Health Insurance Markets During a Time Of Change

Speaker Biographies

Health Insurance Markets During a Time Of Change:
The Nuts & Bolts
Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Linda Blumberg is a senior fellow in the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute. She is an expert on private health insurance (employer and nongroup), health care financing, and health system reform. Her recent work includes extensive research related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA); in particular, providing technical assistance to states, tracking policy decisionmaking and implementation efforts at the state level, and interpreting and analyzing the implications of particular policies. She codirects a large, multiyear project using qualitative and quantitative methods to monitor and evaluate ACA implementation in select states and nationally. Most recently she has estimated the coverage and government spending effects of repeal of the ACA via the budget reconciliation process and the implications for health care providers.  She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.

Mary Agnes Carey is partnerships editor and a senior correspondent for Kaiser Health News. She has covered health reform and federal health policy for more than 15 years as an editor at CQ HealthBeat, as Capitol Hill Bureau Chief for Congressional Quarterly and at Dow Jones Newswires. A frequent radio and television commentator, she’s been featured on the PBS NewsHour and on NPR affiliates nationwide. Mary Agnes has a thorough understanding of both the policy and politics of health reform. She worked for newspapers in Connecticut and Pennsylvania and has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Christopher W. Holt is the director of health care policy at the American Action Forum – a center right policy institute based in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the Forum in May of 2013, Mr. Holt spent almost seven years as a health policy advisor on Capitol Hill, last serving as the legislative assistant for health care policy to Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.). Previously, he worked as a health policy advisor for Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.), and Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio). He began his Congressional career as a legislative correspondent with the Senate Special Committee on Aging under Chairman Gordon Smith (R-Ore.). Before coming to Capitol Hill, Mr. Holt worked on a number of political campaigns. He is a graduate of Whitman College.

Brian Webb is the assistant director for health policy and legislation for the National Association Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).  The NAIC represents the insurance regulators in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 5 U.S. territories. Before joining the NAIC, Brian worked on Medicare and Medicaid policy for the BlueCross BlueShield Association and, prior to that, was the assistant vice president for legislation for the then-Federation of American Health Systems (FAHS). Brian began working in Washington, D.C., on health care policy in 1988 as a legislative aide for Rep. Bill Thomas. After six years with Rep. Thomas, Brian worked five years in California Gov. Pete Wilson’s Washington, D.C., office as health and welfare aide and deputy director. Brian has a master’s degree in public administration from the George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree from BIOLA University in California.

Mark Zdechlik covers health care and politics for Minnesota Public Radio News. He began his MPR career in 1986 while attending St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., where he earned a degree in business administration. Over the past three decades, Zdechlik has been involved in covering virtually every major news story in the region.


Karl Eisenhower is the communications director at the Alliance for Health Reform. Before joining the Alliance in 2016, Karl was the health editor at RealClear Media Group, where he managed the launch of the RealClearHealth website, and a senior web editor at Kaiser Health News. Prior to that, he was the new media strategy editor at National Journal and the assistant managing editor for newsroom operations at Karl has a B.A. in political science from the College of Wooster and did some graduate-level studies in political science at Duke.