Thursday, Jul. 16, 2009

Karen Ignagni

America's Health Insurance Plans president and CEO

She is the top lobbyist for the nation's health-maintenance organizations and one of the most powerful and articulate voices in the health-care debate. The New York Times wrote of Ignagni in 1999: "In a city teeming with health care lobbyists, Ms. Ignagni is widely considered one of the most effective. She blends a detailed knowledge of health policy with an intuitive feel for politics." Her main focus has been fighting a public option and assuring that the plan includes a mandate that every American have coverage. Her résumé shows that she has learned how Washington works from almost every perspective: as a congressional staffer, as a government health-cost analyst and as director of the AFL-CIO's Department of Employee Benefits.