Fall 2019 Legislative and Regulatory Outlook

Sam Baker, is the health care editor at Axios and a former author of the Vitals newsletter, which covers the intersection of politics, policy and business in health care. He has covered health policy in Washington for more than 10 years, beginning at Inside Health Policy, then The Hill newspaper and National Journal before joining Axios in 2017.

Yvette Fontenot, MPP, is a partner at Avenue Solutions, a health care policy, legislative strategy and communications consulting firm, where she develops and implements targeted and comprehensive policy and communications strategies on behalf of a range of health care clients. She has nearly 25 years of federal health care experience and has held senior positions in the Administration as well as on Capitol Hill.  Fontenot is an expert on the Federal legislative and regulatory process and has longstanding relationships with lawmakers, regulators and thought-leaders. Prior to joining Avenue Solutions, she was a senior advisor in the White House where she was responsible for coordinating the Administration’s work on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and briefed and advised senior White House officials about aspects of the legislation and implementation efforts. Fontenot was the deputy director of the Office of Health Reform at the Department of Health and Human Services where she developed policy and coordinated and cleared all matters related to the Affordable Care Act and provided outreach to Congress and other stakeholders with interests in health care reform. Prior to her work in the Administration, she served as professional staff with the Senate Finance Committee where she was a principle author of the Affordable Care Act and advised Chairman Baucus and Committee members on health insurance reform legislation before the Committee and Congress. Fontenot currently sits on the Board of Experts of Axios News and the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service Advisory Committee. She received her master’s degree from the University of Chicago and her bachelor’s degree from Duke University.

Rodney L. Whitlock, M.A., Ph.D., is vice president at McDermott+Consulting. A veteran health care policy professional with more than 20 years of experience working with the U.S. Congress, Whitlock served as health policy advisor and as Acting Health Policy Director for Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and, earlier, on the staff of former U.S. Representative Charlie Norwood of Georgia. During his years with Representative Norwood, Mr. Whitlock managed the Patients’ Bill of Rights, which passed the House in 1999 and 2001. In February 2005, Whitlock left the office of Congressman Norwood to join the Finance Committee Staff as a health policy advisor to Chairman Grassley. In that capacity, he was lead Senate staffer for the Medicaid provisions of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006. In 2007, Whitlock worked on the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, which passed Congress twice and was subsequently vetoed twice by President George W. Bush. Whitlock spent 2009 and 2010 deeply engaged in health care reform legislation. Late in 2010, he became the Acting Health Policy Director for Senator Grassley, and shepherded the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010 into law. Following his tenure in Senator Grassley’s Congressional office, Whitlock served as Health Policy Director in the Senator’s personal office.


Kathryn Martucci, MPH, is the director of policy and programs at the Alliance for Health Policy. Kathryn leads the policy team and oversees the production of high-quality, timely, informative briefings and materials. Previously, Kathryn joined the Alliance in January 2018 as a senior health policy analyst with eight years of experience in the health care industry. Previously she worked as a senior health policy analyst and associate director of operations for the Advisory Board Company and as a health policy fellow in the D.C. Office of Senator Chris Murphy. Applying her passion for public health and health policy research in diverse environments, Kathryn is also on the executive board of the Society of Health Policy Young Professionals a nonpartisan, volunteer-led organization designed to meet the diverse needs of DC-area young professionals interested in health care. Kathryn holds a master’s degree in public health from The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health and a bachelor’s degree in biology and sociology from Cornell University.