The Weekly Check-Up Atlanta

Dr. David Howard of Emory University

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This week we will be discussing public health, and the current healthcare reform debate with a policy expert, Dr. David Howard of Emory University.

  • We need to have healthy people come into insurance pool to lower costs says Dr. Howard.
  • Free market competition isn’t effective for insurance–especially if you are on the individual market with long term illness.
  • In short, Obama care aims to expand coverage.
  • What are the Obama care basics?
  • Myth: A majority of those who are uninsured choose to not buy insurance.
  • One way to bring down healthcare costs would be to rely more on Nurses and PAs says Dr. Howard.
  • Some of the differences in health stats between the US and Europe are complex, but health behaviors are definitely a factor.
  • Patients in the U.S. are treated more intensely, which brings the cost up. Other factors include pharmaceuticals, doctor salaries, & obesity
  • Do we pay more for healthcare in the U.S.? What is the difference in standard of care between nations?
  • Hospitals aren’t reaping huge profits from medicare patients says Dr. Howard.
  • Do hospitals overcharge medicare?
  • Obesity is one of the biggest issues in public health.
  • It is difficult to distinguish how much disease is the fault of the patient.
  • Should we have to pay for other people’s bad health habits?
  • It’s really employees that pay for healthcare, not the employer.
  • Newer, better medical technology is simply more expensive says Dr. Howard.
  • Why is healthcare reform necessary? How did we get to this place?

Dr. David Howard of Emory University


David Howard is a faculty member in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Emory University. A health economist by training, Dr. Howard’s research employs economics and statistics to better understand physician decision-making and its implications for public policy.

Dr. Howard’s current areas of research include: the impact of patients’ life expectancy on the use of cancer screening, the impact of quality and outcomes on patients’ choice of provider, and the responsiveness of practice patterns to comparative effectiveness research.

Dr. Howard has acted as an advisor or consultant to MEDPAC, the American Cancer Society, the Division of Transplantation in the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Howard received his doctorate in health policy from Harvard University in 2000.