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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 5, 1997
                        THE FUTURE OF MEDICARE

The President today announced his intent to appoint Stuart Altman, Laura D'Andrea Tyson, Bruce Vladeck, and Anthony L. Watson as Members of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare.

Stuart Altman, of Weston, Massachusetts, is a Professor of National Health Policy at the Florence Heller Graduate School for Social Policy, Brandeis University. He was Dean of the Florence Heller Graduate School from 1977 to 1993. For twelve years, he was Chairman of the Congressional Prospective Payment Assessment Commission responsible for advising Congress and the Administration on Medicare Payment Policies for Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Home Health Agencies and other health care providers. Dr. Altman is the Chair of the Advisory Board to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. From 1971 to 1976, Dr. Altman was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation/Health at Health, Education and Welfare under President Nixon.

Laura D'Andrea Tyson, of Berkeley, California, is the Class of 1939 Professor of Economics and Business Administration at the University of California at Berkeley and a Principal of the Law and Economics Consulting Group. Dr. Tyson is the former National Economic Advisor to the President and first woman Chair of the National Economic Council. In that capacity, she served as co-chair of the President's health care policy development process, where she helped coordinate development of the Medicare and Medicaid reforms that serve as the basis of reforms initiated in the Balanced Budget Agreement. Dr. Tyson also serves on a number of boards, including the Council on Foreign Relations, the Institute of International Economics, the MacArthur Foundation, the Asia Foundation, and Smith College.

Bruce Vladeck, of New York, New York, is the Professor of Health Policy at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He recently completed service of more than four years as the Administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). As HCFA Administrator, Dr. Vladeck oversaw the Medicare and Medicaid programs, with a combined annual budget of more than $300 billion. During his tenure, HCFA assumed responsibility for administration of the Children's Health Initiative and large portions of the Kassebaum-Kennedy legislation. Before going to HCFA, Dr. Vladeck was President of the United Hospital Fund of New York, the nation's oldest federated charity, which is engaged in improving health care in New York and other urban areas. Previously, he served as Assistant Vice President of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as a faculty member at Columbia University, and as Assistant Commissioner of Health in New Jersey. His book Unloving Care: The Nursing Home Tragedy, is regarded as an authoritative source on nursing home care. Dr. Vladeck's professional activities including acting as Chair of the Committee on Health Care for Homeless Persons at the Institute of Medicine, a member of the Board of Directors of New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, and as a member of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Anthony L. Watson, of New York, New York, is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York (HIP). HIP is one of the nation's largest health maintenance organizations and has a 50 year tradition of providing comprehensive health care service and leadership in the health care field, including its recent announcement of support for legally-enforceable consumer protections standards for all health plans. He joined HIP in 1985, as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. From 1966 to 1970, Mr. Watson was Supervising Public Health Advisor at the Center for Disease Control in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. From 1970 to 1976, he was Deputy Director of the New York City Comprehensive Health Planning Agency and was Executive Director from 1976 to 1985. From 1972 to 1974, he was also an instructor in health planning at the Herbert J. Helman College of the City University of New York. He was named a member of the United States Olympic Track and Field Team in 1960. Mr. Watson is the recipient of several institutional honors, including: the Schlesinger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Community Health Planning; John Lawe Memorial Award; Leadership Award of the One Hundred Black, Men, Inc.; Congressional Recognition Award of the United States House of Representatives; Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, and Who's Who of Global Business Leaders.

The National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare was established to review and analyze the financial conditions of Medicare, identify problems that threaten the financial integrity of the Medicare Trust Fund, and make recommendations to address the program's long-term financing challenges. The Commission was established under the Balanced Budget Act and is due to make recommendations in March of 1999.