Media Relations Specialist
Media Alert - June 20, 2012
Attention: Health Care IT, Finance and Economics Reporters/Editors
Smith Experts Comment on Supreme Court Ruling on
Health Care Reform
College Park, Md. - Financial and health IT experts in the University of Maryland’s
Robert H. Smith School of Business are available to analyze the U.S. Supreme Court
decision on whether President Barack Obama‘s Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act is constitutional. These experts can discuss what's at stake related to patients,
insurers, IT investment and health insurance exchanges, and the U.S. economy.
The Smith School has an in-house facility for live or taped interviews via fiber-optic
line for television or multimedia content.
Ritu Agarwal: No Going Back to Previous System
The U.S. healthcare system is in dire need of a major transformation. We have
to figure out how to improve quality and curb costs. We’re all waiting with baited
breath -- will the justices vote along liberal/conservative lines with Justice Kennedy
the swing vote? If the reform act is turned down the controversial individual insurance
mandate will go away, but it is hard to imagine that we can return to the system
of the past. Many things have already been set into motion that will be difficult
to pull back on. Funds committed to various activities, are not going to go away.
Multiple demonstration projects related to aspects of the act have been launched,
including the patient-centered medical home and accountable care organizations.
There will be pressure to reinstate popular provisions such as dependent children
being permitted to stay on their parents' plan until age 26. At least 60 percent
of the states are working to put in place the infrastructure necessary to enable
health insurance exchanges. At least some form of private health insurance exchange
will survive, even if it is not state funded.
Agarwal, the Robert H. Smith Dean's Chair of
Information Systems and Director, Center for Health Information and Decision
Systems, advises Smith's Health Insurance Exchange Leadership Program.
CONTACT: 301-405-3121 or
Joseph Bailey: Health IT Revolution at Stake
A real opportunity for U.S. global leadership in health care IT is at stake here.
While the U.S. private sector appears ready to help lead the way regardless of the
decision, the government needs to walk the walk by supporting states' efforts to
build health insurance exchanges and partnering with private industry. Just as this
country has become global leader in developing digital platforms from Facebook and
Pinterest to iTunes, a similar opportunity with health care IT lies in the balance.”
Bailey, research associate professor in Smith’s Decision, Operations and Information
Technologies Department, conducts research on the operations of health exchanges
and advises Smith's Health Insurance Exchange Leadership Program.
David Kass: The Individual Mandate Effect
Total health care expenditures in 2010 reached $2.6 trillion, or 18 percent of
the GDP ($8400 per person), and have been growing rapidly. The Affordable Care Act
is intended to address escalating costs, improve the quality of care, and provide
access to the health insurance market for those currently uninsured. Intrade, the
online futures market, with a very high degree of accuracy in predicting the outcome
of statewide and national elections, is indicating a 72-percent probability the
individual mandate will be found unconstitutional ... If the individual mandate
is overturned, the Congressional Budget Office estimates 16 million fewer people
would gain insurance under the ACA -- reducing by half the total of uninsured Americans
who would otherwise gain coverage ... Assuming the remainder of the ACA is unaffected
by the decision, anyone with pre-existing conditions -- beginning in 2014 -- would
be guaranteed access to insurance. Insurers also would be unable to restrict coverage
or add a surcharge to premiums. The ACA also would retain federal tax credits to
make insurance more affordable for those who purchase it in the new health insurance
Kass, Tyser Teaching Fellow in finance, was a health economist over several years
for the Federal Trade Commission, General Accounting Office, Department of Defense
and Bureau of Economic Analysis, and has published several health economics studies
in academic journals.
CONTACT: 301-405-9683, 202-841-9324 (cell) or
Kislaya Prasad: Verdict Aside, ‘Resolute Government Action’ Needed
The Supreme Court's decision on this legislation is Washington theater at its
best. Regardless of how the justices decide, we will be left to deal with the question
of costs. If all or important parts of the act are struck down, a return to the
broken system of the past -- with exploding healthcare costs -- isn't really an
option. Even if the act survives, it will require resolute action by our government
to ensure that the cost-saving potential of the law is realized. A lot is made of
the potential of preventive care and information technologies to save on costs,
and they no doubt will. However, we will make genuine progress toward containing
costs only if comparative effectiveness of procedures informs physician and patient
Prasad, research professor and Center for International Business Education and
Research director, has focused his research on computability and complexity of individual
decisions and economic equilibrium, innovation and diffusion of technology, and
social influences on economic behavior.
Cliff Rossi, executive-in-residence and Tyser Teaching Fellow, has nearly 25
years of experience in banking and government, having held senior executive roles
in risk management at several of the largest financial services companies.
301-405-8717, 301-908-2536 (cell),
Bill Longbrake, executive-in-residence and senior advisor to Smith’s Center for
Financial Policy, has extensive experience in finance, macroeconomics and monetary
policy, risk management, housing, public policy and government, serving in both
the public and private sectors.
About the Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader
in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University
of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and
part-time MBA, executive MBA, MS in business, PhD and executive education programs,
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