April 3-4, 2017 | Boston, MA

Can We Have Slower Spending Growth and Better Healthcare?

April 3, 2017
9:05am - 9:50am
America South – Fourth Floor

Harvard health economist Katherine Baicker is no stranger to the impact of politics on health care policy. She's a leader of the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, a groundbreaking study that examines the effects of expanding Medicaid coverage. The experiment found that covering the uninsured increased the use of health care, including primary care, hospitalizations, and emergency room visits; diminished financial strain on patients; and reduced depression. However, it produced no statistically significant impact on physical health measures (blood pressure, for example), employment, or earnings.

The study's findings have been interpreted in wildly different ways. Proponents of the Affordable Care Act say it proves that Medicaid expansion generates valuable improvements in Americans' health. Opponents argue that it proves that the cost of expanding Medicaid far outweight the benefits.

In her timely opening keynote, delivered against the backdrop of President Trump’s promise to repeal and replace the ACA, Professor Baicker examines where the ACA succeeded and failed, what we can learn from the Oregon Experiment, and what she considers key to delivering better health for the money we spend.


C. Boyden Gray Professor of Health Economics
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

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