Updated List of Gray Administration Executive Appointees

See the attached list.

Kevin Wrege

Founder & President

Pulse Issues & Advocacy LLC

Office: 202-625-1787

Mobile: 202-253-4929

4410 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150

Washington, DC 20016

. Agency — Updated 02/23/11 Appointee Fenty carryover interim Fenty carryover permanent Fenty Admin. Other Other
. Chief of Staff Gerri Mason Hall
. Child and Family Services Agency Roque Gerald (received letter to serve as interim; not announced) x
. City Administrator Allen Lew x
. Clean City Coordinator
. DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Ayris Scales
. DC Public Library Mayor does not appoint
. DC Public Schools
. DC Sports and Entertainment Commission
. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Nicholas Majett x
. Department of Corrections
. Department of Disability Services Laura Nuss (MO 2011-34) x
. Department of Employment Services Rochelle L. Webb
. Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services Kenneth B. Ellerbe
. Department of Health Dr. Mohammad N. Akhter
. Department of Health Care Finance Wayne Turnage
. Department of Housing and Community Development Robert Trent (MO 2011-24)
. Department of Human Resources Judy Banks
. Department of Human Services Clarence Carter (received letter to serve as interim; not announced) x
. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking William White
. Department of Mental Health Steve Baron x
. Department of Motor Vehicles Lucinda Babers x
. Department of Parks and Recreation Jesus Aguirre x
. Department of Public Works William O. Howland, Jr. x
. Department of Real Estate Services Brian Hanlon x
. Department of Small and Local Business Development Antonio Hunter
. Department of Transportation Terry Bellamy (interim) x
. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services Neil Stanley x
. Department of the Environment Christophe Tulou x
. Deputy Mayor for Education De’Shawn A. Wright
. Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services BB Otero
. Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor L. Hoskins
. Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Paul A. Quander, Jr.
. General Counsel to the Mayor Brian Flowers
. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Millicent West (received letter to serve as interim; not announced) x
. Mayor’s Office of Budget and Finance Eric Goulet
. Mayor’s Office of Communications Dr. Linda Wharton Boyd, Director of Communications; Doxie A. McCoy, Senior Communications Manager
. Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Neighborhood Services Francisco Fimbres (Washington Hispanic article — http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF&sl=es&tl=en&u=http://www.washingtonhispanic.com/nota6774.html&rurl=translate.google.com&twu=1&usg=ALkJrhgKzPabj7ytHtPzCcPyA0ZWlPMdYA)
. Metropolitan Police Department Cathy Lanier x
. Office of Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs Soohyun “Julie” Koo x
. Office of Boards and Commissions Ronald R. Collins
. Office of Cable Television Eric E. Richardson x
. Office of Community Affairs Stephen Glaude
. Office of Contracting and Procurement James Staton, Jr.
. Office of Ex-Offender Affairs Charles Thornton
. Office of Human Rights Gustavo F. Velasquez x
. Office of the Inspector General
. Office of Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining
. Office on Latino Affairs Roxana Olivas
. Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs Jeffrey D. Richardson
. Office of Motion Picture and Television Development Crystal Palmer
. Office of Planning Harriet Tregoning x
. Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs Janene Jackson
. Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization Ollie Harper, Jr. x
. Office of Risk Management Phillip A. Lattimore III
. Office of the State Superintendent of Education Hosanna Mahaley
. Office of Unified Communications
. Office of Veterans Affairs
. Office of Women’s Policy and Intiatives Terese Lowery
. Office of the Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan
. Office of the Chief Financial Officer
. Office of the Chief Technology Officer Robert Mancini
. Office of the Medical Examiner
. Office on African Affairs Ngozi Nmezi
. Office on Aging Donna Dunston (interim)
. Secretary of the District of Columbia Cynthia Brock-Smith
. St. Elizabeths Hospital
. Superior Court of the District of Columbia Mayor does not appoint
. Taxicab Commission Mayor does not appoint
. University of the District of Columbia
. Washington Convention Center Authority Mayor does not appoint
. Youth Advisory Council Cedric Jennings
.
.
.
. Green = EOM staff
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NY Agents Meet to Strategize on Exchange Issues

N.Y. insurance agents to plot response to health reform March 11

A meeting involving several insurance trade groups in New York March 11 will seek to develop a unified response to federal health reform and the role agents will play in the state.

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York has invited several state insurance producer groups, including the New York State Association of Health Underwriters, for the meeting in Albany, N.Y.

