Robert F. Graboyes
Dr. Robert F. Graboyes, a NCPA senior fellow, is Senior Health Care Advisor at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in Washington, DC. His work focuses on health care issues and policies that affect independent businesses. He is also an adjunct Associate Professor of health economics at the medical campuses of Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia.
His academic research has revolved around the question, "How much is a less-than-100% chance at life worth?" He investigates how we can restructure health insurance to enable consumers to evaluate this question and act upon their subjective conclusions. At two major Medical campuses, he helps graduate students ask this question. Most are health care professionals unaccustomed to applying economic notions of scarcity to health care.
Dr. Graboyes uses experimental economics techniques to explore consumer decision-making, including life-and-death decisions. Other research interests include theoretical models of health insurance, consumer-directed health plans, and international aspects of health care.
Dr. Graboyes has a Ph.D. in Economics from Columbia University, a bachelor's from the University of Virginia and master's degrees from the College of William and Mary, Columbia University, and Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia. From 2004 to 2006, he chaired the Health Economics Roundtable of the National Association for Business Economics. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) in Great Barrington, MA and Visiting Scholar at the Kazakhstan School of Public Health (KSPH) in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
As Chase Manhattan Bank's economist for sub-Saharan Africa in the 1980s, Dr. Graboyes traveled all over Africa and Europe. Medical crises in Africa, especially HIV/AIDS, sparked his interest in health economics. His only brush with local health care came late one night when soldiers on a desolate road ordered/asked him and a driver to transport a woman, far into labor, to a distant, dismal hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. This experience was a startling introduction to Third World health care. Years later, at KSPH, he observed that ex-Soviet doctors had a better grasp on economics than their counterparts in the United States -- presumably because no one ever told the Kazakh doctors that medical resources were limitless.
Dr. Graboyes was previously at the University of Richmond, where he taught economics and was Director of Language Across The Curriculum, a foreign language immersion program. He was Manager and Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, where he created, edited, and wrote EQUILIBRIA magazine. He speaks French, Spanish, and Portuguese. In his leisure time, he is an accomplished jazz, Latin, and classical musician.