RIP: Lee Tooman, Leading Proponent of Consumer-Driven Health Care

Published January 1, 2006

Lee D. Tooman Jr., vice president of government relations for Golden Rule Insurance Company, passed away on October 26, 2005 following a long and courageous struggle with cancer. He was 52.

“A real leader of the health care finance reform movement has left us,” said Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast. “Lee was an early and effective advocate for reforms that empower health care consumers by repealing unnecessary and expensive mandates, funding high-risk pools, and leveling the playing field between employer-provided health insurance and other forms of third-party insurance and self-insurance.

“The launch of Health Care News was Lee Tooman’s idea,” recounted Bast. “He helped define its audience and its editorial philosophy and served as a mentor and frequent coauthor and editor of many of the articles that appeared on its pages. He helped me and many others in the reform movement in so many ways, always with a sense of humor and candor that made him stand out. He’ll be sorely missed.”

“Lee truly was a giant in the health insurance industry,” said Mike Hampton of Golden Rule’s government relations department. “Those of us who have worked for him were greatly honored to have that opportunity and we will miss him deeply. Not only was he our boss, but he was a true friend.”

Lee was with Golden Rule for 16 years and, in 1997, earned his law degree at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He also was a member of The Heartland Institute’s board of directors and a talented artist.

Lee is survived by, among others, his wife, Chastity Tooman; children, Anna Tooman and Adam Tooman; parents, Lee D. Tooman, Sr. and Elena O. (Barnabo) Tooman; step-children, Tyler Joseph Leigh Straub and DaShawn Kenneth Hunter; and brother, Alex Tooman.

The staffs of Health Care News and The Heartland Institute offer their heartfelt condolences to Chastity and the rest of the Tooman family.