About the Initiative

Research that produces evidence-based policy recommendations has seldom been more essential, given the dynamic state of health care. The USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy combines the policy expertise of the Economic Studies at Brookings with the data and analytic strength of the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics to produce recommendations on national health policy issues. The Initiative primarily focuses on three areas:

Charting the Course for Medicare

Medicare reform is vital to the endurance and efficacy of the program. The Congressional Budget Office projects that – without policy intervention – Medicare will account for 23 percent of all federal noninterest spending and 5 percent of GDP by 2035. Moreover, a significant share of Medicare beneficiaries today live with one or more chronic conditions. Medicare reforms must better meet the needs of today’s beneficiaries while ensuring the program is financially stable.

Assessing and Improving the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

The ACA is one of the most far-reaching and complex pieces of health care legislation in recent decades. Despite news coverage, its widespread effects are still not fully understood. The Initiative provides objective analysis of reform proposals and guidance on improving the functioning of the individual and small group markets.

Maximizing the Value of Innovation in Drugs and Devices

Prescription drugs are an increasing slice of health care spending for state and federal governments, insurance companies, and consumers. Investigating novel drug and device reimbursement models that better align with incentives with patients, payers, and providers has the potential to control costs and improve patient outcomes. The Initiative was established in 2016 through a generous gift from Leonard D. Schaeffer, a trustee of both Brookings and the University of Southern California. News release: Leonard D. Schaeffer Initiative for Innovation in Health Policy established; Paul Ginsburg to lead joint initiative