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As Congress grapples with immigration reform, questions are arising about the impact new Americans and legal residents could have on U.S. social programs, among them the health care system.

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Daniel Hancz is chief pharmacist for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and a specialist in counterfeit and foreign drug identification. He was formerly a supervisor at the Los Angeles County Regional Drug and Poison Information Center. He has been assigned to the Health Authority Law Enforcement Task force for eight years. He is also an adjunct professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Southern California.

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Patrick Boyle is editor of Youth Today, the national trade newspaper and website for people who run youth programs, and a Huffington Post blogger who specializes in fatherhood. Mr. Boyle has covered youth issues for decades as a staff reporter on the Watertown Daily Times, The Washington Times and Youth Today and as a freelancer for the Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, Newsday, Child and Parenting magazines and ABC News, among others. His 1994 book, “Scouts’ Honor,” examined child molestation in the Boy Scouts of America. Mr.

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It’s not as seductive as a candlelit bedroom.

But a dinner with medical colleagues after a board meeting can exert a powerful a pull on talented scientists flirting with the drug industry. Rarely one-on-ones, these dinners are usually threesomes:

1. The seducer: a representative for a medical communications company that has been hired by a drug company to help market a particular product or disease in need of new cures being cooked up by the company.

2. The object of seduction: a researcher with known expertise in the company’s target area.

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As Congress goes into recession, the debate over healthcare hits home. But what's really happening on the reform front? Will it meet the needs of the American public? In a 5-hour special series over five days, we'll hear from doctors, hospital administrators, insurance companies, economists and average people about what's driving up healthcare costs, what it will take to make real changes, and what trade-offs people are willing to make to see meaningful reform through.

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Dr. Richard J. Jackson is a professor and the chairman of environmental health sciences at UCLA's School of Public Health. Previously, he was an adjunct professor of environmental health services at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. He also served as state public health officer for the California Department of Health Services. His responsibilities included direct leadership and oversight of the department's public health-related activities.

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Karen Pollitz is a Research Professor at the Health Policy Institute at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. There she directs research on health insurance reform issues as they affect consumers and patients. Her areas of focus include regulation of private health insurance plans and markets, managed care consumer protections, and access to affordable health insurance. She is also an adjunct professor in Georgetown's Graduate Public Policy School.

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James Lange is the chairman for SDSU's Alcohol and Other Drug Initiatives, or AOD Initiatives, an initiative that works with colleges to develop campus-wide programs to prevent alcohol and drug abuse. He is also an adjunct professor of social work and psychology and student health services coordinator at SDSU. Lange has been the lead researcher on a number of AOD projects and is a consultant to a wide range of AOD prevention efforts. Lange was recently selected to serve as one of five rapid-response investigators for the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

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Dr. David M. Mirvis is an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee's Health Science Center. He was the founder and director of the Center for Health Services Research and a professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine. He received his M.D. degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in 1970, and subsequently trained in internal medicine and cardiology at the National Institutes of Health and at the University of Tennessee. From 1987 through 1997, Dr. Mirvis served as chief of staff of the Memphis VA Medical Center and as an associate dean of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine.

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