Boston, MA
Apr. 3-4, 2017

Katherine Baicker

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

Katherine Baicker, PhD, is C. Boyden Gray Professor of Health Economics in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  She is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, an affiliate of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab, a nonresident senior fellow of the Brookings Institution, and an elected member of the Institute of Medicine.

Professor Baicker serves as Chair of the Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission; on the Congressional Budget Office’s Panel of Health Advisers; as a Director of Eli Lilly; on the Editorial Boards of Health Affairs, and the Journal of Health Economics; she has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of AcademyHealth and as a Commissioner on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. From 2005-2007, she served as a Senate-confirmed Member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, where she played a leading role in the development of health policy.

Professor Baicker’s research focuses primarily on the factors that drive the distribution, generosity, and effectiveness of public and private health insurance, with a particular focus on health insurance finance and the effect of reforms on the distribution and quality of care.  Her research has been published in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Health Affairs, and the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and has been featured in outlets such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio.  She is currently one of the leaders of a research program investigating the many effects of expanding health insurance coverage in the context of a randomized Medicaid expansion in Oregon.

She received her BA in economics from Yale and her PhD in economics from Harvard.  She has served on the faculty of the Department of Public Policy in the School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles; the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago; the Economics Department at Dartmouth College; and the Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences and the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School.

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.

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