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An economic expert specializing in the field of healthcare, Dr. Stuart Altman has worked at the highest academic and governmental levels on policy issues affecting the delivery of healthcare in America today. Currently the Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, previous distinguished posts have included Dean of The Florence Heller Graduate School and interim President of Brandeis University. He was appointed by President Clinton to the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare and served as Chairman of the congressionally legislated Prospective Payment Assessment Commission.

Holder of an MA and Ph.D. in economics from UCLA, Professor Altman also serves as a member of The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of the Board of Overseers of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and co-chairman of the Advisory Boards to the Schneider Institute for Health Policy at the Heller Graduate School at Brandeis.

When working at HEW, Professor Altman was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation/Health, a position in which he made a major contribution to the Administration's National Health Insurance proposal. He has also worked on the President's Cost of Living Council, where he developed the Council's program on healthcare cost containment as the Deputy Director for Health.

Other notable posts held by Dr. Altman are as board member of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and on the Governing Council of The Institute of Medicine. He serves as Chair of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sponsored Council on Health Care Economics and Policy, helping to analyze the economics of the US healthcare system and to assess the impact of proposed changes.

Full Profile

Economist and Health Policy Expert

As one of the nation′s leading experts in healthcare policy and economics, Stuart Altman has confronted some of the most critical problems existing in federal health policy. The Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Dr. Altman is an economist whose research interests are primarily in the areas of federal health policy. His work spans decades and covers most of the policy issues that have and continue to impact all areas of nursing and healthcare delivery, as well as point to the future of healthcare delivery in the new millenium.

Stuart H. Altman, Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy at Heller Graduate School for Social Policy & Management, Brandeis University, is an economist whose research interests are primarily in the area of federal and state health policy. He was Co-Chair of the Governor/Legislative Health Care Task Force for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 2000-2002. In 1997, President Clinton appointed him to the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare. Professor Altman was Dean of The Florence Heller Graduate School from 1977 until July 1993 and interim President of Brandeis University from 1990-1991. He served as the Chairman of the Congressionally legislated Prospective Payment Assessment Commission for twelve years. ProPac was responsible for advising Congress and the Administration on the Medicare DRG Hospital Payment System and other system reforms.

Professor Altman is a member of The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences; a member of the Board of Overseers of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts; and, Co Chairman of the Advisory Board to the Schneider Institute for Health Policy at the Heller Graduate School, Brandeis University.

Between 1971 and 1976, Professor Altman was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation/Health at HEW. While serving in that position, he was one of the principal contributors to the development and advancement of the Administration′s National Health Insurance proposal. From 1973 to 1974 he also served as the Deputy Director for Health of the President′s Cost-of-Living Council where he was responsible for developing the Council′s program on health care cost containment.

Professor Altman has an M.A. and Ph.D. degree in Economics from UCLA and taught at Brown University and the Graduate School of Public Policy at University of California at Berkeley.

In addition, Dr. Altman has served on the Board of The Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and on the Governing Council of The Institute of Medicine. He is the Chair of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sponsored Council on Health Care Economics and Policy. The Council is a private non-partisan group whose mission is to analyze important economic aspects of the U.S. health care system and evaluate proposed changes in the system.


Dr. Stuart Altman Speaker Videos Back to top

Demo Video


Dr. Stuart Altman, distinguished analyst of the economics of the US healthcare system, explains with characteristic wit the reason why the US healthcare system is dysfunctional: “I have a very precocious youngest daughter, and at the age of 15, at a family Thanksgiving dinner, we had invited a number of friends along, high-powered major forces in the healthcare community… and she said, ‘Dad, you and your friends are totally useless. You big-thinking economists, with your fancy models and your big national systems, have no impact on the practice of health care in America. I don't want to have anything to do with economists, I want to help people.’"

Drawing a lesson from this experience, he explains, “The battle continues. We need to find a way for the big thinkers, with our big national models, and our big econometric models, to recognize that healthcare, at the end of the day, is at the community level."

Keynote Speech



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Dr. Altman brings the knowledge gained in his long and distinguished service as an economic analyst of the US healthcare system to a series of keynotes examining healthcare today. He speaks with authority on the future of medicine and healthcare, reforms to Medicare and the future of Community Hospitals.

Programs Include:

  • The Future Demand for Community Hospital Care
  • The Medicare Prescription Drug Legislation and the Future of the Community Hospital
  • Update on Reforming Medicare
  • The Future of Medicine and Healthcare




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    Power, Politics, and Universal Health Care: The Inside Story of a Century-Long Battle
    Foreword by Senator John Kerry

    Altman and Shactman look at key moments in healthcare history: the Hill-Burton Act, in which one determined poverty lawyer secured the rights of the uninsured poor to get hospital care; the "three layer cake" strategy of Wilbur Mills to enact Medicare and Medicaid under Lyndon Johnson; the odd story of how Medicare catastrophic insurance was passed by Ronald Reagan and then repealed because of public anger; the story of how the largest and most expensive expansion of Medicare was enacted by George W. Bush.

    President Barack Obama is the protagonist in the climactic chapter, learning from the successes and failures chronicled throughout the narrative. The authors relate how, in the midst of a worldwide financial meltdown, Obama overcame seemingly impossible obstacles to accomplish what other presidents had tried and failed for nearly a hundred years.

    Written in a lively and informative narrative Power, Politics, and Universal Health Care will indulge the casual and curious reader as well as physicians, nurses, hospital administrators, and the student of healthcare policy. Based on the long experience of Stuart Altman, who was a key participant at several critical junctures in the history of health reform, this book provides personal stories and insights never revealed before. Essential reading for every American who someday must navigate the U.S. healthcare system.
    Order Here





Programs Include:

  • The Future Demand for Community Hospital Care
  • The Medicare Prescription Drug Legislation and the Future of the Community Hospital
  • Update on Reforming Medicare
  • The Future of Medicine and Healthcare

Demo Video


Dr. Stuart Altman, distinguished analyst of the economics of the US healthcare system, explains with characteristic wit the reason why the US healthcare system is dysfunctional: “I have a very precocious youngest daughter, and at the age of 15, at a family Thanksgiving dinner, we had invited a number of friends along, high-powered major forces in the healthcare community… and she said, ‘Dad, you and your friends are totally useless. You big-thinking economists, with your fancy models and your big national systems, have no impact on the practice of health care in America. I don't want to have anything to do with economists, I want to help people.’"

Drawing a lesson from this experience, he explains, “The battle continues. We need to find a way for the big thinkers, with our big national models, and our big econometric models, to recognize that healthcare, at the end of the day, is at the community level."

Keynote Speech