Share/Bookmark

Insights from the Top: An Oral History of Medicare and Medicaid

Published: March 2016

PHOTO (L-R) Edward Berkowitz (Professor of History, George Washington University), William Arnone (Chair, Board of Directors, National Academy of Social Insurance), Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid), and Barbara Manard (Senior Fellow, National Academy of Social Insurance). 

Insights from the Top: An Oral History of Medicare and Medicaid was launched as part of the Academy’s Medicare and Medicaid at 50 and Beyond celebration in 2015. The project was designed to uncover the rich history of the programs through the eyes of its leaders. It adds 23 new interviews to the existing CMS collection (available via the history section of the CMS website). These new interviews, as well as the earlier ones, were conducted by Edward Berkowitz, Professor of History at the George Washington University.

Insights from the Top brings the existing historical record fully up-to-date from the 30th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid and includes:

  • First-time interviews with the four former Administrators who have served since 2001;
  • First-time interviews with 14 former Acting or Acting Deputy Administrators; and
  • Re-interviews of five former Administrators who served prior to 2001.

There are two ways to read these oral histories:

  • By date of public service.
  • Alphabetically by last name.

When reading the oral histories, keep in mind that each is the memory of a single individual. Read in context with other sources of information, they can add color and context, unavailable elsewhere, to important events. However, the full picture can only be seen when the perspectives of many individuals are combined into a meaningful whole.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the interviews are those of the interviewee and do not reflect the views of the National Academy of Social Insurance, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or the Department of Health and Human Services. Interviews are made public with the express consent of the interviewees.

Acknowledgements: The Academy would like to thank Edward Berkowitz (Professor of History, George Washington University), Barbara Manard (Visiting Scholar, National Academy of Social Insurance), and Lee Goldberg (formerly Vice President for Health Policy at the Academy, now Project Director for End of Life Care at the Pew Charitable Trust) for their work on the oral history project. Professor Berkowitz contributed a substantial amount of time on a pro bono basis and Barbara Manard was the driving force in organizing the project. Lee Goldberg developed and managed the project. The Academy is able to make this gift to CMS and the American public thanks to the dedication and expertise of these Academy members.

HCFA / CMS Leaders (by date of service, 1977-2014)

Name

HCFA/CMS Tenure

Title

Page No.
in PDF

Donald Wortman

03/1977 – 04/1977

Acting

n/a

Robert Derzon*

06/1977 – 11/1978

Administrator

n/a

Leonard Schaeffer*

11/1978 – 06/1980

Administrator

270

Earl Collier

06/1980 – 07/1980

Acting

38

Howard Newman*

07/1980 – 01/1981

Administrator

n/a

Paul Willging

01/1981 – 03/1981

Acting Deputy

n/a

Carolyne Davis

03/1981 – 08/1985

Administrator

n/a

C. McClain Haddow

08/1985 – 01/1986

Acting

105

Henry Desmarais

02/1986 – 05/1986

Acting

69

William Roper

05/1986 – 02/1989

Administrator

258

Terry Coleman

02/1989 – 03/1989

Acting

n/a

Louis Hays

03/1989 – 02/1990

Acting

150

Gail Wilensky*

02/1990 – 03/1992

Administrator

414

J. Michael Hudson

03/1992 – 04/1992

Acting

163

William Toby

04/1992 – 05/1993

Acting

358

Bruce Vladeck*

05/1993 – 09/1997

Administrator

381

Nancy-Ann Min DeParle*

09/1997 – 09/2000

Acting Administrator, Administrator

54

Michael Hash*

09/2000 – 12/2000

Acting

130

Robert Berenson*

12/2000 – 01/2001

Acting Deputy

3

Michael McMullan*

01/2001 – 05/2001

Acting Deputy

221

Thomas Scully*

05/2001 – 12/2003

Administrator

299

Dennis Smith

12/2003 – 03/2004

Acting

324

Mark McClellan*

03/2004 – 10/2006

Administrator

204

Leslie Norwalk

10/2006 – 07/2007

Acting

235

Herb Kuhn

07/2007 – 09/2007

Acting Deputy

184

Kerry Weems

09/2007 – 01/2009

Acting

398

Charlene Frizzera

01/2009 – 10/2010

Acting

86

Donald Berwick*

07/2010 – 12/2011

Administrator

18

Marilyn Tavenner*

12/2011 – 02/2015

Administrator

344

 

* Elected to the National Academy of Social Insurance
n/a = not interviewed

PHOTO: Former CMS/HCFA Administrators: (standing, L-R) Bruce Vladeck, Mark McClellan, MD, Gail Wilensky, Leonard Schaeffer, Nancy-Ann Min DeParle, Don Berwick, MD; (seated, L-R)  Bill Roper, MD, Marilyn Tavenner, Tom Scully. (Photo made possible by Leonard Schaeffer).

The Academy’s Medicare and Medicaid at 50 and Beyond Celebration Program was made possible thanks to support from


  
‚Äčand the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President’s Grant Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation.