Brian Blase, PhD, is an economist and a key architect of President Trump’s health policy agenda. Dr. Blase is driven to improve America’s health care system by empowering consumers, by injecting more competition into the system, and by permitting innovation to flourish. Dr. Blase served as the Special Assistant to the President at the White House’s National Economic Council from January 2017 through June 2019. In that capacity, Dr. Blase coordinated the Trump Administration’s health policy agenda, developed legislative and regulatory strategies, and advised the President, the Director of the NEC, and other senior government officials. Most notably, he led the process to implement an Executive Order that President Trump signed in October 2017 that resulted in three final regulations to expand affordable health coverage options for employers and families and a comprehensive report, Reforming America’s Health Care System Through Choice and Competition.
In addition to coordinating the implementation of the October 2017 Executive Order, Dr. Blase worked on numerous other administrative actions and legislative proposals, including policies to expand consumer-directed care, reform Medicaid, Medicare, and the individual market, drug pricing reforms, and the June 2019 Executive Order promoting health care price and quality transparency. Dr. Blase also drafted and reviewed op-eds, talking points, and speeches for the President, the Director of the National Economic Council, and Cabinet secretaries.
In a press briefing for the June 2019 Executive Order, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised Dr. Blase’s work, saying “This EO builds on the Choice and Competition report that HHS, the White House, Treasury, Labor, and the Federal Trade Commission produced last year. That report was, in particular, a tribute to the indefatigable work of Brian Blase of the National Economic Council, who is soon going to be departing the administration and should be very proud of the results he’s delivered.”
In promoting and explaining the Trump administration’s health policy agenda, Dr. Blase has spoken in front of several different types of audiences, including members of Congress and staff, a National Association Insurance Commissioner annual meeting, NAHU’s annual conference, academic panels, and dozens of meetings with health policy leaders and state officials.
In addition to his White House experience, Dr. Blase has extensive congressional experience with two key committees. Dr. Blase was a senior professional staff member at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform from 2011 through 2014, leading the Committee’s oversight of health care and entitlement programs and related investigations. In that capacity, he developed oversight strategies, conducted dozens of transcribed interviews, prepared members and staff for hearings, and was the primary author of eleven staff reports issued by the Committee. From 2014 through 2015, Dr. Blase served as the health policy analyst at the Senate Republican Policy Committee. During his time working in the Senate, Dr. Blase authored papers distributed at the weekly Senate Republican policy lunch and participated in the development of legislative proposals and strategies with senators and staff.
In addition to his government service, Dr. Blase has worked at two public policy research institutes as a health policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation in 2010 and 2011 and as a senior research fellow with the Spending and Budget Initiative at the Mercatus Center from 2015 until entering the White House. In his position with Mercatus, he authored or co-authored six research papers, wrote nearly 50 commentaries, regularly briefed federal and state policymakers, and frequently appeared in media.
Dr. Blase has had pieces published in the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Forbes, among numerous outlets. He has also appeared on television several times, including on CSPAN, CNBC, and PBS, and has frequently appeared on radio. Dr. Blase received his PhD from George Mason University in 2013 in economics, with his dissertation on Medicaid financing. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and five children.