Sally C. Pipes
President and CEO
Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy
Sally C. Pipes is President, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy at the Pacific Research Institute, a California-based think tank founded in 1979. She celebrates her 30th anniversary at the helm of PRI in 2021. Prior to becoming president of PRI in 1991, she was assistant director of the Fraser Institute, based in Vancouver, Canada.
Under her leadership, PRI’s Center for Health Care has established itself as one of the leading voices in health care policy, articulating market-based solutions that provide better quality and access to health care while lowering costs. From the debate over “Hillarycare” in the 1990s to Obamacare to “Medicare for All” today, Pipes has worked tirelessly to demolish the myth that a government-run health care system is more effective than the free market.
Pipes is highly sought after by those on both sides of the political spectrum for her views and expertise on health care policy. She has been a prominent national voice making the case that a single-payer health care system would make future health care crises even worse, and that the “public option” promoted by President Biden would be a steppingstone to Medicare for All.
Her comments are regularly included in national and international media stories covering health care topics, and have been featured in the Chicago Tribune, the Guardian, Kaiser Health News, Healthcare Dive, Healthline, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Shape magazine, Politico, and the Sacramento Bee – among others.
She steers the national conversation in health care policy through her weekly Newsmax column, biweekly columns for Forbes.com and the Washington Examiner “Beltway Confidential” blog, and op-eds published in newspapers around the country. Her writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek, Fortune, the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Detroit News, New York Post, and FoxNews.com, among outlets nationwide.
Pipes has published numerous books on health care policy. In her latest book, False Premise, False Promise: The Disastrous Reality of Medicare for All (Encounter Books, 2020), she draws upon her firsthand experience with socialized health care. As a former Canadian, she effectively combats the push for single-payer with data and real-life experiences of patients from around the world who have suffered under single-payer health care systems. For several weeks following its release, the book was a number one Amazon.com bestseller among health law policy books.
Other books authored by Pipes include The False Promise of Single Payer Health Care (Encounter Books, 2018), The Way Out of Obamacare (Encounter Books, 2016), The Cure for Obamacare (Encounter Books, 2013), The Pipes Plan: The Top Ten Ways to Dismantle and Replace Obamacare (Regnery, 2012), The Truth About Obamacare (Regnery, 2010), The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care: A Citizen’s Guide (PRI, 2008), and Miracle Cure: How to Solve America’s Health Care Crisis and Why Canada Isn’t the Answer (PRI, 2004). In 2014, Eagle Publishing’s Human Events released her white paper, The True Costs of Obamacare.
She regularly gives radio and television interviews, arguing against government-run health care and making the case for market-based health care reform. Past radio interviews have included “The Larry Elder Show,” “The Lars Larson Show,” “The Jim Bohannon Show,” “The Dennis Prager Show,” Sirius XM, Southern California Public Radio, and Capital Public Radio.
Recent television appearances have included “Life, Liberty and Levin” on Fox News Channel, “The Evening Edit with Elizabeth MacDonald” on Fox Business Network, Newsmax TV, “Deep Dive” with Steve Hilton on Fox Nation, and “After Words” on C-Span’s “Book TV”. She has been a past guest on “20/20”, “NBC Nightly News,” “The Today Show,” “Dateline,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” CNN and MSNBC. Pipes was featured in a one-hour Fox News documentary on health care hosted by Bret Baier, and in Michael Moore’s film, “Sicko.”
She regularly gives speeches before audiences nationwide on health care issues and participates in high-profile debates on government-run health care. She is a member of the Adam Smith Society’s speakers’ bureau, speaking to business school students at campuses nationwide on the importance of health care freedom.
In 2019, Pipes and her debate partner Nick Gillespie, editor of Reason magazine, were voted the winners of a nationally televised Intelligence Squared debate on the motion: “Replace private insurance with Medicare for All.” Pipes won a 2020 Soho Forum debate on single-payer health care against University of Massachusetts, Amherst professor Gerald Friedman. She has debated health care topics with some of the nation’s leading single-payer health care advocates, including New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and the late Uwe Reinhardt.
Pipes also shapes the legislative process by regularly meeting with policymakers and legislators from Sacramento to Washington, DC, and has been invited to testify before Congress and state legislatures.
In 2008, she founded the Benjamin Rush Institute, a Federalist Society-type organization for medical students across America, and currently serves as chairman of the board. She has been a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, the Capital Research Center advisory board, the Canadian Association for Business Economics (serving two terms as president), the State Policy Network president’s advisory council, the California Association of Scholars advisory board, Independent Women’s Forum board, Docs4Patient Care advisory board, the Council for Affordable Health Coverage board, Heartland Institute board of policy advisors, Genworth Financial’s Long-Term Care Insurance Division medical advisory board, and St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation board.
She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. In April 2018, Pipes received an honorary doctorate from Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy for her work on health care reform. She received the Roe Award at the 2004 State Policy Network annual meeting, which honors an individual in the state public policy movement who has a passion for liberty, a willingness to work for it, and noteworthy achievement in turning dreams into realities. She has also been honored by the California Women’s Leadership Association and was recognized by Human Events as one of the top 10 women in the conservative movement in America.
Pipes, a former Canadian, became an American citizen in 2006. She is married to Professor Charles R. Kesler.