President and CEO, Kaiser Family Foundation
As he alternately covered and commented upon the nation’s descent into pandemic devastation, Kaiser Family Foundation leader Drew Altman minced few words. “Our lamentable performance is not the product of a famously fragmented, market-driven healthcare system,” he wrote in an essay published in the weekly peer-reviewed medical journal The BMJ in mid-September. “No, the disappointing U.S. response to COVID-19 has been because of a failure of policy and leadership.”
It’s the kind of straightforwardness and honesty Altman’s peers have come to expect over the course of a lengthy career in the realm of public health. Prior to establishing the current-day foundation in the early 1990s, Altman served as commissioner of the Department of Human Services for the state of New Jersey. Before that, he worked in the Health Care Financing Administration during the Carter Administration.