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Join us for A Symposium

Medicare and Medicaid:
Reform or Abolish to Provide
Better Health Care Outcomes

Moderated by Dr. Murray Sabrin, professor of finance

Tuesday, April 21  |  7 p.m.  |  Trustees Pavilion

Register Now

Medicare and Medicaid: Reform or Abolish to Provide Better Health Care Outcomes

Medicare and Medicaid were created in 1965 as key components of President Johnson’s “Great Society” program. “Great Society” legislation upheld civil rights, public broadcasting, environmental protection, aid to education, the arts, urban and rural development, and Johnson’s “War on Poverty.”

Today, Medicare guarantees health insurance to Americans who are age 65 or older who have paid into the system and to younger Americans with certain disabilities or health conditions. Medicare is financed by payroll deductions and is facing significant financial challenges, with annual spending of nearly $800 billion.

Passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”) significantly expanded the number of Americans eligible for Medicaid, in addition to the federal funding allocated to the program.

With the aging of America’s population and the poor’s access to health care via Medicaid uncertain, the cost of health care is a challenge for taxpayers who have to pick up the tab for an annual expense that is nearing one trillion dollars. Critics and supporters have been engaged in lively discussions about how these programs should be reformed — or even abolished — in order to provide better health care outcomes for the elderly and poor in the United States.

Keynote Speaker:

Laurence J. KotlikoffLaurence J. Kotlikoff, President of Economic Security Planning, Inc., a company specializing in financial planning software and William Fairfield Warren Professor at Boston University

Symposium panelists:

David Knowlton

David Knowlton, President and CEO, New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute

Lois J. Copeland
Dr. Lois J. Copeland has been in private practice in Hillsdale, New Jersey for over twenty years, and was president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.


Gail Reilly

Dr. Gail Reilly, medical director of the Parker Family Health Center (PFHC), Red Bank N.J., a nonprofit free clinic that provides medical care for uninsured patients.

Alieta Eck

Dr. Alieta Eck has been in private practice since 1988 and is the cofounder of Zarephath Health Center, in Franklin, New Jersey.

Comprehensive Bios

Laurence J. Kotlikoff

Laurence J. Kotlikoff is a William Fairfield Warren Professor at Boston University, a Professor of Economics at Boston University, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, President of Economic Security Planning, Inc., a company specializing in financial planning software, and the Director of the Tax Analysis Center. He received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1973 and his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard. An active columnist, Professor Kotlikoff’s columns and blogs have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg, Forbes, Vox, The Economist,, Huffington Post and other major publications. In addition, he is a frequent guest on major television and radio stations. In 2014, he was named by The Economist as one of the world’s 25 most influential economists.

David L. Knowlton

David Knowlton is a former Deputy Commissioner of Health in New Jersey during the administration of Governor Tom Kean. Mr. Knowlton has been a leader on health care policy in New Jersey for the better part of four decades. Most recently, Mr. Knowlton topped NJ Spotlight’s list of “New Jersey’s Top 10 Healthcare Policy Analysts and Experts” and was listed in the annual NJBIZ “Power 50 Health Care” rankings. He chaired Governor Chris Christie’s transition team on health following his 2009 election.

As President & CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, he has led their advocacy on health care quality and the reduction of medical errors. The Quality Institute’s advocacy, under Mr. Knowlton’s guidance, has led to the enactment of numerous statutory improvements to ensure patient safety and transparency in health care quality and cost information, including the New Jersey Heath Care Consumer Information Act in 2003, the Patient Safety Reporting Act in 2004, the Drug Price Registry Act in 2006 and the Hospital Acquired Infections Reporting Act of 2007.

In the early 1990’s, Mr. Knowlton founded and served as Executive Director of the Health Care Payers Coalition of New Jersey, a non-profit corporation representing business and labor organizations who provide health care. Mr. Knowlton also served as an officer and a director for The Leapfrog Group, a national organization devoted to reducing medical errors. He also serves as a director of the Healthwell Foundation, a national foundation that provides copayment relief to needy persons with chronic disease. Mr. Knowlton has served as a member of numerous National Quality Forum Steering Committees as well.

Mr. Knowlton is the current Chairman of the Board for St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, NJ. He has served as a board member and officer of the Health Decisions Foundation and has been a principal presenter on the subject of Managed Care and HIV for the Kaiser Family Foundation AIDS Symposium. Mr. Knowlton has been published numerous times on issues dealing with health care quality and management. With former Governor Jim Florio, Mr. Knowlton co-chaired The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease in New Jersey.

Mr. Knowlton completed his undergraduate education in psychology at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and was granted a Master’s degree from Trinity College in Hartford.

Dr. Lois J. Copeland

Dr. Copeland is recognized as one of the top internists in America, not only because of her rigorous academic training, but also for her unmatched standards in patient care. Her unparalleled ability as a diagnostician has enabled her to successfully treat the most difficult and unusual cases.

