Anthony Maisano ’21, a Bucknell Institute of Public Policy (BIPP) intern, recently had the opportunity to interview Jack Hoadley, a BIPP Advisory Board member and graduate of Bucknell’s Class of 1972.
Why did you decide to become a BIPP Advisory Board member?
I decided to become a BIPP Advisory Board member when I met Professor Amy Wolaver on campus a few years. We got to talking, and she told me about the program and what BIPP was doing. I wanted to get involved on campus so when Amy asked me to join the advisory board, I said yes!
Coming out of Bucknell with a degree in mathematics, what enticed you to pursue a career in health public policy?
On campus, I was a mathematics major but was also a political science minor. I was always interested in political science, so I decided to go to graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for political science as it seemed more interesting to me. My math major did come in handy, however, as it gave me quantitative skills that I applied to my research methods. As for the health public policy, I came to Washington as a congressional fellow and got involved in the health space.
As someone who has looked into the financing of healthcare, in particular, pharmaceuticals, what is your take on the rising costs of drugs, especially epipens which now cost over ten times more than in 2007?
This is something I actually pay a lot of attention to. We need to fix drug prices, but it is a far more complicated system than most people think. It is very hard to make adjustments that are politically acceptable to both parties, yet, I am encouraged that there is thought, debate, and concern on the rising costs of drugs.
Can you describe your experience on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission?
I spent six years on MedPAC, with my term just ending. MedPAC is an advisory board to congress that meets monthly to talk about health public policy, especially medicare. MedPAC makes recommendations to congress on health policy, such as during my tenure, we rolled out a set of recommendations on drug pricing on the medicare program. It was a great way to give back through a public setting, and learn about the different perspectives of the various other members.
What type of research are you currently conducting?
I am doing less research now that I have retired, but something I have been looking into is balance billing, or surprise medical bills. These surprise medical bills often show up in an emergency where someone is out of network. Currently, half the states have taken actions to protect consumers, with nine of those states having comprehensive benefit programs. I try to do research that speaks to current political issues. approaches. Encouraging!
Were you a part of any clubs or organizations during your time at Bucknell?
I played trumpet in the band, sang in the choir, and did backstage work for cap and dagger.
Do you have a favorite memory of Bucknell, or a place you like to visit when you come back to campus?
When I was on campus we had a January term (Jan Plan), so during my senior year I spent the month of January on campus just relaxing! I enjoyed the relative quiet of a campus without classes. Another favorite memory I have is during the Vietnam era, when the school really came together, especially after the Kent State shootings and Cambodia invasions. Bucknell, during this time, canceled classes for a few days and had a very everyone together attitude and a huge community feeling. It was nice to see the campus bond and get so close, despite the somber times.
Any advice for current students or anything else you would like to add?
Put energy into your studies, but also take advantage of other activities. Go to informal events on campus and try to talk about current events. Find some quiet moments on campus – enjoy your four years on campus, you are lucky to have it!