Scott W. Atlas

David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow
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Biography: 

Scott W. Atlas, M.D. is the David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution of Stanford University and a Member of Hoover Institution’s Working Group on Health Care Policy.

Dr. Atlas investigates the impact of government and the private sector on access, quality, pricing, and innovation in health care and is a frequent policy advisor to government and industry leaders in these areas. During the 2008, 2012, and 2016 presidential campaigns, he was a Senior Advisor for Health Care to a number of candidates for President of the United States. He has also advised several members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives and testified to Congress on health care reform. His most recent book is entitled Restoring Quality Health Care: A Six‐Point Plan for Comprehensive Reform at Lower Cost (Hoover Press, 2016). Some of Dr. Atlas's previous health policy books include In Excellent Health: Setting the Record Straight on America’s Health Care System (Hoover Press, 2011), Reforming America’s Health Care System (Hoover Press, 2010), and Power to the Patient: Selected Health Care Issues and Policy Solutions (Hoover Press, 2005). Dr. Atlas had a Fulbright award to collaborate with academic leaders in China on structuring health care solutions for China, and also participated with leaders from government and academia on the World Bank’s Commission on Growth and Development. He has also advised leaders on health care and medical technology in several countries outside the US, including Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Europe. Dr. Atlas has published and been interviewed in a variety of media, including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Fox News, London’s Financial Times, BBC Radio, The PBS News Hour, Bloomberg Radio, Brazil’s Correio Braziliense and Isto E, Italy’s Corriere della Sera, Argentina’s Diario La Nacion, and India’s The Hindu.

Dr. Atlas is also the editor of the leading textbook in the field, the best‐selling Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain and Spine, now in its 5th edition and officially translated from English into Mandarin, Spanish, and Portuguese. He has been editor, associate editor, and a member of the boards of numerous scientific journals and national and international scientific societies over the past three decades. His medical research centered on advanced applications of new MRI technologies in neurologic diseases. While Professor of Radiology and Chief of Neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center from 1998 until 2012 and during his previous faculty positions, Dr. Atlas trained over 100 neuroradiology fellows, many of whom are now leaders in the field throughout the world.

He lectures on a variety of topics, most notably the role of government and the private sector in health care quality and access, global trends in health care innovation, and the key economic issues related to the future of technology‐based medical advances. In the private sector, Dr. Atlas is a frequent advisor to start‐up entrepreneurs and companies in the life sciences and medical technology.

Dr. Atlas has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his leadership in the field. He is recognized internationally as a leader in both education and clinical research and had been on the Nominating Committee for the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for several years. He has been named by his peers in The Best Doctors in America every year since its initial publication, as well as in regional listings, such as The Best Doctors in New York, Silicon Valley's Best Doctors, and other similar publications. He was honored to receive the 2011 Alumni Achievement Award, the highest career achievement honor for a distinguished alumnus from the University of Illinois in Urbana‐Champaign, his alma mater.

Dr. Atlas received a BS degree in biology from the University of Illinois in Urbana‐Champaign and an MD degree from the University of Chicago School of Medicine.

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Recent Commentary

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Lean, Healthy Coverage

by Scott W. Atlasvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 25, 2019

Short-term, streamlined health policies are a boon for consumers. More Americans should be allowed to choose them.

Policy InsightsFeatured

Policy Insights: Health Insurance

by Scott W. Atlas, Michael J. Boskin, Tom Church, John H. Cochrane, John F. Cogan, Daniel Heil, Daniel P. Kessler, John B. Taylorvia PolicyEd
Thursday, December 20, 2018

Health insurance helps many Americans purchase health care. So why is it so expensive, and how can we make it more affordable?

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Transformational Health Care Reform

by Scott W. Atlasvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The American health care system is on an unsustainable path characterized by government-dominated insurance. Fixing health care begins with changing the incentives and empowering consumers to seek value with their money, while increasing competition among providers. Liberalized HSAs, insurance with lower premiums and fewer mandates, and more options for Medicare and Medicaid enrollees will improve access, choice, and quality of health care.

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Single Payer’s Misleading Statistics

by Scott W. Atlasvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, December 17, 2018

[Subscription Required] Critics of American heath care—and advocates of single-payer insurance or other forms of socialized medicine—point to poor U.S. rankings in infant mortality and life expectancy. It turns out both are grossly flawed calculations that misleadingly make the U.S. rank low.

Perspectives on PolicyFeatured

Perspectives On Policy: Lowering The Cost Of Health Care

by Scott W. Atlasvia PolicyEd
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Broad access to quality health care starts with making it less expensive through increased competition and eliminating harmful regulations.

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The False Promise Of ‘Medicare For All’

by Scott W. Atlasvia The Wall Street Journal
Monday, November 12, 2018

Cost is only part of the problem. Single-payer systems create long waits and delays on new drugs.

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The Most Misunderstood Part Of Health Reform

by Scott W. Atlasvia The Washington Times
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

This week, the administration proposed loosening restrictions on employee accounts designated for health care. Perfect timing. Employees are now selecting 2019 benefits, and health care is the most valued of all.

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Savings for All

by Scott W. Atlasvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 29, 2018

Health savings accounts already drive down the cost of health care. Now we should offer them to everyone.

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Health Care Policy Reform: Economic Policy Challenges Facing California’s Next Governor

by Scott W. Atlasvia Hoover Institution
Monday, October 29, 2018

America’s health care is at or near the top of the list of issues that voters prioritize in most surveys. California voters are no exception, and with good reason. Following the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) and its new regulations and taxes, Americans saw massive increases in insurance premiums and a disappearance of insurance options across the country. In its first four years, ACA insurance premiums for individuals doubled and for families increased by 140 percent. This occurred even though insurance deductibles increased by over 30 percent for individuals and by over 97 percent for families, according to eHealth.

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Americans Are 'Winning' On Health Care As Trump Administration Chips Away At ObamaCare

by Scott W. Atlasvia Fox News
Monday, August 6, 2018

Americans keep winning on health care reform. The public may only hear about a bungling Congress that could not repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – aka ObamaCare – even though it has been imploding on its own.

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Featured Publication: Restoring Quality Health Care

Featured Commentary: In Excellent Health: Setting the Record Straight on America's Health Care

In Excellent Health:  Setting the Record Straight on America's Health Care