It's only a matter of time--and not much time--before the number of Americans without health insurance tops the entire populations of Canada and Australia. The number (soon to reach 50 million) is "awful," said pediatric cardiologist Arthur Garson Jr., executive vice president and provost of the University of Virginia and author of "Health Care Half Truths: Too Many Myths, Not Enough Reality."

Garson spoke April 20, 2009 in Goldwin Smith Hall's Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium, laying out the topography of the health care debate, defining terms and dispelling a few myths along the way.

The lecture was the keynote address and kickoff event for Cornell's first annual Sick in America series. It also was the inaugural event for the Cornell University Presidential Speakers Series on Current Affairs, a new series sponsored by President David Skorton.

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