After a presidential administration changes hands, top federal officials often move into industry or advocacy jobs, while the new administration picks people from those groups to fill its own top openings. This “revolving door” of politics gives interest groups greater access to members of Congress or to the administration, which allows them to advance their policy positions.
Here are some of the job changes in healthcare that have occurred since around the time President Trump was sworn in to the White House.
Former Obama administration officials who joined the healthcare industry or advocacy groups:
Kevin Counihan: The former CEO of healthcare.gov, the federal Obamacare exchange, was recently hired by insurer Centene. He will be working as the regional vice president for the company’s Midwest division and out of its headquarters in Clayton, Mo.
Dr. Patrick Conway: The former administrator for innovation and quality at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, will take the helm of CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina in October.
Kevin Griffis: The former assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services is now vice president for communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, a position announced in April.
Drew Littman: The former counselor for HHS is now policy director at the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP, where his clients include companies in the healthcare and biotechnology fields.
Trump’s picks from the health industry or advocacy groups:
Lance Leggitt: Now chief of staff for HHS Secretary Tom Price, Leggitt is a former healthcare lobbyist for Baker Donelson.
Randy Pate: The current CMS deputy administrator and director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, who also oversees healthcare.gov, came to the administration from the insurer Health Care Service Corporation, which is part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. He was was vice president of public policy there.
Charmaine Yoest: The assistant secretary of public affairs at HHS came to the administration from Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion group for which she was president and CEO until February 2016.
Teresa Manning: The deputy assistant secretary for population affairs, which oversees family planning programs, had worked as a lobbyist with the National Right to Life Committee and as a legislative analyst for the conservative Family Research Council. When she was appointed, she was working as a law professor at George Mason University.