Walter McClure

Walter McClure

Senior Fellow and Chairman

Walter McClure received a BA in philosophy and physics from Yale in 1959 and a PhD in theoretical physics from Florida State in 1967. His dissertation research, on nuclear cluster theory, was performed at the University of Tübingen in Germany, and he co-authored a book on the subject with his professor, Karl Wildermuth.

In 1969 he switched from physics to health care reform policy for reasons, he says, having to do with “relevance”. He worked at InterStudy under Paul Ellwood’s leadership from 1969 to 1981, at which time he left to start the Center for Policy Studies (now the Center for Policy Design). He directed the Center until his retirement for medical reasons in 1990. At InterStudy he worked with colleagues on the HMO strategy for health care reform, among other tasks drafting much of the Federal legislation.

At the Center he developed Large System Architecture, which is a general theory of why organizations do what they do, and a set of methods to strategically redirect their behavior toward the goals society desires of them. With these methods he and his colleagues at the Center developed a health care system reform strategy to get better care for less, and developed a National Health Insurance proposal consonant with this strategy. He assisted Medicare, Pennsylvania and Cleveland to implement the first step of the strategy, severity-adjusted outcomes assessment of providers, before his reluctant retirement.

He remains chair of the board of the Center but for many years was no longer active in its professional work or management. Recently he resumed some of his professional work.


Large System Architecture: Toward a more systematic discipline for policy design and analysis of large social systems (McClure, 2017)
Dr. McClure will outline a general theory and systematic methodology, Large System Architecture (LSA), for analyzing, designing and politically implementing policy to improve the performance of large social systems such as e.g. education, health care, the economy, etc.

Does The American Economic System Need Redesign? (McClure 2017)
Dr. McClure will present an analysis of the economy using standard Large System Architecture theory and methods.

Redesign the Economy or Lose the Republic: Inequality, Incumbency and The War on Liberty (McClure 2016)
How the language of liberty and economics is being used to undermine liberty, and what might be done about it.

Architecting Large Social Systems (McClure 2016)
Presents a theory of why organizations do what they do, then presents methods based on this theory for designing and executing strategies to alter their behavior if they are not performing as society wishes.

The Pope, Poverty and Adam Smith (McClure 2015)
Is government a maker or a taker... what would Adam say?

System Reform: Getting More For Less (McClure, 2011)
Transcript of remarks to the House bi-Partisan Redesign Caucus as given by Walter McClure.

Unconventional Wisdom: Rethinking National Health Insurance SUMMARY (McClure 1992)
A SUMMARY of crucial points too seldom heard in the national health insurance debate.

Competition and the Pursuit of Quality: A Conversation with Walter McClure (John Iglehart 1988)
McClure describes his odyssey at the local level in striving to persuade interests there that unless they become active agents for constructive health care reform, government will eventually assume command of the system.

Health Affairs Data Watch (McClure, Shaller 1984)
A study on data variations in Medicare expenditures per beneficiary.

Structure and Incentive Problems in Economic Regulation of Medical Care (McClure, 1981)
This paper analyzes some of the limitations of strong, direct economic regulation of medical care.

The Medical Care System Under National Health Insurance: Four Models (McClure, 1975)
A critical evaluation of four national health insurance models: major risk insurance; alternative delivery systems under universal coverage; the public utility allocation model (alias the British system); and the public utility hospital model.