As a director of strategic operations, Laura Clay Trueman focuses on three core policy areas for The Heritage Foundation: improving health care, reforming entitlement spending and preserving families and religious freedom.
Trueman joined Heritage in April 2010 with a policy-steeped background as a U.S. Senate staffer and a presidential appointee at the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She also has worked for a Fortune 25 health care corporation and led the Coalition for Affordable Health Coverage, an advocacy group fighting for those without health insurance.
She arrived in Washington, D.C., with Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.) in the wake of the 1980 elections. As Nickles’ legislative assistant, she was responsible for a wide range of issues—including health, disability, education, entitlements and religious freedom—while he served on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Trueman worked on the Social Security Amendments of 1983, the last time Congress passed legislation to address fiscal imbalances in Social Security, and on the 1984 “Baby Doe Law” ensuring disabled newborns get medically indicated treatment. She also was instrumental in passage of the Adolescent Family Life Program, providing grants to organizations that promote abstinence and delayed sexual activity among teens.
In 1986, Trueman accepted a political appointment from President Reagan to go to Health and Human Services to work on education and prevention efforts related to the recent outbreak of the HIV virus and AIDS. She also ran the Adolescent Family Life Program she helped create as a Senate staffer.
Following a hiatus from Washington to raise her young children and complete a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University, she returned to the public policy arena as executive director of the Coalition for Affordable Health Coverage.
For five years, she led the Capitol Hill advocacy efforts of two dozen coalition members, with stakeholders as varied as hospitals, insurers, pharmaceutical companies, small business, manufacturers and consumers. CAHC not only grew but garnered bipartisan support in Congress for: health care tax credits; creation and continued funding of high-risk insurance pools, and a competitive, consumer-focused health system.
In 2008, Trueman joined AmeriChoice, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, to work for state-based health reform and Medicaid managed care. She consulted with officials in Louisiana, Florida, Indiana, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Texas, among other states, on how to expand coverage to the uninsured in ways that support competition and improve the quality of care.
A Cincinnati native, she grew up as Laura Clay in Fort Myers, Fla.
In addition to her master’s in writing, Trueman holds a bachelor of science degree in telecommunications from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla.
She and her husband, Patrick Trueman, met during a 1981 lecture given by Mother Teresa. The parents of three children, they currently reside in Oakton, Va.