WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Medical Association (AMA) today presented Wendell Primus, Ph.D., former senior policy advisor on budget and health issues to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with the AMA Award for Outstanding Government Service. A public servant with more than 40 years working in the U.S. House of Representatives and Clinton Administration, Primus served as former Speaker Pelosi’s lead staffer during the development of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and played a significant role in advancing legislation to repeal the deeply flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula in 2015.    

As a top staffer to former Speaker Pelosi, Primus also successfully led the legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic, provide funding to keep physician practices open, and protect public health.    

“For nearly 20 years with Nancy Pelosi–a lifetime in Washington–Wendell Primus has been at the very center of virtually every major health and welfare bill that’s moved through Congress,” said AMA Board Chair Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, M.D. “Key to drafting and passing the ACA, essential to repealing SGR, and absolutely vital to the formation and passage numerous COVID-19 bills that expanded health care coverage and provided relief to physician practices, Wendell has shown time and time again that he can build bridges and, even in a divided Washington, get projects that have stymied others across the finish line. It is an honor to present him with the AMA Award for Outstanding Government Service.”   

Primus began working for former Speaker Pelosi in 2005. Prior to working in positions in House leadership, he served in the Clinton Administration as a political appointee in the Department of Health and Human Services as deputy assistant secretary for human services. He has also previously held positions on both the House Ways and Means Committee and House-Senate Joint Economic Committee.

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About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.