Economists Debate Wisdom of Health Care Price Setting

In a Sept. 9 webinar hosted by the Brookings Institution and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, leading health care economists debated the value of government intervention in prices — and got into an extended argument about what makes U.S. health care prices so high in the first place.

The event was held in honor of the late Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt, who wrote the seminal 2003 health care economics paper “It’s the Prices, Stupid” and advocated for the U.S. to shift to an all-payer system along the lines of his native Germany, in which prices for health care services and products are subject to uniform schedules.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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