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Staff

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Edward F. Howard, Executive Vice President.
Ed has headed up the Alliance since its formation in 1991. Previously, he served as general counsel for the Pepper Commission, a bipartisan congressional panel convened to plan for providing health coverage to all Americans. Before that, he directed public policy at the Villers Foundation and at the National Council on the Aging, and served as general counsel to the House Select Committee on Aging. He holds a juris doctor degree from Harvard University.


Anastasia Dent, Director of Operations & Grant Management.
Anastasia joined the Alliance in November 2010. She previously worked at Children's National Medical Center in DC and has a background in non-profit development, fund raising and event management. She received her BA from St. Lawrence University.


Marilyn Werber Serafini, Vice President for Policy.
Before joining the Alliance, Marilyn was the Robin Toner Distinguished Fellow and senior correspondent at Kaiser Health News. She was an award-winning health care and welfare correspondent for National Journal magazine from 1995 to 2010, and before that was a senior reporter for CongressDaily (now National Journal daily). She holds a master’s degree in journalism and public affairs from American University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland.


Sarah Dash, Vice President for Policy.
Sarah joined the Alliance in April 2014 as Vice President of Policy and Research. Prior to joining the Alliance, she was a member of the research faculty at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute in the Center on Health Insurance Reforms. She has also served as a senior health policy aide to Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). She received her Master's in Public Health from Yale University and a Bachelor of Science from MIT.


Deanna Okrent, Senior Health Policy Associate.
Before joining the Alliance in spring 2007, Deanna was a consultant on aging and health policy to private and not-for-profit organizations for seven years. She is also a professional mediator. Earlier she was a policy associate for the Alpha Center (now AcademyHealth). Prior to that, Deanna served as an associate director for the 1995 White House Conference on Aging. She holds an M.A. in physiology from the City University of NY at Hunter College and a master’s degree in public administration from SUNY.


Beeta Rasouli, Health Policy Associate.
Beeta joined the Alliance in June 2011. She previously interned and worked on Capitol Hill in both the House and Senate, and most recently was a legislative assistant to the former assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. She holds an M.P.H. from The George Washington University and a B.S. in psychology.


Sabah Bhatnagar, Operations and Health Policy Communications Associate.
Sabah joined the Alliance in July 2013. She graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a B.S. in biology in 2009. Since graduating she has worked with a variety of nonprofits in the DC metro area including Nonviolence International and GAMA International.


Kevin McIntyre, Program Assistant .
Kevin joined the Alliance in July 2014. Prior to that, he interned at Trust for America's Health and on Capitol Hill. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Government & Politics from the University of Maryland.


Dexter Williams, Health Policy Program Assistant.
Dexter joined the Alliance in July 2013. Immediately prior to joining the Alliance, Dexter was a staff assistant in Senator Benjamin Cardin’s state office. He has also worked at Men’s Health Network and HHS. Dexter graduated from Howard University with a BS in health administration and is currently pursuing his MPA from the University of Baltimore.


Bijan Mehryar, Intern.
Bijan joined the Alliance in June of 2014. He is a rising senior at the University of California, San Diego where he is pursuing a B.A. in International Studies with a concentration in Political Science.


Olga Bronnikova, Intern.
Olga joined the Alliance in August 2014. She previously interned at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, and the California Department of Insurance. She also worked as an Employee Benefits Analyst at Barney & Barney, LLC. Olga holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego. She is currently a J.D. Candidate at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, expected to graduate in December 2014.


 


Uwe Reinhardt Questions Bundled Payment Savings Prospects


Video (2:58)

A new Alliance for Health Reform video features Princeton’s Uwe Reinhardt questioning whether bundling payments for medical services might actually lead to higher – not lower – costs.

"The ACO's, the accountable care organizations, could create local monopolies that could dictate to you what that bundled price would be, and some of us fear that bundled prices might be even more than what the fee-for-service for that bundle would be today. … You really should align all the payers and say, 'Let us jointly negotiate with the ACOs what those bundles should be so that they cannot divide and rule and sort of make us on the buy side weak.'"

FULL TRANSCRIPT

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Sister Carol Keehan on Health Law Enrollment Challenges this Year


Video 3:00

A new Alliance for Health Reform video features Sister Carol Keehan of the Catholic Health Association of the United States addressing the challenges of quickly enrolling millions of Americans for health insurance this fall. Open season begins October 1 of this year, yet she says that up to 85 percent of those who will be newly eligible for Medicaid or for subsidies to buy private insurance in state-based exchanges don't know it.  FULL TRANSCRIPT

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Jonathan Blum on CMS Efforts to Keep Medicare Spending Growth Down


Video (2:54)

Jonathan Blum, acting principal deputy administrator and director of the Center for Medicare at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), addresses the slower growth of Medicare spending over the last few years, and what his agency is doing to try and continue the trend. “There are promising signs that this strategy to change the payment system, to change the payment models, to focus on waste and abuse, is paying off," he said. "We are taking a whole new approach to addressing fraud in the program. Much more data resources, much more on the ground reaction. We have seen dramatic spending declines in areas of spending, such as home health and durable medical supplies that historically fueled lots of the fraud.”  FULL TRANSCRIPT

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Two Former Medicare Administrators Discuss How to Save the Program


A new Alliance for Health Reform video features two former Medicare administrators -- Gail Wilensky and Bruce Vladeck -- on their ideas about how to save the program.

Ms. Wilensky, who ran Medicare in a Republican administration, argued for increasing the eligibility age of Medicare for future retirees, while still making the program available at age 65 for those who are disabled.

Watch at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQjsfam9-w0

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Douglas Holtz-Eakin: Health Care Spending Lull Only Temporary


Video (3:11)

A new Alliance for Health Reform video features Douglas Holtz-Eakin of the American Action Forum, and a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, arguing that recent slower spending growth in health care won’t continue.

"We also saw a slowdown in the mid-90s, and we all declared victory and it came right back. I think next year we’ll see a noticeable uptick. There will be lots of new people entering the insurance markets because of the exchanges and the subsidies that come along with them, and those subsidies are very generous. … These are an invitation for people to get coverage and to buy more health care. I think that’ll place a lot of pressure on spending."

FULL TRANSCRIPT

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Marketplace Enrollment Helpers Toolkit


Beginning October 1, insurance marketplaces open for enrollment, and millions of people will be eligible to purchase plans. To guide them in the application process, the federal government has invested in programs to train community organizations and hired staff.

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The Employer Mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act


The Toolkit, available here, details the ACA’s employer requirements and penalty. It also includes information about the delay in the mandate to 2015, and analysis about its impact on employer-based coverage.

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Toolkit: Replacing the SGR


A new Alliance for Health Reform Toolkit summarizes the recent policy debate surrounding the decade-long problem In the last six months, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, House Ways and Means, and Senate Finance committees all put forth similar bills to repeal and reform the flawed Medicare physician payment formula. Further, with the CBO estimating the cost of repeal at $116.5, the lowest since 2006, many health policy experts are speculating that 2014 is the year that policymakers enact a permanent change to the SGR.

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