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February 17, 2010: News, Research & Events from the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy
The Impact of Comparitive Effectiveness Research on the U.S. Health Care System

Baker Institute fellows focus on health care

Next Wednesday, Feb. 24, the Baker Institute will host "The Impact of Comparative Effectiveness Research on the U.S. Health Care System." This panel discussion will bring together leading health policy experts to discuss research that compares the outcomes and effectiveness of different drugs, therapies and procedures. Such comparisons could help policymakers devise a health care system that delivers quality care at reasonable prices. "The event bridges economics and science and informs the health care industry about treatment options that are both beneficial and cost-effective," said Kirstin Matthews, the institute's fellow in science and technology, who is organizing the program with The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Additional sponsors for the event include the Baker Institute Health Policy Forum and the Rice University Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering. Roundtable members are invited to attend and may RSVP here.
The event is part of a broader institute spotlight on health care reform — one of the top challenges facing Congress and the Obama administration this year. In a recent Houston Chronicle op-ed titled "A realistic, pragmatic approach to health care," Vivian Ho, the Baker Institute's chair in health economics, wrote that a winning strategy for the president might be to focus on children — specifically the issue of uninsured children. "Implementing universal access to health care for all children is politically acceptable to both Democrats and Republicans, and it is generally appealing to the public," she said. "Past research has also demonstrated that insuring children is much less expensive than covering adults (because children are healthier on average than adults) and is in fact cost-saving to society in the long run." You can learn more about health insurance and children in the 2009 Baker Institute report, "The Economic Impact of Uninsured Children on America."

Ambassador Djerejian's "smart essay" cited in NYT

In the Feb. 13, 2010, New York Times, columnist Thomas Friedman links problems in the Middle East to events dating back to 1979 — and tips his hat to Baker Institute founding director Edward Djerejian, whose similar piece, "The Radical Legacy of 1979," appeared in The Wall Street Journal last month. Read Friedman's op-ed, "1977 vs. 1979."

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The James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy is a nonpartisan public policy think tank located on the campus of Rice University in Houston, Texas. The institute's distinguished fellows and scholars research and collaborate with experts from academia, government, the media, business and private organizations on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy.
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