Skip to main content
Past Event

Are US health care prices too high, too low, or some mix of the two?

Part 1 of a panel series on health care price regulation honoring Uwe E. Reinhardt (1937-2017)

Past Event

In light of the major financial burden that health care places on many households and the limited competition in many health care markets, some policymakers and experts have called for governments to play a larger role in determining the prices of health care services, such as by regulating those prices or introducing a public option. The late Uwe Reinhardt wrote and spoke for many years in support of a larger role for the public sector in determining health care prices.

On September 9, the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy hosted, in honor of Uwe’s work, the first of three webinars examining whether a larger public role is appropriate.

The event also featured introductory remarks that will place the full webinar series in the context of Uwe’s long work on this topic. The event opened with Leonard Schaeffer, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy professor and Judge Robert Maclay Widney chair, who knew Uwe well over a long period, followed by Richard Besser, the president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Tsung-Mei Cheng, Uwe’s wife and colleague, who in recent years has written about initiatives in Germany and Taiwan to constrain health care prices, spoke about Uwe’s thinking on these issues.

Viewers can submit question for panelists by emailing or via Twitter with #HealthCarePrices.




Leonard D. Schaeffer

Judge Robert Maclay Widney Chair and Professor - USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics and USC Price School of Public Policy

Trustee - University of Southern California

Trustee - Brookings Institution

Tsung-Mei Cheng

Health Policy Research Analyst - Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

Panel Discussion

Are U.S. health care prices too high, too low, or some mix of the two?

This panel will review evidence commonly used to assess the prices that privately insured Americans pay for health care services, including cross-country comparisons, cross-regional comparisons within the United States, and comparisons of the prices paid by public and private payers. Panelists will discuss the strengths and weakness of each type of evidence, as well as what this evidence can tell us about where price are too high or too low and how policymakers might respond.

Melinda Buntin

Mike Curb Professor and Chair Department of Health Policy - Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Amitabh Chandra

Ethel Zimmerman Wiener Professor of Public Policy and Director of Health Policy Research - Harvard Kennedy School

Henry and Allison McCance Professor of Business Administration - Harvard Business School

Michael Chernew

Leonard D. Schaeffer Professor of Health Care Policy and Director of the Healthcare Markets and Regulation Lab - Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School

Daria Pelech

Principal Analyst - Health, Retirement, and Long-Term Analysis Division, Congressional Budget Office

More Information

To subscribe or manage your subscriptions to our top event topic lists, please visit our event topics page.

Get a weekly events calendar from Brookings