The IIABNY said the agenda for the meeting in Albany, N.Y., will include discussion on how New York will carry out new federal health insurance mandates, including the forth-coming New York health insurance exchange.

“Since federal health care reform became law last year, our legislative advocacy team has made a top priority of ensuring a role for producers in the health insurance exchange,” said IIABNY’s board chairman David M. Gelia in a statement. “This face-to-face chat with other members of the New York producer community will help us all create an effective plan for meeting that objective.”

Organizers say they hope the various groups will agree on common approaches for influencing how the New York exchange will work and protecting the role of producers in it.

“Health insurance is complex, with many coverage and cost-sharing options,” Gelia noted. “Consumers need professional insurance advice as they sift through the choices. We want to make sure that the exchange makes that advice available to them.”

President Barack Obama signed the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March 2010. Under the law, every state must set up and operate a health insurance exchange by 2014. The exchanges will be competitive insurance marketplaces offering varieties of plans that meet certain benefits and cost standards. Small businesses and individuals whose employers do not offer health insurance will be able to purchase coverage from the exchanges; the law requires members of Congress to do so.

The IIABNY board of directors last fall created a health care reform task force, headed by Jack Smith of Newburgh, N.Y.-based William A. Smith & Son.

The task force is studying the issues surrounding the law’s implementation; reviewing existing models for state exchanges; and developing guidance for the New York Insurance Department.

The meeting is part of the process for creating the recommendations.

The IIABNY more than 1,750 insurance agencies and their 13,000 employees.

Kevin Wrege

Founder & President

Pulse Issues & Advocacy LLC

Office: 202-625-1787

Mobile: 202-253-4929

4410 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150

Washington, DC 20016

Washington Post: Mayor Gray’s Top Appointees and Their Salaries

The mayor’s executive team

Some employees in Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s executive office make more money than their counterparts in the administration of former mayor Adrian M. Fenty.

“Will Agents Continue to be in the Mix?”

image002.jpg

(Excerpt from the Life and Health News, February 16, 2011)
Agents Likely to be Part of Exchange System

WASHINGTON BUREAU — The role that insurance agents play in the health insurance marketplace in 2014 and beyond will likely be left up to the states, according to Joel Ario, head of the insurance exchange bureau at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Ario said states will also have flexibility in determining the role of agents in a new “Navigator” system that is supposed to help consumers and small businesses use the new health insurance exchange distribution system that is supposed to be created by the Affordable Care Act, the legislative package that includes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

PPACA opponents are trying to repeal the law, change it or block implementation.

If the exchanges provisions take effect as written, the exchanges are supposed to distribute subsidized health coverage to eligible individuals and small businesses starting in 2014.

A state can run its own exchange program, participate in multi-state exchange programs, or let HHS provide exchange services for its residents.

Ario talked about the role of agents here at a conference organized by the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), Arlington, Va.’

HHS would prefer to see states manage the exchanges, and the federal government will step in “only if there is no alternative,”

Ario said.

Some agents fear that the government could use the Navigator system to shut agents out of the health insurance system.

Each state will be able to define its own exchange “Navigator” program, and each state likely will have the authority to decide whether its navigators must be licensed insurance producers, Ario said.

“The intent of the Navigators is not to replace agents,” Ario said, but to reach out to “hard-to-reach populations not currently served by agents.”

This market segment includes the “less affluent who are going to get coverage through the exchanges,” Ario said. “I don’t see a conflict between the agents and the Navigators.”

States will have to figure out the role of brokers in the individual market and state exchanges, but brokers are almost sure to have a presence in the exchange programs set up to serve small businesses,

Ario said.

There is widespread agreement that “if it’s going to work, the agents have to be part of the process,” Ario said.

HHS plans to release the first round of exchange-related regulations in late spring and a second round in the fall, Ario said.

In later comments, Susan Voss, the Iowa insurance commissioner, seem to imply that the states also expect agents to have a strong role in the exchange programs.

She did so by strongly endorsing agent involvement in marketing of all health insurance products, noting that state insurance departments “just don’t have the people to serve the consumer they way the agents do today.”

State insurance officials understand that an insurance policy is an intricate product that is not easily understood by the consumer, and that the agent’s role is critical to having the consumer understand the available choices,

Voss said.

MLR

Another contentious PPACA provision, the medical loss ratio (MLR) provision, now requires insurers to spend 85% of large group revenue and 80% of individual and small group revenue on medical care and quality improvement efforts.

