10 Most Powerful People in Healthcare

Written by Staff | August 06, 2009 | Print  |
Max Baucus (D-Mont.). Sen. Baucus is the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and has been vocal on many issues concerning healthcare, including developing healthcare reform, protecting Social Security and Medicare and expanding healthcare programs. Born and raised in Montana, Sen. Baucus was first elected to the U.S. House or Representatives in 1974 before being elected to the Senate in 1978, where he has served consecutively ever since.


Kent Conrad (D-N.D.). Sen. Conrad has represented North Dakota in the U.S. Senate since 1986 and is a member of the Senate Finance Committee. He has written healthcare policy that ensured continued access to hospitals in rural areas and sponsored the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Act of 2009, which would establish a research institute with the mission of generating evidence for physicians and patients on effective treatments of diseases, disorders and other health conditions. Sen. Conrad also serves as chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). Sen. Grassley is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, where he serves as the Ranking Member, and has worked on creating policies to make healthcare more affordable and accessible. In 2003, he steered through Congress the first-ever comprehensive, voluntary Medicare prescription drug benefit. Sen. Grassley has been active in healthcare reform and has been helping to negotiate a bipartisan agreement on this issue. He has also been an active whistleblower in anti-fraud cases. Sen. Grassley was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1974 and was elected to the Senate in 1980, where he continues to serve, representing Iowa.

Glenn M. Hackbarth, JD. Mr. Hackbarth is the chairman of MedPAC, the commission that advises Congress on Medicare issues. He has experience as a healthcare executive, government official and policy analyst. Mr. Hackbarth served as CEO and was one of the founders of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, a multispecialty group practice in Boston that serves as a major teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and previously served as senior vice president of Harvard Community Health Plan and president of its Health Centers Division. Mr. Hackbarth has held various positions at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including deputy administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration (now known as CMS). He currently serves as the vice chairman of the board of the Foundation of the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a board member at the National Committee for Quality Assurance and at the Commonwealth Fund.

Karen Ignagni, MBA. Ms. Ignangi is the president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans, the trade association that represents the country's insurance providers. She was the leader of the American Association of Health Plans before it merged with the Health Insurance Association of America to form AHIP. Ms. Ignangi also directed the AFL-CIO's Department of Employee Benefits and served as a professional staff member of the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. She has authored more than 90 articles on a wide range of healthcare policy issues and appears regularly before congressional committees and on national newscasts. Ms. Ignagni sits on numerous boards and advisory groups, including the Board of the National Academy of Social Insurance, the Partnership for Prevention and the Bryce Harlow Foundation.

Charles "Chip" Kahn III.
Mr. Kahn is the president of the Federation of American Hospitals, the national advocacy organization for investor-owned hospitals and health systems, and is an expert on health policy, Medicare payment, healthcare financing and the uninsured. He was appointed to the governing board of the National Quality Forum and serves as a principal in the Hospital Quality Alliance. Prior to coming to the FAH, Mr. Kahn was president of the Health Insurance Association of America and focused national attention upon the plight of the uninsured during his tenure.

Peter Orszag. Mr. Orszag is the director of the Office of Management and Budget, which assists the President in overseeing the preparation of the federal budget and to supervise its administration in Executive Branch agencies. He served as the director of the Congressional Budget Office from Jan. 2007-Dec. 2008, and under his leadership, the agency significantly expanded its focus on healthcare. Mr. Orszag served as special assistant to the President for Economic Policy, as a staff economist and as senior advisor and senior economist at the President's Council of Economic Advisers. He was the Joseph A. Pechman senior fellow and deputy director of economic studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

Mike Ross (D-Ark.). Rep. Ross serves as a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and is the chairman of the Health Care Task Force of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative Democratic House members. He has played an instrumental role in healthcare reform and was part of the group that reached an agreement in the house to slow the healthcare reform process. Rep. Ross was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000 and has focused on making our nation more energy independent and on ensuring more Arkansans have access to affordable healthcare coverage, especially in rural areas, among other areas.

Kathleen Sebelius.
Ms. Sebelius serves as the 21st Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees CMS, and is the principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans. Ms. Sebelius previously served as the governor of Kansas and has been a leader on healthcare issues for over 10 years. As governor, Ms. Sebelius worked to ensure every child in Kansas had healthcare, increased newborn screenings and put a renewed emphasis on childhood immunization. She was named by Time magazine as one of the nation's top governors in 2005.

Richard Umbdenstock.
Mr. Umbdenstock is the president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, the national organization that represents hospitals, healthcare networks and their patients and communities. He was also past chair of the AHA board of trustees and served on the executive committee, chairing the operations committee. He also served on the Circle of Life committee and chaired the Task Force on Coverage & Access. Mr. Umdenstock has 11 years of experience as an independent consultant for voluntary hospital governing boards in the United States and Canada. He also served as executive vice president of Providence Health & Services, an integrated healthcare system formed through the merger of Providence Services and Providence Health System, and he served as president and CEO of the former Providence Services, based in Spokane, Wash.  

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