Responsibilities: Oversees an organization representing insurance providers offering all types of health coverage, including Medicare Advantage and employer-based programs. Eyles manages an annual budget of $65 million and about 130 employees. He is in charge of representing the insurance industry's policy positions in Washington. His organization spent $6.5 million in 2017 on federal lobbying.
Current priorities: Shaping major policy conversations on health insurance. Finding ways to keep costs down and make it simpler for patients to navigate the health care system. Next up: Addressing the rising costs of prescription drugs. “I think a hot topic will be whether there are some bipartisan agreements to reduce the price of prescription drugs.”
At A Glance
Hometown: Plainfield, N.J.
Time in office: AHIP board named him president and CEO starting in June 2018
Personal: Married; two children
Background: Eyles began his career at the Congressional Budget Office while the Clinton administration was focused on reworking the nation's health care system. Before joining AHIP in 2015 as head of its policy and regulatory affairs team, he was an executive at two Fortune 200 health care companies and has been a consultant to some of the largest global and U.S. health care companies. He currently is secretary of the National Health Council, which advocates for people with chronic diseases and disabilities.
What he says:
On Medicare for all: “We have significant concerns … traditional Medicare is really an old-style program that doesn't provide the protections that private plans offer by way of maximum out-of-pocket costs. Also it doesn't provide all of the efforts around care coordination, providing in-home health assessments and innovative disease and wellness programs. Those things just aren't part of Medicare's fabric.”
On the future of the Affordable Care Act: “Given the changing composition of Congress … there might be an opportunity to do something in a bipartisan fashion that would help improve affordability, especially for those who need to buy coverage on their own and don't get any assistance to help pay for their premiums.”
On what people should know about his organization: “Because we touch all parts of the health care system—whether it be working with hospitals, working with pharmaceutical companies, working with physicians—we have a unique vantage point to how we can make the health care system simpler and easier to use for consumers."
What people are saying:
"A big part of the Medicare landscape is now Medicare Advantage plans. It's popular—almost 30 percent of seniors get their Medicare through Advantage and AHIP represents those providers,” says Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), a member of the Education & Labor subcommittee on health, employment, labor and pensions.
"With their immense power, influence and huge lobbying spending, they are preventing a variety of positive health care measures from moving forward … to a single-payer Medicare-for-all system where seniors would actually get the care they need without the copays and deductibles they now face,” says Eagan Kemp, health care policy advocate at Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group.
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