NASHVILLE – Five national policy experts will assemble in the capital of the nation’s health care industry to discuss the future of health care at the Vanderbilt Marriott Hotel on Tuesday, Oct. 7.

The panel, hosted by the Nashville Health Care Council, will discuss the implications of health care reform in the context of the 2008 elections, and will convene the morning of the second presidential debate between John McCain and Barack Obama to be held later that evening at Belmont University in Nashville.

The discussion will be moderated by Senator Bill Frist, former Senate Majority Leader and physician who is engaged in health care leadership at a national level. Panelists will include:

· John Podesta, who served as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and is now the president and chief operating officer for the Center for American Progress.

· Dick Morris, a former Clinton adviser, Fox News contributor and consultant to Integrated Medical Systems International.

· Chris Jennings, president of Jennings Policy Strategies and former senior health care adviser to President Bill Clinton.

· Charles “Chip” Kahn III, president of the Federation of American Hospitals and one of the nation’s experts on policy and health care issues.

“Nashville Health Care Council members have shaped the nation’s health care landscape,” said Tom Cigarran, Chairman of Healthways and Chairman of the Health Care Council. “It’s very fitting here in Nashville to set the stage for the presidential debate with a rigorous discussion of the health care platforms of the two candidates.”

Nashville-based health care companies account for $46 billion in annual revenue and more than 310,000 jobs globally. Nashville-based hospital management companies own or operate approximately half of the investor-owned hospitals in the United States.

“The Health Care Council is pleased to host this group of nationally recognized health care leaders for an important discussion on health care policy in Nashville, the nation’s premier health care industry community,” said Caroline Young, president of the Nashville Health Care Council. “These highly respected experts represent a strong voice in positioning the national health care reform discussion.”

Below are brief backgrounds for each panelist:
· John Podesta – President and CEO, Center for American Progress. Podesta served as Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton from October 1998 until January 2001. He coordinated the work of cabinet agencies with a particular emphasis on the development of federal budget and tax policy, and served in the President’s Cabinet and as a Principal on the National Security Council. He is currently a Visiting Professor of law on the faculty of the Georgetown University Law Center, a position he also held from January 1995 to 1997. He has held a number of positions on Capitol Hill.

· Dick Morris – Former Clinton Advisor, Fox News Contributor, Consultant to Integrated Medical Systems International (IMS).
Morris was called “the most influential private citizen in America” by Time Magazine. He is credited with piloting Bill Clinton to a stunning comeback reelection victory in 1996 after the president lost Congress to the Republicans. In
addition to President Clinton, he has handled the winning campaigns for more than 30 Senators or Governors. He has become a familiar figure as a commentator for the Fox News Channel. He writes a weekly column for the New York Post and the Hill Magazine in the U.S. and the National Post in Canada.

· Chris Jennings – President, Jennings Policy Strategies (JPS). Jennings is currently the president of Jennings Policy Strategies (JPS), Inc., which provides policy analysis, strategic guidance and coalition building advice to clients who share a commitment to affordable, accessible and accountable health care. He served as Senior Health Care Advisor to President Bill Clinton at the Domestic Policy and National Economic Councils. He served as Committee staff for three United States Senators over the course of almost ten years on Capitol Hill.

· Chip Kahn – President, Federation of American Hospitals. Kahn became the Federation of American Hospitals’ first President in June 2001. He is one of the nation’s preeminent experts on health policy and Medicare issues. Since becoming President of the Federation, he has appeared every year on the “100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare” list published by Modern Healthcare Magazine.

· Event Moderator — Senator Bill Frist – Partner, Cressey & Company LP and former Senate Majority Leader.
Senator Frist is the 2007-2008 Frederick H. Schultz Professor of International Economic Policy at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. In 1994, he won election to the U.S. Senate, becoming the first practicing physician to serve in that body since 1928. Two years later he was reelected unanimously. He is a former director of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s heart and lung transplantation program. During his 20 years in medicine, Dr. Frist performed over 150 heart and lung transplant procedures.