Mission and History
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Mission

The Galen Institute is a non-profit, Section 501(c)(3) public policy research organization devoted to advancing ideas and policies that would create a vibrant, patient-centered health sector. It promotes public debate and education about proposals that support individual freedom, consumer choice, competition, and innovation in the health sector.  It focuses on individual responsibility and control over health care and health insurance, lower costs through competition, and a strong safety net for vulnerable populations.  Galen’s policies will promote continued medical innovation, advances in personalized medicine, and expanded access to health care and coverage in a 21st century Information Age economy.

The Galen Institute believes that:

  • Consumers and their physicians should have authority and responsibility over health care decisions;
  • The vibrant free market will encourage research and innovation and provide better access to new medical technologies; and
  • A market that supports innovation will lead to lower costs, expanded choice, and increased access to better medical care.

But faced with a Congress and White House in the United States that are headed in the opposite direction, the Galen Institute has many plans to counter the march toward government-controlled medicine, and we believe we can shift the debate toward free-market ideas. Using our communications and coalition-building expertise, we work to:

  • Educate policymakers about the dangers that government control over the health sector pose to our economy and our society;
  • Reach out through the media to educate the public about the crucial importance of continued innovation to advance medical progress; and
  • Attract new audiences to our message through the use of our popular newsletter, our websites, and a variety of new media tools.

The Galen Institute has been and remains on the cutting edge in providing ideas and studies to educate the public, opinion leaders, and legislators about the dangers of further government-control over our health sector and the benefits of putting consumers in charge of making decisions about the health coverage that is best for them and their families. We will continue to advance this cause.

History

The Galen Institute was founded by Grace-Marie Turner (then, Arnett) in 1995 to promote a conversation over free-market ideas in the health sector. Our first major conference was held on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., in March of 1996, and was entitled “A Fresh Approach to Health Care Reform.”The papers presented at the conference were developed into chapters and later were published in Empowering Health Care Consumers through Tax Reform, the peer-reviewed volume published by the University of Michigan Press.

The Galen Institute continues to facilitate an active policy conversation among participants in the Health Policy Consensus Group.

In addition, the institute has published a number of its own landmark papers in its short history. One of the first was titled “Uninsured Rates Rise Dramatically in States With Strictest Health Insurance Regulations.” It provided solid evidence to state legislators that their infatuation with state health insurance regulations and coverage mandates was actually harming their citizens by driving up the cost of health insurance and forcing more and more to become uninsured.

Our work continues to focus on the uninsured and new ways to provide coverage through private health insurance. We work to promote refundable tax credits for the uninsured, to make insurance markets friendlier to purchasers, and to offer new options to consumers, such as Health Savings Accounts.