Somers, Herman Miles, 1911-1991

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Economist.

From the description of Reminiscences of Herman Miles Somers : oral history, 1968. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 86131689

Herman H. Somers: taught political science at Harvard University, 1947-1948; professor and chairman of political science department of Harvard College, 1948-1963; in 1963 became professor of politics and public affairs at Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University where he remained until 1979; wrote extensively on social security, economics, and health policy; active in development program.

From the description of Herman Miles Somers papers, 1936-1979 (inclusive). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702206396

Herman Miles Somers: taught political science at Harvard University, 1947-1948; professor and chairman of political science department of Harvard College, 1948-1963; in 1963 became professor of politics and public affairs at Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University where he remained until 1979; wrote extensively on social security, economics, and health policy; active in development program.

Herman Miles Somers, educator, author, and consultant, has combined a career of scholarship in medical economics and health policy with active involvement in public affairs. With his wife, Anne Ramsay Somers, he has published a number of influential studies on the organization and financing of medical care in the United States and has served in a variety of administrative and policy making positions in both the public and private sectors.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1911, Somers was educated at the University of Wisconsin (B.S., 1933; Ph.M., 1934) and Harvard University (M.A., 1944; Ph.D., 1947). Although he entered Harvard as the first Littauer Fellow in 1939, he left immediately after the outbreak of World War II to serve with the National Resources Planning Board and the War Production Board. In 1942 he was commissioned into the army and served in the Civilian and the Industrial Personnel Divisions. In 1946 he accepted an appointment as senior economist with the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion, the office which became the subject of his doctoral dissertation. He taught at Harvard from 1947 until 1948, when he left to become professor and chairman of the Department of Political Science at Haverford College. He remained at Haverford until 1963, when he accepted an appointment as professor of politics and public affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University. Somers continued to teach at Princeton until 1979.

Initially interested in social security and economics, Somers first approached the subject of health benefits in Workmen's Compensation (1954), which he co-authored with his wife. After 1954, he and Anne Somers became gradually more involved in the area of health studies. Their second collaborative work, Doctors, Patients, and Health Insurance (1961), was the first modern full-scale exposition of the organization and financing of health care in the United States, and it brought them wide recognition in the field. The book led to a variety of consulting positions, as well as appointment to state and federal task forces and commissions on health policy.

Somers played an active role in the development of the Medicare program in the 1960s; he served on a succession of federal task forces and councils which helped to structure the program. In 1967 he and his wife published Medicare and the Hospitals, the first book-length analysis of the new program. After the book's publication, he was appointed to the Health Insurance Benefits Advisory Council (1968), which advised the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare on the implementation of Medicare.

In the 1970s Somers and his wife published two major studies synthesizing the development and operation of American health policy, Health Care in Transition (1971), by Anne, and Health and Health Care: Policies in Perspective (1977), by both of them.

Herman Somers suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in August 1979 and has since been incapacitated.

From the guide to the Herman Miles Somers papers, 1936-1979, (Manuscripts and Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Herman Miles Somers papers, 1936-1979 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Woodrow Wilson School Policy Seminar Papers, 1930-2011 Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections.Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Princeton University Archives.
creatorOf Somers, Herman Miles, 1911-. Herman Miles Somers papers, 1936-1979 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Somers, Herman Miles, 1911-1991. Reminiscences of Herman Miles Somers : oral history, 1968. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abel-Smith, Brian. person
associatedWith Abel-Smith, Brian. person
associatedWith Ball, Robert M. person
associatedWith Ball, Robert M. person
associatedWith Baruch, Bernard M. (Bernard Mannes), 1870-1965. person
associatedWith Burns, Eveline Mabel Richardson, 1900- person
associatedWith Byrnes, James F. (James Francis), 1882-1972. person
associatedWith Clark, Joseph S., 1901- person
associatedWith Cohen, Wilbur J. (Wilbur Joseph), 1913-1987. person
associatedWith Constantine, Jay. person
associatedWith Constantine, Jay. person
associatedWith Corning, Peter A., 1935-, person
associatedWith Dunlop, John Thomas, 1914- person
associatedWith Elliot, William. person
associatedWith Elliot, William. person
associatedWith Fein, Rashi. person
associatedWith Fein, Rashi. person
associatedWith Garman, Phillip L. person
associatedWith Garman, Phillip L. person
associatedWith Gaus, John M. (John Merriman), 1894-1969. person
associatedWith Haber, William, 1899- person
associatedWith Haber, William, 1899- person
associatedWith Hechler, Ken, 1914- person
associatedWith Heller, Walter Wolfgang, 1915- person
associatedWith Humphrey, Hubert H. (Hubert Horatio), 1911-1978. person
associatedWith Javits, Jacob K. (Jacob Koppel), 1904-1986. person
associatedWith Kissinger, Henry, 1923- person
associatedWith Kissinger, Henry, 1923- person
associatedWith Lerner, Max, 1902- person
associatedWith Lerner, Max, 1902- person
associatedWith Meyer, Robert James, 1904- person
associatedWith Neustadt, Richard E. person
associatedWith Schlesinger, Arthur Meier, 1917- person
associatedWith Somers, Anne Ramsay. person
associatedWith Thompson, Frank, 1918- person
associatedWith Titmuss, Richard Morris, 1907-1973. person
associatedWith United States. Social Security Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States
United States
Germany
Germany
Subject
Health insurance
Government executives--Interviews
Medical care
Malpractice
Medicare
Unemployment insurance
Health maintenance organizations
Public health
Old age pensions
Occupation
Economists
Educators
Activity

Person

Birth 1911-04-11

Death 1991

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