The Five (Not So) Easy Pieces of Health Reform
About This Event

Beginning in June, Congress will launch the latest round of an Obama administration-supported effort to overhaul and transform the U.S. health care system through complex, comprehensive, and controversial legislation. The five core elements within this health reform plan include mandates for universal coverage, a national health insurance exchange, a new Listen to Audio

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public plan option for individuals not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, revenue increases and spending offsets amounting to at least $1 trillion over the next ten years, and limits on the future scope and scale of medical treatment options.

At this event, several panels of AEI scholars, health industry experts, and health policy researchers will examine the likely impact, feasibility, and support for such policy reforms and the context within which they will be debated in the months ahead. During a luncheon address, Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, will provide a preview of this summer's proceedings on Capitol Hill, as well as his own proposal for improving the affordability, accessibility, and accountability of patient-centered health care. AEI resident fellow Thomas P. Miller will moderate.


Speaker biographies

Joseph Antos is the Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at AEI. He also is a commissioner of the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission and an adjunct professor at the School of Public Health of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mr. Antos's research focuses on the economics of health policy, including Medicare reform, health insurance regulation, and the uninsured. He is the editor with Alice Rivlin of Restoring Fiscal Sanity 2007: The Health Spending Challenge (Brookings Institution Press, 2007). Before joining AEI, Mr. Antos was assistant director for health and human resources at the Congressional Budget Office, and he held senior positions in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Management and Budget, and the President's Council of Economic Advisers.

John E. Calfee is a resident scholar at AEI. He previously worked on the economics of consumer protection-including advertising and marketing, the tort liability system, tobacco, and other topics-at the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission. He has taught marketing and consumer behavior at the business schools of the University of Maryland at College Park and Boston University and spent a year as a visiting senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Mr. Calfee's academic articles and opinion pieces cover a variety of topics, including tort liability, advertising and information, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation, and the pharmaceutical market. His op-eds have run in the Wall Street Journal, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Los Angeles Times, and numerous other newspapers and magazines. His recent scholarly publications have appeared in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Health Affairs, and the Supreme Court Economic Review. He has published three short books: Fear of Persuasion: A New Perspective on Advertising and Regulation (AEI Press, 1997); Prices, Markets, and the Pharmaceutical Revolution (AEI Press, 2000); and Biotechnology and the Patent System: Balancing Innovation and Property Rights, with Claude Barfield (AEI Press, 2007). He has also testified before Congress and federal agencies on various topics, including alcohol advertising; biodefense vaccine research; international drug prices; the Vioxx episode; and, most recently, FDA oversight of drug safety.

James C. Capretta is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center; a contributing editor to the center’s journal, The New Atlantis; the author of the health care policy blog Diagnosis; an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute and at the Global Aging Initiative of the Center for Strategic and International Studies; and a principal at the public policy consulting firm Civic Enterprises. From January 2001 to May 2004, Mr. Capretta served in the Bush administration as an associate director in the White House Office of Management and Budget, where he had responsibility for health care, Social Security, education, and labor issues. From June 2004 to August 2006, Mr. Capretta was a managing director of Wexler and Walker Public Policy Associates. He was also a visiting lecturer at the Sanford Institute of Public Policy at Duke University in 2006 and a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution from 2005 to 2006. Prior to joining the White House in 2001, Mr. Capretta served for nearly a decade as a senior policy analyst on the Republican staff for the U.S. Senate Budget Committee under Senator Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and as a professional staff member of the House Ways and Means Committee Subcommittee on Health.

Denny Dennis is the senior research fellow at National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). Besides managing the research program of the NFIB Foundation, he is founder and director of the National Small Business Poll and coauthored Small Business Economic Trends for twenty years. He has also been honored by the Small Business Administration with the Special Advocacy Award, which recognizes him as "one of small business’s most committed advocates, with considerable expertise in small-business research" and by the Academy of Management for "Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Entrepreneurship." He has served as president of the International Council for Small Business.

Bryan E. Dowd is Mayo Professor in the Division of Health Policy and Management (HPM) in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. He is the principal investigator for Minnesota’s Master Research and Demonstration contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. His research focuses on health economics; health policy, including markets for public and private health insurance and health care services; and the application of econometric methods to health service research problems. His recent research includes studies of insurance theory, causal modeling, health plan choice, enrollment and disenrollment in Medicare health maintenance organizations, tax policy, and Medicare reform. He has published over one articles in peer-reviewed journals and coauthored the book Competitive Pricing for Medicare with HPM colleagues. He is the recipient of three Article of the Year Awards and is currently chair of the Methods Council for AcademyHealth.

