of medicine and the law, and end-of-life care.

A board-certified pathologist, Angell joined the editorial staff of the NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE in 1979. A decade later she was named executive editor and, in 1999, she became the first woman to serve as editor-in-chief of the prestigious journal. In addition to her academic writing, Dr. Angell has written for THE NEW YORK TIMES, NEWSWEEK, USA TODAY, THE WASHINGTON POST, and other national publications.

Dr. Angell is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American College of Physicians. In 1997 TIME MAGAZINE named her one of the twenty-five most influential Americans.

Trudy Lieberman

Photo by Robin Holland Trudy Lieberman has been reporting on health care and consumer issues for over thirty years. She spent 29 years at CONSUMER REPORTS covering economic, health policy, and health financing issues. Most recently she headed the Center for Consumer Health Choices at Consumers Union. She is a contributing editor to the COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW, a contributor to THE NATION, and has written a column about health and the marketplace for the LOS ANGELES TIMES. She began her career as a consumer writer for the DETROIT FREE PRESS where her reporting became a model for consumer writers across the country.

She has won numerous honors and awards, including two National Magazine Awards, 10 National Press Club Awards, five Society of Professional Journalists Deadline Club Awards, a Fulbright Fellowship to study health care in Japan, a John J. McCloy Fellowship to study health care in Germany, a Joan Shorenstein Fellowship from Harvard University to study media coverage of medical technology, and an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University of Nebraska. She is the author of five books, including SLANTING THE STORY: THE FORCES THAT SHAPE THE NEWS and the CONSUMER REPORTS GUIDE TO HEALTH SERVICES FOR SENIORS, which was named one of the best consumer health books for 2000 by Library Journal.

Lieberman has taught in the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program at New York University, the journalism program at Columbia University, and as a Beamer-Schneider SAGES Fellow at Case Western Reserve University. She has served on the board of directors for the National Committee for Quality Assurance and the Medicare Rights Center and is a member of the California Health Benefits Review Program. Lieberman holds a B.S. with distinction from the University of Nebraska and earned a certificate in business and economics journalism from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism where she was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in 1976-77.

Lieberman is the director of the health and medicine reporting program at the Graduate School of Journalism at City University of New York and is the president of the Association of Health Care Journalist's board of directors.

Guest photos by Robin Holland.
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