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The Contributions of Health Economics to Health Care Reform Sherry Glied Columbia University.

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Presentation on theme: "The Contributions of Health Economics to Health Care Reform Sherry Glied Columbia University."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Contributions of Health Economics to Health Care Reform Sherry Glied Columbia University

2 Six Lessons for President Obama from President Lyndon Johnson Speed Master the Congressional Process Give Congress the Credit Go Public and Build Momentum Passion Keep the Economists Quiet Morone, NY Times, September 2009

3 Rubinow, JPE, 1904

4 Fisher, AER, 1919

5 Walton Hamilton, CCMC, 1932

6 Hayek, Road to Serfdom, 1944 Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance …the case for the state’s helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong. …Those wishing to preserve the competitive system and those wishing to supercede it…will disagree on the details of such schemes…

7 Three Features Nearly two million families in the United States, whose incomes are less than $1,200 a year, "receive no professional medical or dental attention of any kind, curative or preventive” – CCMC, 1929

8 Growth in Insurance Coverage 1945-1980

9 Ricardo-Campbell &Campbell, QJE, 1952 The health of the United States not the best of any country in the world; but only a few countries with relatively small and homogeneous populations have better records

10 Male Life Expectancy at 65 -- 1965

11 Ricardo-Campbell &Campbell, QJE, 1952 At present, those who want health insurance can buy it as they buy any other good or service… The major arguments against compulsory health insurance are: (a) that the government should not compel people to spend money on any particular service unless that service cannot be obtained in any other way…

12 Data!

13 Kenneth Arrow, AER, 1963 We may briefly note that, at any rate to date, insurances against the cost of medical care are far from universal. Certain groups-the unemployed, the institutionalized, and the aged-are almost completely uncovered. …it must be assumed that the insurance mechanism is still very far from achieving the full coverage of which it is capable.

14 Lyndon Johnson A health program yesterday runs $300 million, but the fools had to go projecting it down the road five or six years. And when you project it, the first year it runs $900 million... But the first thing, Dick Russell [a Democrat senator from Georgia] comes running in saying, ‘My God, you’ve got a one billion-dollar program for next year on health; therefore I’m against any of it now.’


16 Can the Private Market do it?

17 Health Reform was Not Inevitable (1)Some people have said that it would be a miracle if we passed health care reform. But I believe we live in a time of great change when miracles do happen. (2)The cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough. So let there be no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year (3)I believe that comprehensive health insurance is an idea whose time has come. I believe that some kind of program will be enacted this year.


19 Keynes “The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.”

20 Health Economics Big Three Moral hazard Adverse selection Externalities of healthy behavior (and one more)

21 Moral Hazard Moral hazard in health insurance (Arrow) Policy implications – 1970s –Coverage for catastrophic risks –Cost-sharing related to income –Effects on health – preventive care Benefit design

22 PPACA and Benefit Design Actuarial values from Peterson 2009

23 Adverse Selection Public strongly favors limits on ratings Health economist consensus 1995, 2007 –86-91% favor no rating on genetic risks Impossibility of community rating absent a mandate – 1970s Policy – rating and coverage requirements

24 PPACA and Community Rating Insurance reform and market regulation occur in 2014 Mandate is concurrent with these reforms

25 Externalities of Health Behavior Taxation as strategy for addressing health externalities Increased premium charges as incentive for changing behavior –Health economist consensus 1995, 2007 – 71-74% favor higher premiums Policy – treatment of unhealthy behavior

26 PPACA and Unhealthy Behaviors Tobacco users can be assessed a $200 annual surcharge on their premiums Soda tax

27 One extra: Tax Treatment of ESI Friedman and Savage, fn. 32: On the other hand, if the premium is deductible (as a health- insurance premium may be), while an uninsured loss is not (as the excess of medical bills over $2,500 for a family is not), the net premium to the consumer unit is less than the premium received by the insurance company. Nobody except economists cares about this! PPACA High cost plan excise tax – 40%

28 CBO Return of Johnson’s dreaded bean counters Key Issues in Analyzing Major Health Reform Proposals December 2008 Health Insurance Simulation Model October 2007 Generously larded with citations to the empirical health economics literature


30 Looking Forward Assume 30-40 year germination What will health economics contribute to health policy reform in 2040-2050?

31 Health as an Outcome of the Health System

32 Quality – Male LE at 65, 1985/2005

33 Delivery System Committee on the Costs of Medical Care, 1932

34 HMO Enrollment, by Model Type, 1984-2006 Note: HMO enrollment includes enrollees in both traditional HMOs and point-of-service (POS) plans through: group/commercial plans, Medicare, Medicaid, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, direct pay plans, and unidentified HMO products. Enrollment by model type may not equal total enrollment because some plans did not report these characteristics. Data are as of June 30 or July 1 of respective year. Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, Trends and Indicators in the Changing Health Care Marketplace, 2002, May 2002, Exhibit 2.5, p.20, at, based on July 1 data from InterStudy Publications, updated most recently with data from HealthLeaders-InterStudy, The Competitive Edge, Part II: Managed Care Industry Report, March 2007, Table 10, p.25. 15.1 31.4 38.8 63.3 80.1 78.0 74.2 70.0 66.1 71.4 Enrollees (in millions) 72.7

35 Competition vs. Integration Vertical integration and quality improvement vs. price competition Accountable care organizations Hospital consolidation

36 Health Reform and Beyond New era for research –Evaluating health reform –Much left to regulations – room for input Future oriented agenda –30 year payoff!

37 Thank you

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