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Arlen Specter Credit: Maya Spitzer

For the Penn Democrats, an event a day keeps the doctor away.

The group is hosting a series of educational events during its “Health Care Week,” a drive to increase student understanding of the national debate on health care reform.

“Health care is a huge issue right now,” said College sophomore Emma Ellman-Golan, Penn Dems membership director and Health Care Week co-organizer. “But a lot of the details are really hazy right now [and] there’s a lot of misinformation.”

Today, Mark Stier ­— the Pennsylvania director of Health Care for America Now, an organization focused on health care reform — will speak to students about the group’s efforts.

In this kickoff event, Stier will answer student questions such as what a public option really is, according to Ellman-Golan.

Tomorrow, professors who have worked on issues related to health care will lead a panel discussion on reform policy.

The panel includes Sociology Professor Ross Koppel , Wharton professor Scott Harrington and David Grande, a professor in the Penn School of Medicine.

On Wednesday, four members of Penn Dems will debate four board members of College Republicans on topics such as health care, foreign policy, the stimulus package and the state of the economy.

A member of the nonpartisan voter mobilization group Penn Leads the Vote will moderate the debate.

Penn Dems and College Republicans debate once every semester, said College Republicans Chairman and Wharton senior Peter Devine.

The groups decided to incorporate the debate as a part of Health Care Week this year.

“It’s an opportunity for both sides to discuss issues relevant to the campus,” Devine said.

On Thursday, Penn Dems will host a health-care-themed Halloween party for its members to conclude the week and thank volunteers.

In addition to these events, the organization will man a table on Locust Walk all week to disseminate information, sell t-shirts and get students to sign health care reform petitions.

Ellman-Golan said Penn Dems will also give students the phone numbers of key politicians who are on the fence in the health care debate, such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D- Nev.) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R- Maine), to encourage them to support reform.

Although the politicians that Penn Dems is targeting do not represent most Penn students, they are crucial in the reform process, she said.

“If we call any elected official from the Philadelphia area, they already support the public option,” Ellman-Golan said.

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