Dr. Copeland has been in private practice in Hillsdale, NJ for over twenty years.  She began her education locally, graduating Valedictorian of her class from Pascack Valley High School. She earned an academic scholarship to Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, where she majored in Zoology.  For her honors work, she studied hematopoiesis (blood formation) in the hibernating bat myotis lucifugus.  She graduated magna cum laude with Distinction In All Studies, Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi.  She was given a full scholarship to Cornell University Medical College (now Weill Cornell), from which she graduated in the top quarter of her class.  She completed her residency at The New York Hospital.  She also trained in later residency in oncology hematology at Memorial Sloan Kettering and at New York University.

During her residency training at New York Hospital and New York University, she worked in Clinics in the south Bronx, The New York Diagnostic Center, and Health Insurance Plan of New York as an emergency physician.  She worked days, nights, and weekends, filling her experience with patient care, including the Prison Ward at Bellevue Hospital. She did a partial Hematology Fellowship at New York University, followed by a partial Oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering.  She then took 6 weeks to go to Australia to the NorthWest Coast of Exmouth during the Viet Nam War in which her husband was serving.

After taking over the general practice of a retiring physician in Hillsdale, she gave birth to four wonderful children, going back to work after only three days.  She has always worked full-time as a solo practitioner of general Internal Medicine, seeing patients from mid childhood through adulthood. She is on call seven days a week, 24 hours a day for emergencies and medical problems. She also performs House Calls when they are necessary.

In addition to running a thriving private practice, Dr. Copeland is actively involved in the Heritage Foundation, the Foundation for Free Enterprise, the CATO Institute, the Ludwig Von Mises Institute and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, of which she was President. She has earned national acclaim as a patients’ rights advocate, having spearheaded a lawsuit against Medicare Part B with five of her patients. The lawsuit, Stewart vs. Sullivan, enabled Medicare patients to contract privately for medical care outside Part B without resigning from Part B, thereby regaining freedom of choice for senior citizens who wanted full access to high-quality health care.

Dr. Copeland’s writings have been published in Policy ReviewThe Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. She has been interviewed on numerous radio and television shows, including CNN and FOX.  She has lectured at the CATO Institute, The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania, the Foundation for Free Enterprise, Bergen Community College, and other local schools and universities.

Her commitment to improving the lives of those around her carries over into the animal kingdom. Dr. Copeland is a longtime animal-rights supporter and nature preservationist. She has fostered several pets deemed medically undesirable by prior owners and nursed them back to health. She believes that all life is worth preserving. It is not uncommon for her to care for patients’ pets during periods of hospitalization.

Her dedication to providing personal health care service to families and patients of all ages has earned her steadfast loyalty among those she treats.  Patients in her practice currently travel from as far away as California, Florida, and Greece to seek her services.

Dr. Gail Reilly

Dr. Gail Reilly is the medical director of the Parker Family Health Center (PFHC), a nonprofit free clinic that provides medical care for uninsured patients.   As a Volunteer in Medicine Clinic, the care provided at Parker is donated by medical professionals who volunteer time to care for this vulnerable  population.  Dr. Reilly is board certified in Family Medicine with a strong interest in physician leadership.

Dr. Alieta Eck

Dr. Alieta Eck, M.D. graduated from the Rutgers College of Pharmacy in NJ and the St. Louis School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO.

She studied Internal Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ and has been in private practice with her husband, Dr. John Eck, M.D. in Piscataway, NJ.

In 2003, they founded the Zarephath Health Center, a free clinic for the poor and uninsured that currently cares for 300-400 patients per month utilizing the donated services of volunteer physicians and nurses.

Dr. Alieta Eck is working to enact NJ S94 in New Jersey whereby physicians would donate their time caring for the poor and uninsured in non-government free clinics in exchange for the State providing medical malpractice protection within their private practices. She is convinced that this would relieve taxpayers of much of the Medicaid burden currently consuming 1/3 of the NJ budget.

Alieta Eck has been involved in health care reform since residency and believes that the government is a poor provider of medical care. Dr. Alieta Eck testified before the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress in 2004 about better ways to deliver health care in the United States.

Dr. Alieta Eck then testified against Obama’s health care plan at a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing in 2011.

In 2013, Dr. Alieta Eck put her name forward in the Republican primary race to win the party’s nomination for a temporary seat on the U.S. Senate. Confident she could make a change in Washington she ran on a platform of shrinking the federal government and repealing ObamaCare – President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Despite losing her bid for Senate, Dr. Alieta Eck pushed forward, running for Congress in 2014 but, lacking enough votes to win the predominantly Democratic 12th Congressional District, came second to Bonnie Watson Coleman, the first African-American female member of New Jersey’s congressional delegation in state history.

Dr. Eck is a long time member of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations and in 2009 joined the board of AAPS, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, which advocates the preservation of the practice of private medicine.

In addition, she serves on the advisory board of Christian Care Medi-Share, a faith-based medical cost sharing Ministry and is a member of Zarephath Christian Church. She and her husband John have five children, one who is now an ophthalmology resident in St. Louis, MO.