Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Revolving Door : Former Head of CMS Becomes Top Lobbyist for Health Insurers

According to an article in The Hill, "Former ObamaCare official becomes top lobbyist for insurers" by Sarah Ferris, 7/15/15,  the former head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Marilyn Tavenner, has become the president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). AHIP is a lobbying group for the Health Insurance industry. 

Tavenner announced in January 2015 that she would be leaving CMS.

CMS is the agency under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that regulates Medicare and Medicaid. In my rudimentary knowledge of insurance regulation, it appears  the insurance industry is mostly regulated by the states, but the regulation of Medicare and Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act has had a large impact on the industry. Tavenner's appointment should be a great advantage to the health insurance business. 

CMS is also the agency that issued the rule on Home and Community-Based settings in January 2014.

This happens all the time in Washington, D.C., so it is no surprise that Tavenner switched sides from regulator to the regulated relatively quickly. That this is perfectly legal and accepted within Washington, does not make it any less questionable to the rest of the country. Who are the people making up the rules? Are they working for us or are they angling for their next job? Maybe a little of both?

The Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that it was appointing Andy Slavitt, who currently serves as acting administrator, to assume Tavenner’s former post.

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