Wendell Primus was the Senior Policy Advisor on Health and Budget issues to Speaker Nancy Pelosi for 18 years. In that capacity, he was the lead House staffer in developing the Affordable Care Act. He also played a major role in the SGR legislation in 2015 and various budget agreements. The drug pricing legislation that was part of the Inflation Reduction Act was his proudest staff accomplishment. He also worked closely with Rep. Karen Bass on the Families First Child Welfare Act.
Prior to this appointment in March 2005, Dr. Primus was the Minority Staff Director at the Joint Economic Committee for two years. He also was Director of Income Security at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities where much of his work was centered on Unemployment Insurance. He served in the Clinton administration at the Department of Health and Human Services before his resignation. Prior to his appointment at HHS, he was Chief Economist for the House Ways and Means Committee and Staff Director for the Committee’s Subcommittee on Human Resources. At Ways and Means, he worked on the 1983 Social Security Amendments and numerous budget reconciliation bills affecting Medicare in the 1980s. He was also profiled in the New York Times for his work on the 1990 Budget agreement. Dr. Primus received his Ph.D. in economics from Iowa State University.