Political Economy of Covid-19 Series: Watch a Stigler Center conversation between author, journalist, and former health insurance executive Wendell Potter and Chicago Booth professor Neale Mahoney on the impact of the crisis and its implications for the future of health care in America.


The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the many problems plaguing the US health care1 system. How can these flaws be remedied, and should the US move to a single-payer system right away, as some suggest, or opt for incremental reforms?

Watch a Stigler Center conversation between author, journalist, and former health insurance executive Wendell Potter and Chicago Booth professor Neale Mahoney on the impact of the crisis and its implications for the future of health care in America.

The conversation is moderated by Chicago Booth professor Guy Rolnik.

You can also read our interview with Potter here.

Wendell Potter is an author, former corporate public relations executive and journalist. During the 1970’s Potter was a reporter in Tennessee, covering local and state politics–including the Tennessee statehouse–for The Memphis Press-Scimitar. He went on to cover Congress, the White House, and Supreme Court for Scripps-Howard newspapers. After a few years in DC, Potter was enticed into PR and spent more than two decades in the health insurance industry, first at Humana and then at Cigna. He served as head of corporate communications for Cigna before leaving after a crisis of conscience in 2008. Potter has authored three books: Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans (New York Times bestseller and winner of the 2011 Ridenhour Book Prize); Obamacare: What’s In It for Me/What Everyone Needs to Know about the Affordable Care Act (ebook); and Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It (Bloomsbury). He has also written numerous commentaries and analysis pieces for a broad range of media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, The Guardian, The Nation, and the Center for Public Integrity.

Neale Mahoney is a professor of economics and David G. Booth Faculty Fellow at Chicago Booth. He is co-director of the Becker Friedman Institute Health Economics Initiative at the University of Chicago and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is a co-editor of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. Mahoney is an applied micro-economist with an interest in health insurance and consumer financial markets. His research has been published in top journals including the American Economic Review, Econometrica, Quarterly Journal of Economics, and JAMA and has received coverage in The Economist, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. He was named a Sloan Research Fellow in 2016. Before joining Chicago Booth in 2013, Mahoney was a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow in health policy research at Harvard University. He has also worked at McKinsey & Company and for the Obama Administration on health care reform. Mahoney received a PhD and MA in economics from Stanford University and an ScB in applied mathematics-economics from Brown University.

Guy Rolnik (moderator) is a clinical associate professor of strategic management at Chicago Booth. For the last 28 years, he has lived and worked at the intersection of business, finance, regulation, politics, and the media. First, as a financial journalist and editor, later as a business entrepreneur and founder of a media company, and in the last decade as a policy entrepreneur—using media as a tool for driving structural reforms in the economy. Rolnik’s work as a founder and chief editor of a leading business newspaper and columnist influenced in a dramatic way the ideas, norms, and values in Israeli political economy and brought about significant changes in regulatory policies and legislation. In this process, he has gained a unique understanding of the interplay of the three worlds: business, regulation, and media.

ProMarket is dedicated to discussing how competition tends to be subverted by special interests. The posts represent the opinions of their writers, not necessarily those of the University of Chicago, the Booth School of Business, or its faculty. For more information, please visit ProMarket Blog Policy.

 

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