Walton J. Francis is a self-employed economist and policy analyst, expert in analysis and evaluation of public programs. He pioneered the systematic compari¬son of health insurance plans from a consumer perspec¬tive as primary author of CHECKBOOK’s Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees. This annual online publication rates plans in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), which is often cited as a model for health reform. He has testified before Congress on Medicare reform and FEHBP reform and has worked as a consultant to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Scott Gottlieb, M.D., is a practicing physician and a resident fellow at AEI. A leading expert in health care policy, Dr. Gottlieb’s work focuses on providing insights into the economic, regulatory, and technological forces driving the transformation of health care today. From 2005 to 2007, Dr. Gottlieb served as Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deputy commissioner and, from 2003 to 2004, as a senior adviser to then-FDA commissioner Mark McClellan and as the FDA’s director of medical policy development. A recipient of numerous medical association awards, Dr. Gottlieb is the author of more than three hundred articles that have appeared in leading medical journals, as well as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, and Forbes. Dr. Gottlieb has held editorial positions on the British Medical Journal and the Journal of the American Medical Association and appears regularly as a guest commentator on CNBC. Previously, Dr. Gottlieb worked as a health care analyst for the investment bank Alex Brown & Sons and authored the Forbes-Gottlieb Medical Technology Letter and the Gilder Biotech Report. Dr. Gottlieb has testified as an expert witness on health and regulatory matters before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and members of the Japanese Diet.

Scott E. Harrington is the Alan B. Miller Professor in the Health Care Management and Insurance and Risk Management departments at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is an adjunct scholar at AEI and the Cato Institute. A former president of both the American Risk and Insurance Association and the Risk Theory Society, he is a coeditor of the Journal of Risk and Insurance and has published widely on the economics and regulation of insurance. A frequent speaker on insurance markets, regulation, and public policy, he has conducted research, consulted, or served as an expert for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and for many corporations and industry organizations. He has testified before the U.S. House and Senate and before numerous U.S. state legislative and administrative committees.

Robert B. Helms is a resident scholar in health policy studies at AEI. He has written and lectured extensively on health policy, health economics, and the economics of the pharmaceutical industry. Mr. Helms currently participates in the Consensus Group, an informal task  force that is developing market-oriented health reform concepts. He has served on the National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Medicaid Commission. Mr. Helms is the editor of several AEI books on health policy, including American Health Policy: Critical Issues for Reform (AEI Press, 1993), Health Policy Reform: Competition and Controls (AEI Press, 1993), Competitive Strategies in the Pharmaceutical Industry (AEI Press, 1996), and Medicare in the 21st Century: Seeking Fair and Efficient Reform (AEI Press, 1999). He has also written on the history of Medicare, the tax treatment of health insurance, and international comparisons of health systems. From 1981 until 1989, he served as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation and deputy assistant secretary for health policy at HHS.

David A. Hyman is the Richard W. and Marie L. Corman Professor of Law and a professor of medicine at the University of Illinois, where he directs the Epstein Program in Health Law and Policy. He focuses his research and writing on the regulation and financing of health care, and he teaches health care regulation, civil procedure, insurance law, law and economics, professional responsibility, and tax policy. While serving as special counsel to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Mr. Hyman was the principal author and the project leader for the first joint report ever issued by the FTC and the Department of Justice, Improving Health Care: A Dose of Competition (2004). He is also the author of Medicare Meets Mephistopheles (Cato, 2006), which was selected by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce/National Chamber Foundation as one of the top ten books of 2007. He has published widely in student-edited law reviews and peer-reviewed medical, health policy, and law journals. He is the author or coauthor of more than seventy-five articles and book chapters.

Thomas P. Miller is a resident fellow at AEI, where he focuses on health policy, with particular emphasis on information transparency, health insurance regulation, and consumer-driven health care. He is also a member of the National Advisory Council for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Before joining AEI, Mr. Miller served for three years as a senior health economist for the Joint Economic Committee, where he organized a series of hearings focusing on promising reforms in private health care markets and drafted several Social Security reform bills. He also has been director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute and director of economic policy studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Mr. Miller’s writing has appeared in such publications as Health Affairs, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Reader’s Digest, National Review, the Journal of Law and Contemporary Problems, Regulation, and Cato Journal. Before coming to Washington, he was a trial attorney, a journalist, and a sports radio broadcaster.

Stephen T. Parente is the director of the Medical Industry Leadership Institute and an associate professor in the finance department at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, where he specializes in health economics, health information technology, and health insurance. He has served as a consultant to several of the largest organizations in health care delivery, including UnitedHealth Group, Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, federal and state governments, and medical technology firms. Mr. Parente is the principal investigator for an evaluation of consumer-directed health plans using claims data from large employers. He is also examining the productivity and cost impact of information technology investments in hospitals and has recently concluded several studies on topics including innovations from health savings accounts and medical banking technologies. Mr. Parente was a health policy adviser for the McCain 2008 presidential campaign and served as a legislative fellow in the office of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.V.) during the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations’ health reform initiatives.

