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+ Earlybird updated October 22 

Health Care: Commissioners Leave Toughest Medical Loss Ratio Calls to HHS

• "State insurance commissioners can check a major task off their list after unanimously passing a final model for the new health care law's medical loss ratio," CongressDaily (subscription) reports. "But now the Health and Human Services Department must quickly address thorny tax and implementation questions before it issues a final rule."

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Biography provided by participant

Michael O. Leavitt was sworn in as the 20th Secretary of Health and Human Services on January 26, 2005. Now he leads Leavitt Partners, a lobbying firm that consult firms in the private sector. It specializes in helping companies and states implement the 2010 health reform law.

During his first year at HHS, Leavitt led efforts to successfully enroll tens of millions of seniors and disabled persons in the new Medicare prescription drug benefit; mobilized the nation's pandemic preparedness; accelerated the development of health information technology standards and oversaw the medical response to Hurricane Katrina. He presided over changes in Medicaid statues to give states flexibility to provide targeted insurance coverage to more people, and worked with Congress to pass the reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.

During his second year, Leavitt spearheaded the Nation's Health Diplomacy initiative aimed at improving the health of Central Americans and bringing the countries of North and Central America closer together. He also organized a nationwide campaign to transform the Nation's health care sector into a value-driven health care system. He is intensely focused on making health care more transparent in quality and price, and reducing the time and expense of bringing safe and effective drugs to market.

Prior to his current service, Leavitt was head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and served three terms as Governor of Utah.

During his eleven years as Governor, Utah was recognized six times as one of America's best managed states. He was chosen by his peers as Chairman of the National Governors Association, Western Governors Association and Republican Governors. Prior to his public service, Secretary Leavitt served as president and chief executive officer of a regional insurance firm, establishing it as one of the top insurance brokers in America. He is married to Jacalyn S. Leavitt; they are the parents of five children.

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