New Issue of The Milbank Quarterly

March 2015 Issue of The Milbank Quarterly


The March issue of The Milbank Quarterly features the following studies and op-eds.

From the Editor-in-Chief/Howard Markel on Give 'Em Health Harry. As we approach, in July, the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Medicare and Medicaid Act, we are reminded that President Lyndon Baines Johnson, when he signed into law those two important federal health programs, called Harry Truman, "the real daddy of Medicare."

Our March studies:

Elizabeth M. Badley et al. on Benefits Gained, Benefits Lost: Comparing Baby Boomers to Other Generations in a Longitudinal Cohort Study of Self-Rated Health. We hear all the time that "60 is the new 40." But how healthy are today’s baby boomers? This study suggests that they are not likely to be healthier than other generations.

Julia A. Wolfson, et al. on The Role of Parents in Public Views of Strategies to Address Childhood Obesity in the United States. This study finds that the American public holds parents highly responsible and largely to blame for childhood obesity. Nonetheless, there was support for broad policy actions, particularly school-based obesity prevention policies.

Nancy R. Kressin and Peter W. Groeneveld on Race/Ethnicity and Overuse of Care: A Systematic Review. In this study, researchers found that the overuse of health care (unneeded care that doesn’t improve outcomes) was not invariably associated with race and/or ethnicity, but a substantial proportion of studies did find greater overuse of care among white patients.

Marian Moser Jones on Creating a Science of Homelessness During the Reagan Era. The first federally funded research on homelessness demonstrated that only about a third of the homeless population was mentally ill. Nonetheless, because the research focused on behavioral disorders, it set the agenda for a generation of research and policy characterizing homelessness as primarily an individual-level problem rather than a social safety net problem, including housing, employment and social services.

Daniel M. Fox on Policy Commercializing Nonprofits in Health: The History of a Paradox From the 19th Century to the ACA. This analysis looks at how public policies, from the 19th century to the Affordable Care Act era, have paradoxically helped commercialize nonprofit health enterprises. This paradox persists as a result of consensus on its value for both population health and the revenue of individuals and organizations in the health sector.

Book Review: David M. Studdert on Global Health Law (2014) by Lawrence O. Gostin.

Our op-ed contributors in this issue:

Other Milbank Memorial Fund Activities

View from Here: Keeping Lives Safe: the Australian Way

Christopher F. Koller, President of the Milbank Memorial Fund


Along the coast of Australia, every community has its own Surf Life-Saving Club (SLSC), a voluntary club that trains and certifies residents to patrol the beaches. Most have their own building overlooking the surf—and get some support from the local municipality, akin to our voluntary fire departments. SLSCs are good safety nets, but they're not perfect. Beach safety depends on cooperation between public agencies, volunteer clubs, and individuals. In the end, swimmers and surfers exercise their own judgment. A very rough analogy can be made to Australia's health care system, which I observed on a recent brief visit.

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Optimism and Commitment Continue for Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative


In early March, the Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) Initiative was the focus of several meetings held in Baltimore, Maryland. The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (the Innovation Center) held its annual Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative conference. And the Milbank Memorial Fund, whose Multi-State Collaborative (MC) includes projects in the CPC, convened two meetings scheduled around the CMS event.

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About the Milbank Memorial Fund

The Milbank Memorial Fund is an endowed operating foundation that works to improve the health of populations by connecting leaders and decision makers with the best available evidence and experience. Founded in 1905, the Fund engages in nonpartisan analysis, collaboration, and communication on significant issues in health policy. It does this work by publishing high-quality, evidence-based reports, books, and The Milbank Quarterly, a peer-reviewed journal of population health and health policy; convening state health policy decision makers on issues they identify as important; and building communities of health policymakers to enhance their effectiveness.

Milbank Memorial Fund | 645 Madison Avenue, 15th Floor | New York, NY 10022 | Tel: 212-355-8400 | Fax: 212-355-8599

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