Health policy briefing: "How Low Can We Go? Bending the Health Care Cost Curve"
Featuring Uwe Reinhardt, Janet Currie and Heather Howard
Three distinguished faculty members from the Woodrow Wilson School's Center for Health and Wellbeing (CHW) at Princeton University hosted a congressional briefing, "How Low Can We Go? Bending the Health Care Cost Curve", on Tuesday, May 20th.
CHW Director Janet Currie drew from her research to identify key areas for health investments. Heather Howard, the Director of the State Health Reform Assistance Network and a lecturer in Public Affairs, spoke on achieving the ACA’s potential to reduce health care costs. Uwe Reinhardt, the James Madison Professor of Political Economy, outlined the etiology of high costs in health care and stressed the importance of price transparency.
Over 50 people from Congressional offices and Washington, D.C. attended the briefing, following by a Q&A session.
Presentations and handouts from the event are posted below.
Recognized as one of the nation’s leading authorities on health care economics, Reinhardt has been a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences since 1978. He is a past president of the Association of Health Services Research. From 1986 to 1995 he served as a commissioner on the Physician Payment Review Committee, established in 1986 by Congress to advise it on issues related to the payment of physicians. He is a senior associate of the Judge Institute for Management of Cambridge University, UK, and a trustee of Duke University, and the Duke University Health System. Reinhardt is or was a member of numerous editorial boards, among them the Journal of Health Economics, the Milbank Memorial Quarterly, Health Affairs, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Journal of the American Medical Association. Ph.D. Yale University.
Janet Currie is the Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and the Director of Princeton’s Center for Health and Wellbeing. She also directs the Program on Families and Children at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and a Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists. She was elected Vice President of the American Economics Association in 2010, and will be President of the Society of Labor Economists in 2014. She has also served as a consultant for the National Health Interview Survey and the National Longitudinal Surveys and on the advisory board of the National Children’s Study. She is an affiliate of IZA in Bonn. She has served as Editor of the Journal of Economic Literature and on the editorial board of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and has also served several other journals in an editorial capacity including the Journal of Health Economics, the Journal of Labor Economics, and the Journal of Public Economics.
Her research focuses on the health and well-being of children. She has written about early intervention programs, programs to expand health insurance and improve health care, public housing, and food and nutrition programs. Her current research focuses on socioeconomic differences in child health, and on environmental threats to children’s health.
Heather Howard is the Director of the State Health Reform Assistance Network and the State Health and Value Strategies program, housed within the Center for Health and Wellbeing (CHW). The programs, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provide technical assistance to states in order to maximize coverage expansion under the Affordable Care Act and to enhance the value of health care and population health by reforming the delivery system. She is also a lecturer in public affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School and a faculty affiliate at CHW. Howard brings a wealth of experience in both federal and state government to the State Network and the WWS. She most recently served as the commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Health and Senior Services, a cabinet level agency with a budget of approximately $3.5 billion. There she was responsible for oversight of public health services, regulation of health care institutions, hospital financing, senior services and health care policy and research. Her prior public policy experience includes work in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the Domestic Policy Council at the White House, and the Health Care Task Force within the Antitrust Division at the U.S. Justice Department. Howard received a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.
Recent research and commentary
Below are highlights of recent studies and commentaries by Reinhardt, Currie and Howard.
- Uwe Reinhardt comments on health care costs, pricing and policy in his biweekly New York Times blog
- Uwe Reinhardt writes about the health insurance fortress
- Janet Currie's commentary on declining infant mortality topped Bloomberg.com's list of the most significant new economics research in 2013
- Janet Currie publishes study on the link between high pregnancy weight gain and risk of childhood obesity
- Janet Currie explores the relationship between month of conception, a mother's socioeconomic characteristics, and infant health at birth
- Heather Howard and Chad Shearer public article on state approaches to reducing the impact of churn between Medicaid and the exchanges
- Heather Howard’s State Health and Value Strategies program publishes article on reducing overuse and misuse of services