America’s Health Insurance Plans, a group for health insurers, has picked Matt Eyles, its chief operating officer, to succeed Marilyn Tavenner as president.
Tavenner, who has strong ties to top Democrats in Washington, is retiring June 1.
Eyles has a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and a master’s degree from the University of Rochester. He started out in Washington as an analyst at the Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan research office. He later worked as a lobbyist a large drug manufacturer, Wyeth.
(Related: Top AHIP Officials Departing)
Over the years, most of Eyles’ political contributions have been to the Wyeth political action committee (PAC), when he worked for Wyeth, and later for AHIP’s PAC, after he went to work for AHIP. During the 2015-2016 campaign cycle, he donated $500 each to the Senate campaigns of Tim Scott, a Republican candidate for Senate in South Carolina, and Pat Toomey, a Republican Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, according to Federal Election Commission records.
AHIP says in an announcement of the change that it expects to see Eyles “continue to lead the vision and mission established under Tavenner’s leadership.”
Bernard Tyson, who is the chairman of AHIP, and of Kaiser Permanente, gave Tavenner warm praise.
“Marilyn’s track record of service and success is a model for every leader,” Tyson said. “She has delivered real results for AHIP and our industry in a time of extraordinary change and uncertainty.”
The 2016 Elections
Tavenner is a nurse who ran hospitals in Virginia for Hospital Corporation of America. She was the Virginia state health and human services secretary under Tim Kaine, a Democrat who now represents Virginia in the Senate. From 2011 through 2015, she ran the Centers for Medicaid and Medicaid Services (CMS) under former President Barack Obama.
At CMS, Tavenner oversaw the birth of major Affordable Care Act regulations and programs.
AHIP hired Tavenner to succeed Karen Ignagni as AHIP’s president in July 2015, at a time when a top priority was working with the Obama administration to improve the ACA public exchange system and ACA public exchange program subsidies.
Sixteen months later, Donald Trump became president.