May 5, 2020 • 36M

Howard Friedman Discusses His Recently Published Book, "Ultimate Price, The Value We Place on Life" (May 12th)

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David Introcaso, Ph.D.
Podcast interviews with health policy experts on timely subjects. The Healthcare Policy Podcast website features audio interviews with healthcare policy experts on timely topics. An online public forum routinely presenting expert healthcare policy analysis and comment is lacking. While other healthcare policy website programming exists, these typically present vested interest viewpoints or do not combine informed policy analysis with political insight or acumen. Since healthcare policy issues are typically complex, clear, reasoned, dispassionate discussion is required. These podcasts will attempt to fill this void. Among other topics this podcast will address: •Implementation of the Affordable Care Act •Other federal Medicare and state Medicaid health care issues •Federal health care regulatory oversight, moreover CMS and the FDA •Healthcare research •Private sector healthcare delivery reforms including access, reimbursement and quality issues •Public health issues including the social determinates of health Listeners are welcomed to share their program comments and suggest programming ideas. Comments made by the interviewees are strictly their own and do not represent those of their affiliated organization/s.
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Considering how the COVID-19 pandemic has been addressed by federal policy makers, e.g., the US, with 4.25% of the world's population, accounts for approximately 30% of worldwide deaths, the question arises to what extent do we value life - literally.  As Professor Friedman notes in his work, lives undervalued are lives unprotected since they are exposed to greater health and safety risks and enjoy far fewer legal protections. 

During this 33-minute conversation, Prof Friedman discusses his motivation or intent in writing the book, what in theory is intended in calculating a monetary value for a life, how value is calculated or the "Value of a Statistical Life," why valuations vary widely, examples of why and when they're employed, for example, the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund (VCF), the infamous Ford Pinto example and others including employer insurance policies on employees (commonly termed "dead peasants" insurance") and lives threatened by the climate crisis and relevance today in context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Howard Friedman teaches at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia's Data Science Institute. He also provides statistical analysis for the United Nations Populations Fund.  Previously, Dr. Friedman served as a Director at Capital One where he led teams of statisticians, analysts and programmers in various areas of operations.  He has authored and co-authored over 70 scientific articles and book chapters in areas of applied statistics, health economics and politics.  His recent publications have appeared in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, Current Medical Research & Opinion, Clinical Therapeutics, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy, Clinical Drug Investigation, American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs and Value in Health. Professor Friedman is also the author of the 2012 work, Measure of a Nation and the 2013 work, A Modest Proposal for America.  Professor Friedman Friedman received his Bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University in Applied Physics, earned a Masters in Statistics and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins. 

Information on Ultimate Price is at: