Sidebar: Schill and Malani Edit Book on Healthcare Reform

Quite often, the loudest voices on health care reform have come from self­indulgent politicians and talking heads on TV. Luckily, there are more thoughtful and empirical perspectives on the subject, and the Law School is taking a leading role in making sure those are heard too.

To that end, Dean Michael Schill and Professor Anup Malani have edited a book on health care reform populated with articles from some of the top thinkers in law, economics, and medicine.

The Future of Health Care Reform in the United States, which will be published by the University of Chicago Press this year, is a collection of articles inspired by an October 2012 conference hosted by the Law School and University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences Division, with generous support from the Sidley Austin Foundation.

As the conference did over a year ago, the book tackles many of the complex questions that result from the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed into law by President Obama in 2010 and upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012.

“As the leading institution in law and economics, we are uniquely positioned at Chicago to examine these incredibly important topics, which affect every American,” Schill said. “We think applying legal and economic frameworks to health care questions could potentially identify new and better interventions to promote social welfare.”

The authors are both practitioners and academics; some favor the ACA, some oppose it, and others have nuanced views or take a purely observational, objective approach. All presented work at the conference.

Supreme Court litigator Carter Phillips, Partner and Chair of the Executive Committee at Sidley Austin, and Stephanie Hales, a Sidley associate, start the book with a chapter on the Supreme Court decision and what it means for the implementation of health care reform over the coming decades. Professor John Cochrane of the Booth School of Business wrote a highly critical chapter arguing that the ACA will make an inefficient US health care market even worse. Conversely, Professor Einer Elhauge of Harvard Law School argues that the ACA may improve the quality and lower the cost of health care.

Three Law School faculty members contributed chapters as well: Malani, Richard Epstein, and Aziz Huq. The Coase­-Sandor Institute for Law and Economics organized the conference and is compiling the book under Schill’s direction. The conference also was supported by the Center for Health and the Social Sciences’ Fallon Lecture Series on Health and Law. The conference featured a few speakers who are not contributing to the book, including Austan Goolsbee, Professor of Economics at Booth and former Chief Economist for President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. He was also Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and a member of the Cabinet.

Health care