Trump, 'Disrupters' Among 100 Most Influential in Healthcare

Marcia Frellick

August 22, 2018

President Trump topped Modern Healthcare's list of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare 2018, moving up from the number 7 spot in last year's list.

Reasons given for heading the list include his efforts to dismantle key elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and broadening access to short-term and association health insurance plans.

"His actions on risk-adjustment payments put insurers in a lurch at a time when they had to file rates for the coming year. Outside of the ACA, Trump has pledged to address skyrocketing drug prices," the article states.

A dozen top executives shared the number 2 spot and were labeled "disrupters," or people working to move healthcare out of the status quo.

They include the following:

  • Mark Bertolini, chairman and CEO, Aetna

  • Jeff Bezos, chairman and CEO, Amazon

  • Bruce Broussard, president and CEO, Humana

  • Tim Cook, CEO, Apple

  • David Feinberg, president and CEO, Geisinger

  • Marc Harrison, president and CEO, Intermountain Healthcare

  • Rod Hochman, president and CEO, Providence St. Joseph Health

  • Stephen Klasko, president and CEO, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health

  • Larry Merlo, president and CEO, CVS Health

  • Larry Renfro, vice chairman, UnitedHealth Group and founder and managing partner, Optum Ventures

  • Anthony Tersigni, president and CEO, Ascension

  • Bernard Tyson, chairman and CEO, Kaiser Permanente

US Senators

Three US senators made the list this year. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) was number 31.

His listing reads, "As chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Alexander holds a powerful seat to influence health policy. For example, he worked across the aisle to pen legislation aimed at stabilizing the exchange insurance market. While the legislation did not pass, it was an indication that bipartisanship can still work in Washington. His committee is holding a series of hearings this year looking at ways to get more control over healthcare costs."

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was number 43. Editors wrote, "While the Senate majority leader failed in 2017 to secure enough votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, he still has major sway over health policy. The most significant issue on McConnell's agenda now is the nomination fight over Brett Kavanaugh to fill a vacant seat on the US Supreme Court. Several healthcare issues including Medicaid work requirements, the ACA and abortion could come before the high court in the coming years."

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), an ophthalmologist, came in at number 49. Editors wrote: "The Trump administration earlier this year advanced plans to expand access to association health plans, something Paul has been advocating for years. Paul, who has gone against the president and his party's leaders on some key issues, is also a crucial vote in Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. In late July, the Kentucky senator said he would support Kavanaugh."

Nominees were chosen for their leadership and impact. Modern Healthcare's senior editors and subscribers voted on a list that had been narrowed to 300 names. Nominees were accepted from all sectors, including senior executives; high-level government administrators and executives; elected officials; academics; and thought leaders.

Eric Topol, MD, Medscape's editor-in-chief and founder and director of Scripps Translational Science Institute, was ranked number 75. "Topol continues to be one of the nation's leading voices on the intersection of technology and medicine," the listing reads.

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