2014 Congressional Health Policy Briefing

"How Low Can We Go? Bending the Health Care Cost Curve"

Featuring Uwe Reinhardt, Janet Currie and Heather Howard

Three distinguished faculty members from the Woodrow Wilson School's Center for Health and Wellbeing (CHW) at Princeton University hosted a congressional briefing, "How Low Can We Go? Bending the Health Care Cost Curve", on Tuesday, May 20th, 2014.

CHW Director Janet Currie drew from her research to identify key areas for health investments. Heather Howard, the Director of the State Health Reform Assistance Network and a lecturer in Public Affairs, spoke on achieving the ACA’s potential to reduce health care costs. Uwe Reinhardt, the James Madison Professor of Political Economy, outlined the etiology of high costs in health care and stressed the importance of price transparency.

More than 50 people from Congressional offices and Washington, D.C. attended the briefing, following by a Q&A session.

About the Speakers

Uwe Reinhardt
Uwe Reinhardt

Recognized as one of the nation’s leading authorities on health care economics, Reinhardt has been a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences since 1978.

He is a past president of the Association of Health Services Research. From 1986 to 1995 he served as a commissioner on the Physician Payment Review Committee, established in 1986 by Congress to advise it on issues related to the payment of physicians.

He is a senior associate of the Judge Institute for Management of Cambridge University, UK, and a trustee of Duke University, and the Duke University Health System.

Reinhardt is or was a member of numerous editorial boards, among them:

  • The Journal of Health Economics
  • The Milbank Memorial Quarterly
  • Health Affairs
  • The New England Journal of Medicine
  • The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Ph.D. Yale University. 

Visit Uwe Reinhardt's website.

Janet Currie
Janet Currie

Janet Currie is the Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and the Director of Princeton’s Center for Health and Wellbeing. She also directs the Program on Families and Children at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and a Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists. She was elected Vice President of the American Economics Association in 2010, and will be President of the Society of Labor Economists in 2014. She has also served as a consultant for the National Health Interview Survey and the National Longitudinal Surveys and on the advisory board of the National Children’s Study. She is an affiliate of IZA in Bonn. She has served as Editor of the Journal of Economic Literature and on the editorial board of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and has also served several other journals in an editorial capacity including the Journal of Health Economics, the Journal of Labor Economics, and the Journal of Public Economics. Her research focuses on the health and well-being of children. She has written about early intervention programs, programs to expand health insurance and improve health care, public housing, and food and nutrition programs. Her current research focuses on socioeconomic differences in child health, and on environmental threats to children’s health. 

Visit Janet Currie's website.

Heather Howard
Heather Howard

Heather Howard is the Director of the State Health Reform Assistance Network and the State Health and Value Strategies program, housed within the Center for Health and Wellbeing (CHW). The programs, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provide technical assistance to states in order to maximize coverage expansion under the Affordable Care Act and to enhance the value of health care and population health by reforming the delivery system. She is also a lecturer in public affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School and a faculty affiliate at CHW. Howard brings a wealth of experience in both federal and state government to the State Network and the WWS. She most recently served as the commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Health and Senior Services, a cabinet level agency with a budget of approximately $3.5 billion. There she was responsible for oversight of public health services, regulation of health care institutions, hospital financing, senior services and health care policy and research. Her prior public policy experience includes work in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the Domestic Policy Council at the White House, and the Health Care Task Force within the Antitrust Division at the U.S. Justice Department. Howard received a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Visit the State Health Reform Assistance Network website.



Recent Research and Commentary

Below are highlights of recent studies and commentaries by Reinhardt, Currie and Howard.