Leading up to the November election, the health reform proposals of presumptive presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama will be analyzed, compared and critiqued until absolutely nothing original is left to say about them.
The team of strategists corralled to draft the proposals are now defending and promoting them. Both sides have put Harvard professors and U.S. Representatives to work, but the similarities end there.
Here’s a brief look each candidates’ health wonk roster:
is McCain’s policy director. The economist is the former director of the
Congressional Budget Office and economic advisor to both Presidents
Bush. "The key to real reform is to restore control over our
health-care system to the patients themselves," he has said. While not on McCain’s Straight Talk Express campaign bus , Holtz-Eakin is Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and President of DHE Consulting, LLC. Holtz-Eakin staunchly supports limiting national spending to clearly defined priorities and reforming entitlement programs to keep taxes low.
Thomas P. Miller is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. He is a former senior health economist for the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress and former Director of Health Policy Studies at the Cato Institute. Miller believes that health care is over-regulated, over-subsidized, and over-politicized.
Stephen T. Parente is a finance professor at the University of Minnesota and former director of the HIT Institute there. Here’s his resume. Parente earned his PhD in health care finance from Johns Hopkins. He has published frequently on health care consumerism and value-based purchasing.
Regina E. Herzlinger is a professor at Harvard Business School who has been dubbed the "grandmother of consumer-driven health care." Her books include Consumer-Driven Health Care: Implications for Providers, Payers, and Policymakers and Who Killed Health Care? Herzlinger has a long history of mentions on THCB here, here and here.
U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess is a doctor who represents the 26th district in Texas. He sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is responsible for health care, the safety of food and drugs, energy and power legislation. Burgess blogged recently for Health Affairs on doctor-owned specialty hospitals.
Jay Khosla worked as Health Policy Counsel for the former U.S. Senate
Majority Leader, Bill Frist, before joining McCain’s health policy
advising team. Khosla has also worked as the health counsel for the
U.S. Senate Budget Committee, focusing on Medicare, the uninsured and
insurance market reforms.
David Blumenthal is a physician and professor of
medicine and professor of health policy at Harvard
Medical School. His work has focused on the costs of health information
technology and different strategies for health reform. This is his fourth time advising a presidential candidate on health care.
David Cutler is a professor of economics at Harvard University. He is the author of Your Money Or Your Life: Strong Medicine for America’s Health Care System. Cutler helped develop the Clintons’ failed universal health care proposal in
the early 1990s and worked on health care blueprints for
Democratic presidential candidates Bill Bradley in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004. He has worked with the National Institutes of Health and the
National Academy of Sciences. Currently, he is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a member of
the Institute of Medicine.
U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper from Tennessee has been working on health reform in the House since 1992. He played an antagonistic role during the Clintons’ attempt at reform in the 1990s. Cooper blogged recently at Health Affairs on health spending.
Jeffrey Liebman is a professor of public policy at Harvard University and an expert on federal budgeting and program costs. Along with Cutler and Blumenthal, Liebman authored an economic review of Obama’s health plan, finding that it could be implemented without raising taxes.