WMU News

Health insurance, taxes topic of lecture by health policy expert

Feb. 4, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- An expert on health and pharmaceuticals and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research will be the next featured speaker in Western Michigan University's "The Economics of Health Care" lecture series Wednesday, Feb. 16.

Dr. Robert B. Helms will address "The Tax Treatment of Health Insurance," at 3 p.m. in Room 3508 of Knauss Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Helms, also the director of health policy studies at the Washington D.C.-based institute, which is one of America's largest and most respected think tanks. He has written and lectured extensively on health economics and policy. A former deputy assistant secretary for health policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, he participates in the Consensus Group, an informal task force that is developing market-oriented health reform concepts. Among his recent publications are articles and book chapters on creating incentives for competition in the health care industry, market-based approaches to health insurance reform and future issues in health economics.

Helms' presentation is part of WMU's Department of Economics 1999-2000 Guest Lecture-Seminar Series and is co-sponsored by WMU's College of Arts and Sciences and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. The series, which began in September and runs through April, examines critical issues affecting the health care industry.

The next scheduled lecture in the series will be Wednesday, March 15, and features Len. M. Nichols of the Urban Institute who will speak on the topic of modernizing Medicare for the next century. Nichols replaces David M. Cutler of Harvard University who was scheduled to speak on that date.

For more information, contact Dr. Huizhong Zhou, associate professor of economics, at (616) 387-5550 or the Department of Economics at (616) 387-5535.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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