Maggie Mahar: A Speaker Profile by Erin Bell


Maggie Mahar is a Health Policy Fellow with The Century Foundation, a non-profit research organization dedicated to spreading knowledge about public issues and policy. Mahar contributes to this cause through her blog, Health Beat, which examines flaws in the nation’s health care system and otherwise advances the dialogue on medical practice at home and abroad. Mahar’s recent blog topics include the controversy over Gardasil (the HPV vaccine), the merits of our presidential candidates’ respective health care plans, and the need for Medicare reform. Especially in economically difficult times like these, Mahar’s contributions are an important reality check not only for the higher-ups controlling American health care, but for the average citizen as well.

Health Beat is only the most recent of Mahar’s engagements with the politics, business ethics, and behavioral economies that drive medicine today; she has also authored a book on the subject entitled Money-Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Costs So Much (2006). From a hospital's denial of life-saving treatment for an uninsured diabetic to unnecessary heart surgeries performed to turn a profit, this piece posits the health care system as a corrupt corporate structure more concerned about the money in its pocket than the well-being of its patients [read: customers].

A jack of many trades, Maggie Mahar has also gained notoriety in fields other than care policy. She used to teach English at Yale, her Alma matter, and was a financial journalist during the 80’s and 90’s. She has been published in Money, Financial Times, Barron’s, and The New York Times among others. In 2003, she authored Bull: A History of the Boom and Bust, 1982-1999, a book that analyzes the recent history of the stock market and gives its readers a lesson on risk management.




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