Rashi Fein

Professor of Economics of Medicine, Emeritus
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Prof. Fein’s work included: benefit-cost analysis, health care financing, health care workforce policy, cost containment, the financing of medical education, and health care reform. His book, Learning Lessons: Medicine, Economics, and Public Policy (2010), is a collection of “stories,” narratives of events that he participated in or witnessed, which help to illustrate the way public policy positions are developed, the kinds of dilemmas that policy advisors often encounter, and the need for balance in many areas where there is no right or wrong, but where alternatives have different advantages and disadvantages. In addition, Dr. Fein studied the issues related to universal insurance in the United States and was especially interested in examining the various state and federal proposals for universal coverage.

Books by Rashi Fein:

  • Economics of Mental Illness, Basic Books, 1958.
  • The Doctor Shortage: An Economic Diagnosis, The Brookings Institution, 1967.
  • Financing Medical Education: An Analysis of Alternative Policies and Mechanisms (with Gerald I. Weber), McGraw Hill, 1971.
  • A Right to Health: The Problem of Access to Primary Medical Care (with Charles Lewis and David Mechanic), John Wiley & Sons, 1976.
  • Employment Impacts of Health Policy Developments (with Christine Bishop), Special Report No.11, National Commission for Manpower Policy, 1976.
  • Alcohol in America: The Price We Pay. California: Care Institute, 1984.
  • Medical Care, Medical Costs: The Search for a Health Insurance Policy, Harvard University Press, 1986, 1989.
  • The Health Care Mess: How We Got Into It and What It Will Take To Get Out (with Julius B. Richmond), Harvard University Press, 2005.
  • Learning Lessons: Medicine, Economics, and Public Policy, Transaction Publishers, 2010.

Rashi Fein was professor of Economics of Medicine, Emeritus. He was a charter member of the Institute of Medicine, and a founding member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. He was a member of the economics faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a senior staff member of President Kennedy's Council of Economic Advisers, and a senior fellow in the Brookings Institution's Economics Program. He served as chair of the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research Program from 1994 to 2002 and was chair emeritus until his death in 2014. 

Dr. Fein was the recipient of the John M. Russell Medal for the Advancement of Knowledge in Medicine and the Martin E. Rehfuss Medal for Distinguished Service to Medicine.