Tag Archives: BU

Facts about Tom Price, HHS nominee

Health economists and every concerned citizen should disseminate the facts in this NEJM article about Donald Trump’s nominee of Tom Price to be the next secretary of HHS.
Coauthor Richard Frank is also a BU Ph.D. alum!

Randy Ellis

 

Care for the Vulnerable vs. Cash for the Powerful — Trump’s Pick for HHS

Sherry A. Glied, Ph.D., and Richard G. Frank, Ph.D.

New England Journal of Medicine

December 21, 2016DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1615714

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1615714#t=article

 

Since there is no abstract, here are the first two paragraphs.

Representative Tom Price of Georgia, an orthopedic surgeon, will be President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of health and human services (HHS). In the 63-year history of the HHS Department and its predecessor, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, only two previous secretaries have been physicians. Otis Bowen, President Ronald Reagan’s second HHS secretary, engineered the first major expansion of Medicare, championed comparative effectiveness research and, with Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, led the fight against HIV–AIDS.1 Louis Sullivan, HHS secretary under President George H.W. Bush, focused his attention on care for vulnerable populations, campaigned against tobacco use, led the development of federally sponsored clinical guidelines,2 and introduced President Bush’s health insurance plan, which incorporated income-related tax credits3 and a system of risk adjustment. In their work at HHS, both men, serving in Republican administrations, drew on a long tradition of physicians as advocates for the most vulnerable, defenders of public health, and enthusiastic proponents of scientific approaches to clinical care.

Tom Price represents a different tradition. Ostensibly, he emphasizes the importance of making our health care system “more responsive and affordable to meet the needs of America’s patients and those who care for them.”4 But as compared with his predecessors’ actions, Price’s record demonstrates less concern for the sick, the poor, and the health of the public and much greater concern for the economic well-being of their physician caregivers.

Since the NEJM full article  requires a subscription, here is a summary what they document:

Price has sponsored legislation that

  • supports making armor-piercing bullets more accessible
  • opposes regulations on cigars
  • Repeals and replaces the ACA (see details below)

Voted  

  • Against the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  • Against regulating tobacco as a drug
  • Against the Domenici–Wellstone Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act
  • Against funding for combating AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis
  • Against expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program
  • In favor of allowing hospitals to turn away Medicaid and Medicare patients seeking nonemergency care if they could not afford copayments
  • Against reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act
  • Against legislation prohibiting job discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people
  • Against enforcement of laws against anti-LGBT hate crimes.
  • Against expanding the NIH budget
  • Against the recently enacted 21st Century Cures Act

Price stated views:

  • Favors converting Medicare to a premium-support system
  • Favors changing the structure of Medicaid to a block grant program
  • Favors amending the Constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage
  • Opposes stem-cell research
  • Inconsistent in supporting investments in biomedical science.

His proposal for repealing and replacing the ACA is H.R. 2300, the Empowering Patients First Act,5 which would

  • Eliminate the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and
  • Replace ACA subsidies with flat tax credits based on age, not income
  • Be regressive, with larger subsidies for high than low incomes.
  • Credits would pay only about one third of the premium of a low-cost plan
  • Credits proposed are smaller than those proposed by President Bush in 1992, and will not be sufficient to get most people to buy health insurance
  • Eliminate the guaranteed-issue and community-rating requirements in the ACA, with ineffective substitutes.
  • Withdraw almost all the ACA’s federal consumer-protection regulations, including limits on insurer profits and requirements that plans cover essential health benefits.
  • Allow the sale of health insurance across state lines, effectively eliminating all state regulation of health insurance plans
  • Fund his plan by capping the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance at $8,000 per individual or $20,000 per family, caps that are lower than the unpopular Cadillac tax in the ACA, which Price himself has voted to repeal, and hence is unlikely to ever be approved
  • Directly advance physicians’ economic interests by permitting them to bill Medicare patients for amounts above those covered by the Medicare fee schedule and allowing them to join together and negotiate with insurance carriers without violating antitrust statutes.
  • Oppose strategies for value-based purchasing and guideline development,
  • Oppose the use of bundled payments for lower-extremity joint replacements and
  • Propose that physician specialty societies hold veto power over the release of comparative effectiveness findings.

Consider what you can do to make sure that these facts are widely known. Perhaps ask your legislators which of these views they support.

Congratulations to BU’s Class of 2016 Economics graduates!

Please celebrate the students who earned 498 Boston University degrees in Economics at Commencement this May.

