SOURCE: Milken Institute

Milken Institute

January 19, 2010 13:00 ET

Mike Milken Urges Greater Focus on Disease Prevention and Research in Milken Institute Review Health-Reform Commentary

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - January 19, 2010) - Mike Milken, chairman of the Milken Institute, offers a very different perspective on the battle over health-care reform in the latest Milken Institute Review.

"In the current debate about reforming health care," he writes, "we should remember that preventing and curing disease are at least as important as fixing a flawed system of insurance payments and coverage. Unless we focus on both care and cure, the costs will be unsustainable."

Also in this issue:

Robert Hahn, senior fellow at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy, and Hal J. Singer, president of Empiris, look at the alliances formed between smart phones and carriers. They argue that exclusive agreements, such as the Apple-AT&T arrangement, don't create market dominance and may, in fact, ultimately serve the interests of gadget-hungry consumers. "By allowing optimal risk-sharing and marketing outlays, exclusivity increases the expected return and thus the pace of innovation."

Robert Stavins, director of Harvard's environmental economics program, explores the economics of storing atmospheric carbon in the form of wood. "Sequestration belongs in a cost-effective 'portfolio' of approaches to reducing net U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide," he concludes. But it won't be easy to get from here to there: "To sequester just 50 million tons in a cost-effective manner would require approximately 27 million acres -- an area more than seven times the size of Connecticut."

Thorvaldur Gylfason of the University of Iceland analyzes that tiny country's spectacular flameout. "Iceland's three main financial institutions crashed within a single week in October 2008," he writes. "All three claimed they were merely pawns caught in Wall Street's nefarious games. But the truth is more sobering. This crisis exposed the fundamental weakness of Iceland's economic and political cultures, which are hobbled by institutions more akin to those of the Third World than the First."

See the full Review for these articles and more, including excerpts from the Milken Institute's report on financial tools that can reform global food assistance, an unfavorable analysis of Cash for Clunkers and Energy Star programs, a glimpse into Cuba's economic future, a discussion of potential changes in Japan's approach to stability, and a book excerpt from Stephen Roach's "The Next Asia."

The Milken Institute Review is sent quarterly to the world's leading business and financial executives, senior policymakers and journalists. Its editor is Peter Passell, former economics columnist for The New York Times.

About the Milken Institute: The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, independent economic think tank whose mission is to improve the lives and economic conditions of diverse populations around the world. (

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