An open letter to Russ Roberts

Dear Russ,

As you know, I am a big fan of EconTalk. I wrote a favorable review of it that you have posted on the program’s web site. I still like the program, but I’m not satisfied with one thing: there has been an insufficient number of health economists on the show. (Has there even been one?)

Now, it may appear self serving that a health economist is asking you to interview a member of his discipline. But I think there are some very good reasons even a non-health economist would want such a thing. Health care represents one-sixth of the US economy. It is the source of current and projected budget problems at the national, state, and local levels. It would not be unreasonable to devote one out of six shows to the subject!

Yes, EconTalk has addressed health care, but from the point of view of economists that do not specialize in it. There’s nothing wrong with that. But how about a little balance?

Below is a list of health economists, each of whom I think would make a fine guest. There are likely many others. [Readers, please forgive me if I overlooked some good candidates and suggest them in the comments. This list is off the top of my head.]

If none of the individuals listed are willing or able to come on your show, I will gladly do so. However, I am a poor substitute for these distinguished scholars. I only offer myself as a backup so that there is no exogenous barrier to including a health economist on EconTalk.

Please try. I’ll be listening.

Health Economists (inadvertently incomplete (with apologies) and in no particular order)

Uwe Reinhardt, Mark Pauly, Amitabh Chandra, Joe Newhouse, David Cutler, Mike Chernew, John Nyman, Roger Feldman, Bryan Dowd, Tom McGuire, Hal Luft, Amy Finkelstein, Jon Gruber, Will Manning, Leemore Dafny, Henry Aaron, Rex Santerre, Katherine Baicker, Bob Town

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