Should Government Deliver Comparative‐​Effectiveness Research — or Can It?

Policy Forum
March 3, 2009 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST


Featuring Shannon Brownlee, Visiting Scholar, NIH Clinical Center, Dept. of Bioethics, and also Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation; Scott Gottlieb, M.D., Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; and Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute;

Studies comparing the effectiveness of medical treatments have the potential to reduce health care costs by helping purchasers, such as Medicare, eliminate low-value services. Health care analysts generally agree that current institutions underproduce comparative-effectiveness research, and economists agree that private sector tends to underproduce such public goods. Many, therefore, want Congress to fund such research. But is market failure really the culprit? And would taxpayer-funded research solve the problem, or would it lead to government rationing? Or would it have no effect on health care costs?