William Sage
Learn more about William Sage

William M. Sage, MD, JD, an authority on health law and policy, is Vice Provost for Health Affairs and James R. Dougherty Chair for Faculty Excellence at the University of Texas at Austin. Prof. Sage is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, serves on the Fellows Council of the Hastings Center on bioethics, and serves on the editorial board of Health Affairs. He holds degrees from Harvard and Stanford, and has practice experience in both medicine and law. In 1993, he headed four working groups of the Clinton administration’s Task Force on Health Care Reform.


Before joining the UT faculty in 2006, Prof. Sage was professor of law at Columbia University, and has had visiting appointments at Harvard and Duke. His edited books include Medical Malpractice and the U.S. Health Care System and Uncertain Times: Kenneth Arrow and the Changing Economics of Health Care. He has written over 100 articles in publications such as JAMA, Health Affairs, the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, and the law reviews of Columbia, Duke, Georgetown, Texas, and Vanderbilt.


Recent Posts by William Sage

Four Words Or 17 Syllables: Predicting King v. Burwell In Haiku

Editor’s note: Watch Health Affairs Blog for more posts on King v. Burwell and the Supreme Court oral arguments in the case by Tim Jost, Grace-Marie Turner, Sara Rosenbaum, and others. The resolution of King v. Burwell boils down to a simple point. A majority of the Supreme Court is willing...

From The Supreme Court: A Strong Endorsement Of Health Care Competition

The Supreme Court has spoken by a 6-3 vote, with Justice Anthony Kennedy writing an opinion for the Court joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan.  In a strong, clear voice, the Court upheld the enforcement of a major federal statute against a state...

North Carolina Dental Board v. FTC: A Bright Line On Whiter Teeth?

On October 14, 2014, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners vs. Federal Trade Commission.  The case does not involve the Affordable Care Act, but it goes to the heart of the professional self-regulatory paradigm that has governed the...

FTC v. Watson Pharmaceuticals: Another Piece Of The Puzzling Marketplace For Health Care Innovation

It is too soon to tell whether deciding the fate of national health reform last year in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius has generally emboldened the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve legal uncertainties affecting the health care system. Nonetheless, 2012-2013 will be a busy...

A Cure For Patent Pathology? The Supreme Court Reviews The Patentability Of Human Genes

“Are human genes patentable?” On November 30, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to answer this single question in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics. Of course, the petitioners, including health care providers, professional associations, and patients, worded the question...

December 7, 2012

Preserving The Republic: Chief Justice Roberts’ Affordable Care Act Opinion

Chief Justice John Roberts did right by America.  Thursday’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law’s minimum coverage provision and allowed the Affordable Care Act to move forward.  Health reform is often simpler than it looks, and so was the Court’s...

William Sage On The Last Day Of Supreme Court Arguments: Enough Frivolity For A While

It’s finally over.  After nearly six hours of oral argument over the course of three days, the two cases challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act have been officially submitted to the Justices for decision.

William Sage On The Supreme Court ACA Arguments Day Two: Where No Law Has Gone Before?

The much-anticipated argument over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s insurance centerpiece, the minimum coverage requirement or “individual mandate,” took place Tuesday morning.   It was an entertaining but messy affair, with several individuals often speaking at once and...

The Supreme Court Health Reform Arguments: William Sage On The Lessons Of Day One

Day One of the oral arguments in the constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act put the Supreme Court’s many strengths on display.  Everyone came prepared, including the nine Justices, and presented their cases and questions cogently and persuasively.  Tim Jost’s outstanding blog post...

March 27, 2012Following the ACA

CMS’s Essential Benefits Guidance: Brush-Clearing Or Can-Kicking?

The recent CMS bulletin on the essential benefits package (EBP) required for certain types of coverage under the Affordable Care Act has been described in greater detail in earlier Health Affairs Blog posts by Tim Jost and Kavita Patel.  The bulletin is a pragmatic document, seemingly driven by...