James C. Capretta is a resident fellow and holds the Milton Friedman Chair at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies health care, entitlement, and US budgetary policy, as well as global trends in aging, health, and retirement programs.

Mr. Capretta spent more than 16 years in public service before joining AEI. As an associate director at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget from 2001 to 2004, he was responsible for all health care, Social Security, welfare, and labor and education issues. Earlier, he served as a senior health policy analyst at the US Senate Budget Committee and at the US House Committee on Ways and Means. From 2006 to 2016, Mr. Capretta was a fellow, and later a senior fellow, at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Mr. Capretta regularly publishes his commentary on public policy in RealClearPolicy, where he is a contributor.


Assessing the effects of a rebate rollback on drug prices and spending

His published essays and reports include “Improving Health and Health Care: An Agenda for Reform” (AEI, 2015), and “Increasing the Effectiveness and Sustainability of the Nation’s Entitlement Programs” (AEI, 2016). In addition, his book chapters include “Reforming Medicaid” in “The Economics of Medicaid: Assessing the Costs and Consequences” (Mercatus Center, 2014), and “Medicaid,” in A Safety Net That Works (AEI, 2017).

Mr. Capretta has been widely published in newspapers, magazines, and trade journals, including Health Affairs (where he is a member of the Editorial Board), The JAMA Forum, National Affairs, National Review, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Weekly Standard. His television appearances include “PBS NewsHour,” Fox News Sunday, CNBC, C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” and Bloomberg Television.

Mr. Capretta has an M.A. in public policy studies from Duke University and a B.A. in government from the University of Notre Dame.


  • Member, Editorial Board, Health Affairs, 2012–present
  • Member, Advisory Board, National Institute for Health Care Management, 2011–present
  • Principal and Director, Health Policy Consulting, Civic Enterprises, 2006–16
  • Senior Fellow, 2013–16; Fellow, 2006–12, Ethics and Public Policy Center
  • Associate Director for Human Resource Programs, Office of Management and Budget, The White House, 2001–04
  • Senior Analyst, US Senate Budget Committee and US House Ways and Means Committee, 1990–2000


M.A., public policy studies, Duke University
B.A., government, University of Notre Dame