RESEARCH TO POLICY: HEALTH ECONOMICS
Measuring health care
Amy Finkelstein spotted an opportunity to bring the gold standard in scientific research to one of the most pressing questions of the day.
“We found Medicaid basically eliminates the prospect that a person will have a catastrophic financial issue.”
When Oregon voted in 2008 to use a lottery to determine which low-income adults to add to its Medicaid rolls, Stephen Colbert mocked the effort as “gambling for health insurance.”
MIT economist Amy Finkelstein wasn’t laughing.
“I heard about it and immediately thought, ‘Oh my god, drop everything and get on this!'” says Finkelstein, the Ford Professor of Economics at MIT and a principal investigator of the groundbreaking Oregon Health Insurance Experiment. “What they saw as humorous, we saw as an unprecedented opportunity to bring the gold standard in scientific research to one of the most pressing questions of our day.”
Photo by Len Rubenstein courtesy of MIT News.