P. Rice (1922-2017) was a health statistician whose
work was instrumental for developing Medicare in the United States. She
performed numerous studies related to the cost of illness, one of the first
scientists to do so.
She studied labor economics at the University
of Wisconsin-Madison, and later went on to work for the Social Security
Administration. In 1976 she became the director of the National Center for
Health Statistics and helped create the National Death Index. Her most
important works focused on the lack of health insurance among senior citizens
and the economic impact of smoking.