BU Panel Tackles the Health Care Puzzle

October 15, 2009

On October 8, Arts & Sciences at Boston University and the Boston University Alumni Association hosted a panel discussion on health care reform, part of the Discoveries lecture and learning series. The series gives alumni a deeper look into issues affecting the world and their lives. BU faculty experts in economics and health care participated in the lively panel discussion.

Perhaps the most complex and controversial topic in America today, health care reform has eluded the best efforts of dedicated and influential politicians for decades. Even President Obama, who arrived in office on a near tidal wave of good will, faces serious resistance to his sweeping initiative.

Most will agree that the main issues are cost, access, and quality. Health care now accounts for 15 percent of the GDP, and yet more than 45 million Americans have no coverage. Even the insured often cannot afford needed services because of sky-high out-of-pocket costs, holes in their coverage for pre-existing conditions, or non-covered treatments. Those satisfied with their care and coverage worry about what change might bring.

So how can we achieve a balance that will satisfy most of the people most of the time at an acceptable price? CAS Professor of Economics Randall Ellis joined School of Medicine Research Professor of Medicine and Public Health Arlene Ash, School of Public Health Chairman of the Department of Health Policy and Management Gary Young, and School of Management Professor of Business, Policy, and Law Stephen Davidson to discuss this challenging topic. CAS Economics Chair Robert Margo introduced the panelists.

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