Insurance agents and brokers have argued that producer commissions should be left out of MLR calculations.

Customers are the ones who really pay the commissions, and insurers collect the commissions as a convenience to customers, producers say.

Voss said she believes that agent commissions should be included in the amount of premiums reserved for medical expenses.

Commissions on sales of health insurance policies “don’t go to the bottom line” of health insurers, but instead are fees paid by health insurers only to reimburse agents for the services they provide, Voss said.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., is expected to introduce a bill exempting producer commissions from MLR calculations with bipartisan support in coming weeks. Rogers talked about his work on the MLR issue at the closing session of the NAHU conference.

MEL SCHLESINGER

Mel Schlesinger, incoming NAHU president and an independent agent in Winston-Salem, N.C., said he took Ario’s remarks to indicate that HHS “is pretty open” to hearing what everyone’s views are and is also seeking to be “fair and impartial” in decisions regarding the future health insurance market.

Today, “there are strong incentives for agents to go after the underserved population,” Schlesinger said.”

In the past, agents did not seek out the low-income and moderate-income uninsured, because they could not afford coverage, Schlesinger said.

In the future, “if there are going to Navigators, they still need to be licensed insurance agents,” Schlesinger said. “Even if the Navigators are accessed through call centers, they should be licensed agents. If they are going to make recommendations to consumers, if they are going to understand the industry, why shouldn’t they be licensed?”

WHO CAN GET THE SUBSIDIES?

Rep. Rob Andrews, D-N.J., a senior Democratic member of the House Energy and the Workforce Committee, said he would support a PPACA amendment clarifying that subsidies could be provided to consumers who qualified for the subsidies whether or not the consumers bought insurance “inside or outside the exchanges.”

MEDICARE ADVANTAGE CUTS

Congressional Democrats have argued that enrollees in traditional Medicare are subsidizing enrollees in the Medicare Advantage program, which gives private insurers a chance to provide Medicare coverage.

To pay for Medicaid expansion, coverage subisidies and other PPACA provisions, Democrats put provisions in PPACA that could cut Medicare Advantage funding.

Medicare Advantage program defenders argue that the Medicare Advantage plans provide better, broader coverage and appear to be helping enrollees live healthier lives.

Andrews said at the NAHU conference that he could support adding money back to the Medicare Advantage program if carriers could prove they were providing additional services not currently available through fee-for-service Medicare program.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., is expected to introduce a bill exempting producer commissions from MLR calculations with bipartisan support in coming weeks. Rogers talked about his work on the MLR issue at the closing session of the NAHU conference.

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MD GOP: SLOW DOWN HC REFORM IMPLEMENTATION EFFORTS

GOP says Md. moving too fast on health care reform

By BRIAN WITTE – Feb 17, 2011

By The Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Republicans criticized Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration on Thursday for moving too quickly to implement federal health care reform that could be changed or stopped in federal court cases.

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who is leading the Democratic administration’s effort to implement health care reform, said he is committed to making Maryland a national model for implementing the federal law, and he criticized Republicans he said have "chosen to put politics ahead of our neighbors’ health."

Maryland House Republican Caucus members discussed proposals of their own at a news conference, where they said Maryland Democrats are going too far, too soon.

"It is absolutely critical that consideration be given to alternative options, and legislation isn’t simply hurried through the process in order to gain a political advantage by being the first," said Delegate Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, R-Talbot.

Delegate Anthony O’Donnell, the Republican House minority leader, said Maryland shouldn’t create bureaucracies and spend money on a program that might not exist a year from now.

"We are way out in front of this in Maryland, and we’re saying slow back. We don’t need to be way out in front," O’Donnell said.

Republicans highlighted legislation of their own, including a proposal to amend the state’s constitution so residents are not required to buy a particular health care plan. Republicans also want to work on reforms to medical malpractice laws, which they say are causing doctors to leave the state.

The O’Malley administration has been a strong supporter of federal health care reform. Brown outlined legislation this week to put Maryland on the fast-track to implement it.

Maryland currently has between 700,000 and 800,000 uninsured residents, according to state health department estimates. The administration estimates that number will be cut in half by 2020.

Brown is championing legislation this session that would create a structure and framework to develop the insurance exchange required under federal health care reform. These state-based exchanges are pools intended to offer the same kind of purchasing power that employees of big companies benefit from.