This year the program mentions:

22 Ph.D. recipients

203 Master’s degree recipients (MA, MAPE, MAEP, MAGDE MA/MBA, BA/MA)

273 BA recipients (including BA/MA)

This total of 498 degrees is up from 482  in 2015.

These numbers undercount the total for the year since it may exclude students who graduated in January 2016 and chose not to appear at Commencement.

The number of graduate degree recipients 225 is way up from last year when we had 177, with most of the growth in MAs.

In 2015 there were 22 PhDs, 155 Master’s degree recipients, and 305 BA recipients.

In 2014 there were 17 PhDs, 207 Master’s degree recipients, and 256 BA recipients.

Altogether 24 Ph.D. students obtained jobs this year (versus 19 last year).

To see the Ph.D. placements visit the web site linked here.

http://www.bu.edu/econ/gradprgms/phd/placements/

The department’s  website now lists 38 regular faculty (down two from last year) with titles of assistant, associate or full professors, a number which is two below the number of professors in 2012.

http://www.bu.edu/econ/people/faculty/

 

Congratulations to all!

BU ranked 41 overall, 24th in Economics, by US News and World Report

Since I have blogged about rankings in the past – here and here, I thought I would blog about BU’s latest rankings by US News and World Report and elsewhere.

BU was ranked 41, up one position in the 2015 as top US Colleges and Universities.

This ranking is across all fields, and is based mostly on survey results.

BU rankings in various subsets by USN&WR are linked here.

In Economics, BU was only ranked #24 by USN&WR, tied with Johns Hopkins, and just behind Brown, CMU, Duke, Maryland, Rochester.

This lower than hoped ratings of the department is not so surprising if you look at the USN&WR methodology:

“Rankings of doctoral programs in the social sciences and humanities are based solely on the results of peer assessment surveys sent to academics in each discipline.”

Peer assessments tend to change very slowly over time and our image before 2000 still enters into peoples ranking.

Economics had a 25 percent response rate from the department heads and directors of Graduate studies to whom they sent questionnaires.

BU tends to do better when using citations (currently ranked 12 by REPEC in the US behind Yale, Brown and Michigan, but ahead of U. Penn)

Another ranking is by QS World Universities where we are ranked 18 in the US 47th in the world, just behind Duke, Michigan, UCSD and Brown.

“The rankings highlight the world’s top universities in 36 individual subjects, based on academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact (full methodology here)”

The AEA own list of rankings, features several older ones.

Congratulations to BU’s Class of 2014 Economics graduates!

Please celebrate the 463 Boston University students who earned degrees in Economics at Commencement over the weekend. This year the program contained:

17 Ph.D. recipients

207 Master’s degree recipients (MA, MAPE, MAEP, MAGDE MA/MBA, BA/MA)

256 BA recipients (including BA/MA)

This represents a total of 463 degrees!

These numbers undercount the total for the year since they exclude students who graduated in January 2014 and chose not to appear at Commencement.

The number of graduate degree recipients (234) remains close to the number of  BA students (256) both of which are down from the previous year, which was itself up 10% over 2012.

Last year (2013) there were 21 PhDs, 257 Master’s degree recipients, and 292 BA recipients.

Altogether 23 Ph.D. students obtained jobs this year. To see their placements visit the web site linked here.

http://www.bu.edu/econ/gradprgms/phd/placements/

Many MA students did well on the job market and in being accepted to Ph.D. programs. For a partial list see:
http://www.bu.edu/econ/2014/05/16/ma-students-admitted-to-top-phd-programs/

The department’s recently redesigned website now lists 38 regular professors, a number which is down two since 2012.
http://www.bu.edu/econ/people/faculty/

Congratulations to all!

To the Sea by the T

Although Boston has many beaches, all swimmable, many people just go to the Cape and don’t think to try the beaches nearby. This link from BU TODAY, To the Sea by the T has a really cool Map showing the beaches and how to get there via the T for the cost of a subway fare. My favorite is Revere Beach (200 meters from the Blue Line Revere Beach stop), particularly for the National Sand Sculpting Festival that runs July 19-21 in 2013. Most people’s favorite is Nantasket Beach on Hull (best by car, since still a 3.1 mile walk or short taxi from the T).  Bicycling is another option…  Taking the ferry to one of the Boston Harbor Islands is another easy choice.

To the Sea by the T

A guide to MBTA-accessible beaches
Map

http://www.bu.edu/today/2013/boston-beaches-accessible-by-mbta/

National Sand Sculpting Festival

Unbelievable pictures from past sand sculpture contests at Revere Beach.

2012 and 2012

2011

2010

2006

Enjoy Summer!