From Modern Healthcare
If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency Nov. 8, she will quickly name people to top health policy positions
Some names floated as likely contenders for HHS secretary, CMS administrator and other posts include former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Neera Tanden, Chris Jennings, Ann O’Leary, Dr. Atul Gawande and Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey. While some hope Sylvia Mathews Burwell will continue on as HHS secretary, that’s seen as unlikely.
Two domestic policy wonks who are widely expected to serve in top positions in a Clinton administration are Tanden, a long-time Clinton aide who now heads the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, and O’Leary, a senior policy adviser to the Clinton campaign. Both are serving on the campaign’s transition team.
Tanden previously served as a healthcare reform adviser in the Obama White House. Before that, she oversaw policy issues for Clinton when she served in the Senate. O’Leary worked with then-Sen. Clinton on the Medicare prescription drug benefit legislation and other policy issues as her legislative director.
Another key Clinton adviser on health policy will certainly be Chris Jennings, of healthcare consultancy Jennings Policy Strategies, who previously has worked with the Bill Clinton and Obama administrations on healthcare reform issues. “Even though I think he’s not likely to seek or even accept a position, he will be the most influential person on healthcare in a Clinton administration,” Pollack said.
Observers say Burwell likely could stay on as HHS secretary if she wanted, since she’s widely seen as doing an excellent job and is popular among both Republicans and Democrats. But some say she seeks fresh challenges and that she could be Clinton’s pick for Treasury secretary.
Other frequently mentioned names
Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, the outgoing CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Nancy-Ann DeParle, a key health policy official in the Bill Clinton and Obama administrations
David Cutler, a Harvard University economics professor who served in the Bill Clinton administration and advised the Obama White House on health policy
Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, who spearheaded his state’s successful Obamacare implementation and Medicaid expansion
Dr. Kavita Patel, a Johns Hopkins Medicine internist who served as a senior aide in the Obama White House
Dr. Julian Harris, who served as associate director for health at the Office of Management and Budget in the Obama administration and previously served as Medicaid director in Massachusetts
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a University of Pennsylvania professor of medical ethics who served as health policy adviser to the Obama administration
Dr. Atul Gawande, the noted surgeon and healthcare writer who was a key healthcare reform adviser in the Bill Clinton administration
Peter Lee, executive director of the California Health Benefit Exchange and a former HHS official in the Obama administration
Andy Slavitt, the acting CMS administration who played a key role in fixing HealthCare.gov after its disastrous launch
Dr. Patrick Conway, the CMS chief medical officer who also heads the CMS Innovation Center
Liz Fowler, a former top Senate staffer who was a key drafter of the Affordable Care Act
Pollack predicted that Clinton and her transition team will give preference to someone with strong administrative skills to lead HHS, given the early leadership problems in rolling out the Affordable Care Act. That’s why he thinks Clinton will pick someone like Beshear or former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who is serving on the transition team.
Two other people mentioned by several observers who would be well qualified and have the necessary stature and bipartisan appeal to serve as HHS secretary are former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and President George W. Bush’s HHS secretary, Michael Leavitt, who now heads the prominent healthcare consulting firm Leavitt Partners.