Brown also is backing legislation to align Maryland law with consumer protections in the federal law, including provisions that bar exclusions from insurance because of pre-existing conditions. The lieutenant governor also is supporting a measure to create a council to bring public agencies and the private sector together in hopes of improving health care quality and reducing costs.

Maryland has received more than $100 million in federal grants to implement the federal law. That includes a $6.2 million grant to start forming the health exchange. Parts federal health care reform already have been enacted, including a ban on excluding children from coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

Copyright © 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Kevin Wrege

Founder & President

Pulse Issues & Advocacy LLC

kwrege

Office: 202-625-1787

Mobile: 202-253-4929

4410 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150

Washington, DC 20016

National Underwriter: Key Federal Regulator Speaks to Agents and the Exchange

Ario to NAHU: Agents Likely to be Part of Exchange System

By ARTHUR D. POSTAL

Published 2/16/2011

WASHINGTON BUREAU — The role that insurance agents play in the health insurance marketplace in 2014 and beyond will likely be left up to the states, according to Joel Ario, head of the insurance exchange bureau at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Ario said states will also have flexibility in determining the role of agents in a new “Navigator” system that is supposed to help consumers and small businesses use the new health insurance exchange distribution system that is supposed to be created by the Affordable Care Act,

the legislative package that includes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

PPACA opponents are trying to repeal the law, change it or block implementation.

If the exchanges provisions take effect as written, the exchanges are supposed to distributed subsidized health coverage to eligible individuals and small businesses starting in 2014.

A state can run its own exchange program, participate in multi-state exchange programs, or let HHS provide exchange services for its residents.

Ario talked about the role of agents here at a conference organized by the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), Arlington, Va.’

HHS would prefer to see states manage the exchanges, and the federal government will step in “only if there is no alternative,” Ario said.

Some agents fear that the government could use the Navigator system to shut agents out of the health insurance system.

Each state will be able to define its own exchange “Navigator” program, and each state likely will have the authority to decide whether its navigators must be licensed insurance producers, Ario said.

“The intent of the Navigators is not to replace agents,” Ario said, but to reach out to “hard-to-reach populations not currently served by agents.”

This market segment includes the “less affluent who are going to get coverage through the exchanges,” Ario said. “I don’t see a conflict between the agents and the Navigators.”

States will have to figure out the role of brokers in the individual market and state exchanges, but brokers are almost sure to have a presence in the exchange programs set up to serve small businesses, Ario said.

There is widespread agreement that “if it’s going to work, the agents have to be part of the process,” Ario said.

HHS plans to release the first round of exchange-related regulations in late spring and a second round in the fall, Ario said.

In later comments, Susan Voss, the Iowa insurance commissioner, seem to imply that the states also expect agents to have a strong role in the exchange programs.

She did so by strongly endorsing agent involvement in marketing of all health insurance products, noting that state insurance departments “just don’t have the people to serve the consumer they way the agents do today.”

State insurance officials understand that an insurance policy is an intricate product that is not easily understood by the consumer, and that the agent’s role is critical to having the consumer understand the available choices, Voss said.

MLR

Another contentious PPACA provision, the medical loss ratio (MLR) provision, now requires insurers to spend 85% of large group revenue and 80% of individual and small group revenue on medical care and quality improvement efforts. Insurance agents and brokers have argued that producer commissions should be left out of MLR calculations.

Customers are the ones who really pay the commissions, and insurers collect the commissions as a convenience to customers, producers say.

Voss said she believes that agent commissions should be included in the amount of premiums reserved for medical expenses.

Commissions on sales of health insurance policies “don’t go to the bottom line” of health insurers, but instead are fees paid by health insurers only to reimburse agents for the services they provide, Voss said.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., is expected to introduce a bill exempting producer commissions from MLR calculations with bipartisan support in coming weeks. Rogers talked about his work on the MLR issue at the closing session of the NAHU conference.

MEL SCHLESINGER

Mel Schlesinger, incoming NAHU president and an independent agent in Winston-Salem, N.C., said he took Ario’s remarks to indicate that HHS “is pretty open” to hearing what everyone’s views are and is also seeking to be “fair and impartial” in decisions regarding the future health insurance market.

Today, “there are strong incentives for agents to go after the underserved population,” Schlesinger said.”

In the past, agents did not seek out the low-income and moderate-income uninsured, because they could not afford coverage, Schlesinger said.

In the future, “if there are going to Navigators, they still need to be licensed insurance agents,” Schlesinger said. “Even if the Navigators are accessed through call centers, they should be licensed agents. If they are going to make recommendations to consumers, if they are going to understand the industry, why shouldn’t they be licensed?”

