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6 things to know about Tim Kaine and insurance

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Hillary Clinton launched a million Google background searches Friday by announcing that she wants Sen. Tim Kaine to be her vice presidential running-mate.

Kaine, who has been representing Virginia in the Senate as a Democrat since 2013, was governor of Virginia from 2006 through 2010.

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He was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1958, and grew up in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. His father was a welder who owned a small business. Kaine earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Missouri and a law degree from Harvard. He went to Honduras with a Catholic aide group for nine months, starting in1980.

While at Harvard, he married Anne Holton and moved with her to Richmond, Virginia, to live near her family. He then went to work as a lawyer.

He has not been deeply involved with insurance during his career, but he has had some direct, and indirect, links.

For a look at some of those links, read on:

National Underwriter Property & Casualty mentioned Kaine in November 1996. (Photo: Thinkstock)Kaine helped file a major mortgage lending class-action suit against an insurer in November 1996. (Photo: Thinkstock)

1. The insurance industry first noticed him in connection with a big class-action suit against Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.’s mortgage lending arm.

After Kaine moved to Richmond, and went to work for Mezzullo & McCandlish, a law firm there, he got insurers’ attention by filing a huge class-action lawsuit on behalf of consumers who accused Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company of discriminating against borrowers seeking to buy homes in certain communities.

Related: Nationwide Sued For Va. ‘Redlining’ 

Kaine got insurers’ attention again in 1998, when a jury awarded the plaintiffs $100 million in punitive damages.

A. Linwood Holton was a vice president at the ACLI as well as its general counsel. (Photo: Thinkstock)

A. Linwood Holton was a vice president at the American Council of Life Insurers as well as its general counsel. (Photo: Thinkstock)

2. Kaine’s father-in-law was the general counsel of the American Council of Life Insurers for many years.

Kaine is the husband of Anne Holton and the son-in-law of A. Linwood Holton Jr., who is a director in the government relations practice at McCandlish Holton P.C., the successor firm to Mezzullo & McCandlish.

At press time, representatives at the firm were not available for comment, and American Council of Life Insurers representatives were still combing through their files for details.

But McCandlish Holton shows in Linwood Holton’s biography that he was a vice president at the ACLI and its general counsel.

Linwood Holton served as governor of Virginia, as a Republican, from 1970 through 1974. 

A snippet of the 1966 edition of the Insurance Almanac that’s available on Google shows that Linwood Holton was serving as the general counsel of the ACLI in 1966. The ACLI found records showing that he was also at the ACLI from 1978 through 1985.

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Before Marilyn Tavenner worked for Obama, she worked for Kaine. (Photo: CMS)

Before Marilyn Tavenner worked for President Obama, she worked for Kaine. (Photo: CMS)

3. He pulled Marilyn Tavenner into the public sector.

Marilyn Tavenner is now the president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, a major trade group for U.S. health insurers.

From 2011 through 2015, she was the acting administrator and, later, Senate-confirmed administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as it was bringing the Affordable Care Act exchange system and other ACA programs to life.

Tavenner, who started out as a nurse, worked for Hospital Corporation of America from 1981 through 2005. From 2006 through 2010, while Kaine was still governor of Virginia, she was Kaine’s secretary of Health and Human Resources. 

Related: Obama Taps Tavenner to Head CMS

Individuals associated with Genworth have contributed $11,199 to Kaine for this election cycle. (Photo: Thinkstock)

Individuals associated with Genworth Financial have contributed $11,199 to Kaine for this election cycle. (Photo: Thinkstock)

4. Genworth Financial and employees at Genworth have contributed to Kaine’s campaigns.

Genworth Financial is based in Richmond, Virginia, and Kaine is one its two home-state senators., an arm of the Center for Responsive Politics, says individuals directly or indirectly affiliated with Genworth have contributed $11,199 to Kaine’s campaign fund for the current election cycle.

Related: Democrats missing a good corporate target

Kaine is a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, which has held hearings on Alzheimer's and related issues. (Image: Thinkstock)

Kaine is a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, which has held hearings on Alzheimer’s and related issues. (Image: Thinkstock)

5. Kaine cosponsored a bill that would add coverage for an Alzheimer’s disease care planning session to Medicare.

Kaine is a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, a committee that conducts hearings on Medicare, Medicaid long-term care benefits, Alzheimer’s research and other matters of interest to issuers of ordinary major medical coverage, Medicare plans and long-term care insurance. 

On that committee, Kaine has been most visible on efforts to fight opioid addiction.

A year ago, however, he joined the list of cosponsors for H.R. 1559, the Health Outcomes, Planning and Education for Alzheimer’s Act of 2015 bill. The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.), would add coverage for a care planning visit for Medicare enrollees who have been told that they have Alzheimer’s.

Related: Sanders, defiant on the stump, quietly reassures Democrats on unity

Kaine has backed some ACA "fixer" efforts. (Image: CMS)

Kaine has backed some ACA “fixer” efforts. (Image: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)

6. He wrote to the Virginia insurance commissioner to ask her to let ‘grandmothered’ plans stay on the market.

Kaine left the governor’s office in Virginia too soon to be involved with Affordable Care Act implementation there, and he joined the Senate too late to be involved in shaping the Affordable Care Act.

While in the Senate, he has supported some efforts to adjust ACA provisions. 

Kaine has, for example, backed proposals to create ACA “copper plans,” or cheap, bare-bones, ACA-compliant major medical plans designed for consumers to who are too broke even to afford bronze plans, the lowest-value plans now available to all consumers.

ACA included a provision that could be used to protect the “grandfathered” plans sold before ACA was signed into law, on March 23, 2010, from cancellation on Jan. 1, 2014, when many major new ACA individual health insurance market rules took effect, but it did not include a provision that could be used to let any plans sold later stay in force.

Federal regulators offered states access to a voluntary “grandmothering” systems that could let them minimize market disruption by letting plans issued after March 23, 2010, but before Oct. 1, 2013, stay in effect after Jan. 1, 2014.

Kaine joined with Mark Warner, Virginia’s other senator, to ask Jacqueline Cunningham, Virginia’s insurance commissioner, to take advantage of the federal regulators’ grandmothering option.

Supporters of the option say it minimized disruption for consumers in 2014. Critics say grandmothering contributed to insurers’ problems with setting individual health coverage prices as a sustainable level.


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