George Mason University students and Prince William residents are invited to a National Issues Forum, Coping with the Cost of Health Care, on Friday April 3 at 6:00 p.m.  The group will meet at the GMU Prince William campus, in Room 130 of the Occoquan Building.  To register for the forum, just complete and submit the form at

The forum will break into moderated small group discussions on how Americans should pay for the health care we need, looking at three approaches to the issue. 

  • Reduce the threat of financial ruin.  The costs of illness make people feel vulnerable with no control over their future.  They worry they may be wiped out by medical expenses.
  • Restrain out-of-control costs.  When faced with the prices of drugs, insurance and medical services, people say they are being ripped off.  Prices are out of control.
  • Provide coverage as a right.  High costs mean that some Americans have to choose btween eating and taking their medicine.  In the wealthiest nation on Earth, everyone ought to have health care.

Moderated small groups of twelve or fewer students and residents will consider each of these three approaches, as elaborated in a National Issues Forum guide.  Using this guide, forums in over forty states and hosted by all twelve Presidential Libraries have worked through the trade-offs among these approaches and helped find common ground.

A unique Citizen Court on Public Deliberation will meet at GMU Prince William in May to follow up on the April forum.  Five experts and public officials will consider in a courtroom format how thoughtfully participants in the April forum approached the trade-offs among coverage, costs and other challenges of health care reform.  The Citizen Court will be open to the public, and it will issue a public decision.