WHO CAN GET THE SUBSIDIES?

Rep. Rob Andrews, D-N.J., a senior Democratic member of the House Energy and the Workforce Committee, said he would support a PPACA amendment clarifying that subsidies could be provided to consumers who qualified for the subsidies whether or not the consumers bought insurance “inside or outside the exchanges.”

MEDICARE ADVANTAGE CUTS

Congressional Democrats have argued that enrollees in traditional Medicare are subsidizing enrollees in the Medicare Advantage program, which gives private insurers a chance to provide Medicare coverage.

To pay for Medicaid expansion, coverage subisidies and other PPACA provisions, Democrats put provisions in PPACA that could cut Medicare Advantage funding.

Medicare Advantage program defenders argue that the Medicare Advantage plans provide better, broader coverage and appear to be helping enrollees live healthier lives.

Andrews said at the NAHU conference that he could support adding money back to the Medicare Advantage program if carriers could prove they were providing additional services not currently available through fee-for-service Medicare program.

now requires insurers to spend 85% of large group revenue and 80% of individual and small group revenue on medical care and quality improvement efforts.

Insurance agents and brokers have argued that producer commissions should be left out of MLR calculations.

Customers are the ones who really pay the commissions, and insurers collect the commissions as a convenience to customers, producers say.

Voss said she believes that agent commissions should be included in the amount of premiums reserved for medical expenses.

Commissions on sales of health insurance policies “don’t go to the bottom line” of health insurers, but instead are fees paid by health insurers only to reimburse agents for the services they provide, Voss said.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., is expected to introduce a bill exempting producer commissions from MLR calculations with bipartisan support in coming weeks. Rogers talked about his work on the MLR issue at the closing session of the NAHU conference.

Kevin Wrege

Founder & President

Pulse Issues & Advocacy LLC

Office: 202-625-1787

Mobile: 202-253-4929

4410 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150

Washington, DC 20016

DC Dept of Insurance, Securities and Banking Investigated by DC Inspector General

D.C. insurance office’s $13,000 in credit card purchases questioned

By Bob Graham

Posted: February 16, 2011

The D.C. Office of the Inspector General is investigating the D.C. Department of Insurance, Banking and Securities’ use of department credits cards to purchase $13,000 in electronics and promotional merchandise.

Gennet Purcell

Gennet Purcell, who was replaced by incoming Mayor Vincent C. Gray last week, told the Washington Post, which reported the investigation, that the allegations leading to the investigation were motivated by agency staff upset because 12 employees were laid off.

Purcell was replaced by Bill White, a former consultant to the insurance department who took over Feb. 14.

White, who will serve in an acting capacity until confirmed, released the following statement in response to an inquiry about the credit card investigation:

“We are aware of the investigation of this matter by the Office of the Inspector General, and we will cooperate with them. The agency is moving forward and I want to reiterate, I understand our obligation to serve the interests of the people, and that even the appearance of impropriety is to be avoided. I can assure you that under my administration, DISB will adhere to both the letter and the spirit of the law.”

The inspector general is looking into $7,302 spent at Electroworld, a Prince George’s County-based company whose owner knows former Purcell’s husband Will, according to the Post, which cited city records of credit card purchases and interviews with staff contacted by the inspector general’s office.

Investigators also are investigating “electronic sales” purchases at Best Buy, which the newspaper, citing insurance department staff, said was for five television sets for the office to keep track of current events.

Purcell told the newspaper, in a statement through the insurance department, that the inspector general found no wrongdoing and blamed the investigation on employees in the insurance department who were upset about the cost-cutting reduction in staff.

Former Mayor Andrian M. Fenty nominated Purcell, a friend of his wife, to replace Thomas Hampton, who departed suddenly from the position in September 2009.

The inspector general’s office appears interested in determining whether procurement procedures were followed and what connection there may be between Will Purcell and Electroworld and its owner, Nevaldo Bailey, according to the Post.

Three years ago, Bailey bought the Purcell’s home in Rockville, Md., for $585,000, according to state records.

Will Purcell is not a principal or employee at Electroworld, based on the newspaper’s review of public records, although the publication said he his known to its employees.

Kevin Wrege

Founder & President

Pulse Issues & Advocacy LLC

kwrege

Office: 202-625-1787

Mobile: 202-253-4929

4410 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150

Washington, DC 20016