Leading health care reform official takes place as insurance lobbyist

Marilyn Tavenner health care reform

Marilyn Tavenner will soon be stepping into a position at the head of an insurance industry lobbying group.

A former leading U.S. health care reform official, Marilyn Tavenner, has now taken a position that is a step away from regulating health insurers, as she will be the next leader of an insurance industry lobbying group.

The America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) group recently announced that Tavenner would be taking its lead.

Tavenner had previously been the Administrator of the Centers for Medicaid Services, and had a major role in the health care reform in the form of the Affordable Care Act. She had held that position in the division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services until February, when she left the agency altogether. Before she had held that position, she had been the secretary of health and human services for Virginia.

Tavenner kept her position with the federal agency throughout the health care reform of the ACA.

Marilyn Tavenner health care reformAside from her responsibilities over the Medicare and Medicaid programs, Tavenner had also been the one in charge when it came down to the individual insurance mandate that was one of the new requirements of the Affordable Care Act, which is frequently nicknamed Obamacare. She had been confirmed by the U.S. Senate in May, 2013, and was part of the oversight of the massively troubled rollout of the Healthcare.gov insurance exchange.

Earlier in July, the White House named the acting administrator of the CMS, Andy Slavitt, as the permanent holder of that position.

The position for the AHIP had previously become available when Karen Ignagni, who had been the longtime president, had stepped down in order to be able to take over the lead position at Emblem Health, in New York. Clearly, Tavenner saw this as an appropriate position for herself and she will soon be stepping up to represent the insurance industry over future health care reforms, instead of seeing things from her former angle as one of the leaders of the federal agency. Health care and insurance news reports will watching the progress of this new balance of leadership.

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