For Immediate Release | July 3, 2012
Jill Braunstein at (202) 452-8097
WASHINGTON, DC– G. Lawrence Atkins has been elected the eleventh president of the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), a non-profit, non-partisan organization made up of the nation’s leading experts on social insurance.
“As the country turns to finding solutions to the rising cost of health care, NASI is fortunate that Larry Atkins has agreed to serve as President,” said Lisa Mensah, Chair of NASI’s Board of Directors and Executive Director of the Initiative on Financial Security at the Aspen Institute. “Larry brings decades of experience with social insurance programs to the board. We are thrilled to have a leader of his caliber.”
Atkins is a veteran of nearly 40 years of health and social policy analysis, policy development, and legislative representation at the local, state, and federal levels. He recently retired from Merck & Company where he was Executive Director, U.S. Public Policy. In this role, he directed Merck's U.S. public policy and legislative strategy development process and, prior to its merger with Merck, Schering-Plough Corporation's public policy development and strategic policy planning.
In 1997, Atkins founded and was President of Health Policy Analysts, Inc., a consulting firm to Fortune 500 companies on health benefits, health insurance, and health care reimbursement issues. In that capacity, he served as Executive Director of the Corporate Health Care Coalition, an alliance of companies focused on national health care reform. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President with The Jefferson Group and earlier headed a health and benefits policy practice in the Washington office of the New York law firm Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam and Roberts.
During the 1980s, Atkins served on the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging as professional staff, Deputy Staff Director and Republican Staff Director for Senator John Heinz (R-PA). He also assisted Senator Heinz on the Senate Finance Committee on retirement income and health policy matters, and served as his technical advisor on the 1983 National Commission on Social Security Reform. Atkins played a lead staff role during that period in enactment of several major laws, including the 1983 Social Security Reforms, retirement income provisions of the 1986 Tax Reform Act, and the prescription drug benefit in the 1988 Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act.
Atkins came to Washington with a decade of experience in state and local human services, health care, and education policy. Atkins was as a member of the 1991 Social Security Advisory Commission (the “Steelman Commission”), which made recommendations on Medicare reform, and the Technical Panel to the 1995 Social Security Advisory Commission. He is the author of numerous publications, chapters, and journal articles.
He holds a Ph.D. from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, master degrees from the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky, and an undergraduate degree from Kenyon College. Atkins is a founding member of NASI and succeeds Janice Gregory, who was president for three years. Most recently, he served on NASI’s Study Panel on Health Insurance Exchanges.
The National Academy of Social Insurance is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization made up of the nation’s leading experts on social insurance. Its mission is to advance solutions to challenges facing the nation by increasing public understanding of how social insurance contributes to economic security.