The Future of U.S. Health Care Reform - What Might Fail; What Might Work

Steven A. Glazer, Administrative Law Judge, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, USA

The world has watched with fascination as the United States enters its second year of trying to reform its health care industry. The Herculean effort has come down to a case study in the institutional peculiarities of the United States Senate. What began as a pretty good idea from the Obama Administration survived intact through the House of Representatives, but as it has wended its way through the Senate sausage mill it has transformed into something unrecognizable and unwieldy. A plan whose primary purpose was to accord over 40 million currently uninsured people access to affordable health care has turned into a mandate on the nation to buy policies from private insurers, at prices set by those insurers that are exempt from US antitrust laws, to be paid for in part with taxpayer dollars, that may still be unaffordable to a large number of that 40 million. Even a “public option” – a government-run health insurance alternative to private policies – that would have insured no more than a relatively small number of people, with a policy that no doubt would have offered far less than privately-offered policies, was jettisoned at the behest of just one senator.

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USA Regulation General February 2010 Vol. 3, No. 10, Winter 2010

Steven Glazer

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Judge Steven A. Glazer is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S. in Economics and B.S. in Civil Engineering, 1974) and New York University School of Law (J.D. 1977). He began his career as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Hearings and Appeals and thereafter engaged in private practice in several fields, including energy law, communications, real estate law, antitrust law and litigation. Prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Glazer served in the U.S. International Trade Commission from 1991 through 2005 as a Staff Attorney with the Office of Unfair Import Investigations and as an Attorney-Advisor with the Office of Administrative Law Judges. At the U.S.I.T.C., he specialized in intellectual property litigation, with a focus on patents and trademarks, in unfair import proceedings before Administrative Law Judges pursuant to Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. Judge Glazer is registered as a patent attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In 2005, Judge Glazer was first appointed as a Supervisory Administrative Law Judge for the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He became an Administrative Law Judge for the Commission in September 2006. Judge Glazer is a past President of the Federal Administrative Law Judges Conference, a professional association for the administrative law judiciary.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC's additional responsibilities under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 include regulating the transmission and wholesale sales of electricity in interstate commerce, regulating natural gas and oil pipelines and the safety of their facilities, and supporting and monitoring projects and activities in the energy field.

USA Regulation General February 2010 Vol. 3, No. 10, Winter 2010
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