David Boaz, RIP

David Boaz, the longtime executive vice president of the Cato Institute, in his Washington office in 2008.Credit…Katherine Frey/The The Washington Post, via Getty Images



David was the executive vice president of the Cato Institute for most of its history.  He was the operating officer of the nation’s premier libertarian think tank.

“You learn the essence of libertarianism in kindergarten,” he wrote.  “Don’t hit other people, don’t take their stuff, and keep your promises.”

David commissioned Patient Power with a $5,000 grant to the National Center for Policy Analysis in the late 1980s. After I didn’t deliver, he persisted – even upping the offer to $50,000. I got Gerry Musgrave to be the coauthor and we finally produced it.

Patient Power introduced the concept of Health Savings Accounts to the public policy community. It shaped the way Newt Gingrich, Paul Ryan, Sean Hannity and many others thought about health care.

David created an abridged version of Patient Power about the time the country was debating Hillary Care and distributed 300,000 copies.

Without David’s persistence, Health Savings Accounts might never have become a reality. Ditto for the whole notion of consumer driven health care.

He will be missed.

John C. Goodman is President of the Goodman Institute and Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute. His books include the soon-to-be-published updated edition of Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, the widely acclaimed A Better Choice: Healthcare Solutions for America, and New Way to Care: Social Protections that Put Families First. The Wall Street Journal and National Journal, among other media, have called him the “Father of Health Savings Accounts.”


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