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James R. Tallon

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Title: James R. Tallon  
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Subject: Tallon, Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Mel Miller, Saul Weprin, Michael Bragman
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James R. Tallon

James R. Tallon, Jr. (born 1941) is an American politician and health-care expert.


He received a B.A., cum laude, in political science from Syracuse University and an M.A. in international relations from Boston University. He has done additional graduate work at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. In 1995, he was awarded honorary doctorates of humane letters from the College of Medicine and School of Graduate Studies of the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn, and from New York Medical College. In March 2000 he was named an honorary fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.


He was a Democratic member from Broome County of the New York State Assembly from 1975 to 1993, was Majority Leader from 1987 through 1993, and was Acting Speaker for 3 days in 1991 after Mel Miller lost his seat upon a felony conviction until the election of Saul Weprin.[1] He was Chairman of the Assembly's Health Committee from 1979 to 1987, and spearheaded efforts to reform the Medicaid program while expanding eligibility for pregnant women and children.

In 1993, he joined the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, and served as Chairman of the Kaiser Commission on the Future of Medicaid and is a member of the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. He also serves as Secretary for the Alpha Center and for the Association for Health Services Research, and is on the boards of the Alliance for Health Reform, The Commonwealth Fund, and the New York Academy of Medicine. He recently concluded a three-year term as a member of the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission (ProPAC), and has held visiting lecturer appointments at the Columbia University and Harvard University Schools of Public Health.[2]

He is Chairman of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Mr. Tallon is President of the United Hospital Fund of New York, the nation's oldest federated charity. The Fund addresses critical issues affecting hospitals and health care in New York City through health services research and policy analysis, education and information activities, and grantmaking and volunteerism.

In 2007, Tallon was elected Chairman of the Commonwealth Fund after serving as director for over a decade.[3]


  • [1] Bio at the Kaiser Family Foundation
  • [2] Bio at United Hospital Fund
  • [3] Bio at The Commonwealth Fund


Preceded by
Francis Boland
New York State Assembly, 124th District
Succeeded by
Robert Warner
Political offices
Preceded by
Daniel B. Walsh
Majority Leader of the New York State Assembly
Succeeded by
Michael Bragman
Preceded by
Mel Miller
Speaker of the New York State Assembly

Succeeded by
Saul Weprin
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