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The Players


Date of Birth: Jan. 4, 1952.

Education: B.A., Johns Hopkins University; M.P.H., Tulane University.

Career Path: Kahn spent much of his early career as a health policy aide to congressional Republicans. He became executive vice president of the Health Insurance Association of America in 1992 and president in 1998. Kahn became president of FAH, which represents for-profit hospitals, in 2001.

Role in Health Care Reform, 1993-1994: Kahn had just begun his career at HIAA when he conceived of the “Harry and Louise” ad, which was considered to be one of the reasons President Bill Clinton’s health reform efforts failed.

Why He’s a Player Now: Kahn, as one of the leading hospital lobbyists with bipartisan connections on the Hill, will be a powerful opponent of any policy changes that he perceives as hurting hospitals. He is an active participant in congressional and White House discussions on overhauling the health care system.   FAH supports preserving the employer-based health system, subsidies to help low-income individuals afford insurance and an individual mandate.

Quote: “If all Americans can be insured at “an affordable rate and have choice of doctor, have flexibility in terms of their plans, and do that entirely through the market, I’d be happy to do it that way.” (Newsweek, March 14, 2009)

“I think there will be reform. There’s a great deal of momentum and I think there’s a desire in the public…I believe that there is a pragmatism about those who are leading the charge in health reform. I think the only question in my mind is how comprehesive and how broad it is. .I think [the Congress] will do as comprehensive a job as they can and if the market can’t absorb that then there will be a snarl at reform.” (May 11, 2009 interview with KFF Health News)

Read about the other ‘Players‘.