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

The Galen Institute believes that:

  • Consumers and their physicians should have authority and responsibility over health care decisions with great information and transparency about costs and choices,
  • A 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.

The Galen Institute has many plans to counter the march toward government-controlled medicine and shift the debate toward ideas that offer greater freedom and more affordable health care choices. 

Through our extensive 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 newsletters, our websites, and a variety of new media tools.

The Galen Institute has been and remains on the cutting edge in offering ideas and studies to educate the public, opinion leaders, and legislators about the benefits of putting consumers in charge of making decisions about the health coverage that is best for them and their families.


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 better ways to access care through private health plans. We work to make markets friendlier to purchasers and to encourage new options for consumers, from Health Savings Accounts to Direct Primary Care.