Tomas J. Philipson is a visiting scholar at AEI and the Daniel Levin Chair in the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy as well as an associate member of the department of economics at the University of Chicago. He was a senior health care adviser to the 2008 presidential campaign of John McCain and served in the Bush administration as the senior economic adviser to the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration from 2003 to 2004 and subsequently as the senior economic adviser to the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services from 2004 to 2005. Mr. Philipson is an editor of Forum for Health Economics & Policy and is on the editorial board of Health Economics and The European Journal of Health Economics. His honors and awards include twice (2000 and 2006) being the recipient of the highest honor of his field, the Kenneth Arrow Award from the International Health Economics Association. In addition, he is the recipient of the Garfield Award from Research America in 2007, the Prêmio Haralambos Simeonidis from the Brazilian Economic Association in 2006, and the Distinguished Economic Research Award from the Milken Institute in 2003. Mr. Philipson is the cofounder of Precision Health Economics. He is affiliated with the Manhattan Institute, the RAND Corporation, the Milken Institute, the Heartland Institute, and the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest; is an adviser to the Gerson Lehrman Group; and is a consultant for Compass-Lexecon and Analysis Group.

Paul Ryan is a fifth-generation Wisconsin native currently serving his sixth term as a member of the House of Representatives. Mr. Ryan works to address the many important issues affecting Wisconsin residents and serves as an effective advocate for the First Congressional District. He is the ranking member of the House Budget Committee and a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over health care, among other policy areas. Representative Ryan has focused his recent legislative efforts on addressing our long-term fiscal crisis-the explosion of entitlement spending-and is a sponsor of the Patients’ Choice Act of 2009.

Bill Thomas, former chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, is a visiting fellow at AEI. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1978 to 2007, most recently representing California’s Twenty-second Congressional District, which covered most of Kern and San Luis Obispo Counties and part of Los Angeles County. Mr. Thomas was elected chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in January 2001 and served until January 2007. During his chairmanship, he guided the enactment of $2 trillion in tax relief, including the Economic Growth and Tax Reconciliation Act of 2001, which reduced all ordinary income tax rates; the Jobs and Growth Tax Reconciliation Act of 2003, which reduced the tax rate on dividends and capital gains; and the Job Creation Act of 2004, which provided significant reforms for corporate tax policy. Prior to his election as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Thomas served as chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. He was also chairman of the House Administration Committee from 1995 to 2001. Before entering Congress, he was a faculty member at Bakersfield Community College and a member of the California State Assembly.

Janet Trautwein is executive vice president and CEO of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) in Arlington, Virginia. Her responsibilities include oversight of all NAHU activities and primary representation of the association to the media, government agencies and elected officials at all levels, the insurance industry, and the public. Previously, Ms. Trautwein served for many years as the head of NAHU’s government affairs department. She has a particular interest and expertise in issues related to the uninsured, long-term care, high-risk pools, and health insurance markets around the United States. She has participated in two Government Accountability Office studies on health insurance markets, a study of the individual health insurance market with the Kaiser Family Foundation, and numerous NAHU-sponsored research projects on health insurance markets and other relevant health issues. Additionally, Ms. Trautwein has worked extensively on the implementation of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act health insurance tax credit for trade displaced workers. In 2001, she was appointed to President Bush’s health advisory transition team to advise the president and the incoming secretary of health and human services on health issues facing the nation. In 2004, she received the Harold R. Gordon Memorial Award, which is considered to the most prestigious award in the health insurance industry.

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John E.
  • Economist John E. Calfee (1941-2011) studied the pharmaceutical industry and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the economics of tobacco, tort liability, and patents. He previously worked at the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Economics. He had also taught marketing and consumer behavior at the business schools of the University of Maryland at College Park and Boston University. While Mr. Calfee's writings are mostly on pharmaceutical markets and FDA regulation, his academic articles and opinion pieces covered a variety of topics, from patent law and tort liability to advertising and consumer information. His books include Prices, Markets, and the Pharmaceutical Revolution (AEI Press, 2000) and Biotechnology and the Patent System (AEI Press, 2007). Mr. Calfee wrote regularly for AEI's Health Policy Outlook series. He testified before Congress and federal agencies on various topics, including alcohol advertising; biodefense vaccine research; international drug prices; and FDA oversight of drug safety.




Robert B.


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