Dartmouth Exemplifies Academics Informing Policy, Says Economist Peter Orszag

By Susan Boutwell and Martin Grant

Ground-breaking research documenting variations in health care across the United States by Dr. John Wennberg and others at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice is “one of the best examples that we have of academic work informing the policy process,” says economist Peter Orszag, a former member of the Obama administration who visited Dartmouth on February 8, 2012.

“In my mind, it’s exactly the kind of research and role that an academic institution should be playing,” he says.

Orszag, who took time to talk with Dartmouth Now, said he carried around a copy of the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care to make sure senators and members of the House of Representatives were aware of the findings, while the Affordable Care Act was being crafted in 2009 and 2010.

Peter Orszag, former director of the Office of Management and Budget. (photo courtesy Peter Orszag)

In 2009 and 2010, Orszag was director of the Office of Management and Budget, and before that, director of the Congressional Budget Office. He spoke about his work to students in Professor Ron Shaiko’s introduction to public policy class, visited with faculty members, and delivered a public lecture while on campus.

The economic recovery will be more of slow, “hard slog,” than a quick, robust revival, Orszag told an overflow crowd in Silsby auditorium.

Orszag’s talk was part of the Winter Term Public Program at The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences. Orszag is currently vice chairman of global banking at Citigroup, Inc., a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a columnist for the online Bloomberg View.

Watch Orszag's lecture in the video below: