Stuart Altman receives award from National Academy of Social Insurance

July 11, 2018

Health economist Stuart Altman named 2018 recipient of the Robert M. Ball Award for outstanding achievements in social insurance

Stuart Altman receiving award with representatives from NASI

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Stuart Altman is a 2018 recipient of the Robert M. Ball Award for Outstanding Achievements in Social Insurance. The 2018 Ball Award was presented by the National Academy of Social Insurance to Stuart Altman on June 27, 2018, at the National Press Club. Guest speakers included Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who announced a new bill to provide additional funding to the Social Security Administration; and David Kautter, Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Acting Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.

A number of speakers reflected on Stuart Altman’s numerous contributions including: Chris Jennings, President, Jennings Policy Strategies, who introduced a special video tribute from former President Bill Clinton; Karen Ignagni, Chief Executive Officer, EmblemHealth; Chip Kahn, Chief Executive Officer, Federation of American Hospitals; and Karen Feinstein, President, Jewish Healthcare Foundation.

With hundreds of guests in attendance including top economic and health policy experts from across the country, Stuart Altman delivered a humor-peppered speech centered on the U.S. healthcare system. He underscored how supporters of Medicare-for-All and of the Affordable Care Act must work together to achieve a mutual goal – guaranteed universal, decent coverage for all Americans. He also pointed out that Medicare and the private insurance market have been moving in opposite directions since the mid-1990s, and cautioned against the implications of this trend for Medicare beneficiaries.

Professor Stuart Altman is the Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. He is an economist distinguished for his numerous contributions to federal and state health policy over the past five decades. A Founding Member of the Academy, Professor Altman has influenced countless other experts shaping today’s health care landscape. He has demonstrated leadership in health care policy as a government official and through service on government advisory boards, as well as on a diverse array of non-governmental policy and research groups.

Since 2004, the Academy has presented the Ball Award to individuals whose recent work has made a significant impact on the U.S. social insurance system. This award honors Bob Ball, Commissioner of Social Security (1962-1973). For over 60 years, Bob Ball worked tirelessly to advance our nation’s social insurance programs.

Watch a video of Altman's keynote address below.


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.

CONTACT: Janel Forsythe (202) 243-7286 or

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