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Board Bios

Richard Master

Founder and CEO, MCS Industries

Business Leaders for Health Care Transformation, Chairman

Richard is the Founder and CEO of MCS, North America’s leading supplier of picture frames and decorative mirrors and the founder of Business Leaders for Health Care Transformation. He is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University, School of Law.

 

Richard has an active interest in public policy. He has served as a Chairperson of the Bethlehem Authority, which finances the municipal water system for 13 communities in the Lehigh Valley Region of Pennsylvania. Early in his career he served as a trial lawyer in the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice, before leaving to work for the George McGovern campaign for President.

His interest in healthcare was triggered by the relentless cost increases his company and its employees have been experiencing annually since 2000. His initial research and investigation led him to form the “Unfinished Business Foundation”, which led to the production of the films FixIt: Healthcare at the Tipping Point, Big Pharma: Market Failure and Big Money Agenda: Democracy on the Brink. In 2017, as a natural extension of these projects, he was integral in the creation of this organization.

Wendell Potter

Health insurance industry whistleblower 

Business Leaders for Health Care Transformation, President

Wendell has more than four decades of experience as a communications professional, going back to his teenage years in Tennessee, where he served as a high school correspondent to his hometown paper, The Kingsport Times-News. His journalism career would later take him to Memphis, Nashville, and finally Washington, D.C., where he covered Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court for Scripps-Howard Newspapers.

Although best known for his career in corporate public relations, Wendell has also served as press secretary to a Tennessee gubernatorial candidate, head of advertising and PR for a large integrated health care system in East Tennessee, a partner in an Atlanta public relations firm, and a state and federal lobbyist.

His first corporate job was at Humana Inc., where he headed the company’s communications department in Louisville, Kentucky. From there he was recruited to Cigna Corporation, where he served in a variety of positions over nearly 15 years in the company’s Bloomfield, Connecticut, and Philadelphia offices. His responsibilities included leading the company’s corporate communications team and serving as chief corporate spokesperson. He also represented Cigna on several industry committees and task forces, including the strategic communications committee at the industry’s largest PR and lobbying group, America’s Health Insurance Plans.

After seeing firsthand how strategic PR and lobbying is used unfairly to tilt the scales toward corporate interests against the people’s interests, Wendell left his corporate career to advocate for meaningful health care reform. He made headlines in 2009 when he disclosed in Congressional testimony how insurance companies, as part of their efforts to boost profits, have contributed to spiraling health care costs and the growing number of Americans without health insurance. He also revealed how insurance companies use their

customers’ premiums to wage multi-million dollar PR and lobbying campaigns to influence public opinion and public policy. Since then, he has spoken at more than 200 public forums and authored the award-winning book, Deadly Spin, An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans. His latest offering is an eBook entitled, Obamacare: What’s in for Me? What Everyone Needs to Know about the Affordable Care Act.

Previously, Wendell was a columnist for The Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that produces original investigative journalism.  His articles and commentaries have appeared in many publications including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Tampa Bay Times, The Guardian, Newsweek, The Nation, Huffington Post, CNN.com, NBC.com, Democracy Journal, and healthinsurance.org. Wendell has been the subject of numerous articles in the U.S. and foreign media, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, and has appeared frequently as a guest on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX News Channel, MSNBC, PBS, and NPR.

In 2017, Wendell launched Tarbell.org, a non-partisan news publication with the mission is to provide objective, investigative reporting on hard hitting topics effecting Americans.

In 2019, Wendell became the president of Business for Medicare for All and Medicare for All NOW!

Since then, he has spoken at more than 200 public forums and authored the award-winning New York Times bestseller, Deadly Spin, An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans. He is also the author of Obamacare: What’s in for Me? What Everyone Needs to Know about the Affordable Care Act. His latest book, which he wrote with Nick Penniman, is Nation on the Take, How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It.

James G. Kahn

Emeritus professor in the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies,

Institute for Global Health Sciences, and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UCSF 

James G. Kahn, MD, MPH is emeritus professor in the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, Institute for Global Health Sciences), and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UCSF. He is the founder and director of the UCSF Global Health Economics Consortium (GHECon). Dr. Kahn is an expert in cost-effectiveness analysis and associated methods of decision analysis, systematic review, meta-analysis, and costing. He was the PI for the Consortium to Assess Prevention Economics (CAPE), a multi-institution collaboration working with CDC to examine prevention and treatment strategies. He is the PI for the UCSF component of a NIDA-funded modeling consortium now in year 22 of 30. He was co-founder and UCSF PI for the Global Health Cost Consortium, a Gates Foundation-funded project to increase the availability and quality of cost data for treatment and prevention programs for HIV, TB, and other diseases. 

 

Dr. Kahn has researched the economics of paying for health care for 15 years. In 2014, his team used existing micro-economic evidence to quantify excess billing and insurance-related administrative costs in U.S. health care, as compared with single payer: $400 billion per year (in 2020 over $0.5 trillion). In 2020, his team published a systematic review of economic analyses of single payer costs, finding that 19 of 22 analyses projected net savings in the first year, and all did over time. He has also published about 15 op-eds, commentaries, and blogs.

 

Dr. Kahn has taught four economics courses at UCSF, include decision and cost-effectiveness analysis, global health economics, health economics for law & policy masters students, and health economics for global equity fellows in brain health.

Dr. Carol Paris

Past president of Physicians for a National Health Program

Retired psychiatris

Dr. Carol Paris is a retired psychiatrist who worked for more than 25 years in community mental health, prison psychiatry, and academia, including a year as a consultant psychiatrist in New Zealand, where she experienced a single-payer system firsthand. In 2003, she entered private practice, becoming a small business owner. This experience, more than any other, opened her eyes to the failings of the US healthcare system. She became an outspoken critic and has been advocating for a Single Payer/Medicare for All program ever since. She served as president of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) from 2017 to 2019, and continues to serve on their board. 

Dr. Paris has appeared on national television and radio programs and has spoken recently on the political feasibility of Medicare for All at a forum hosted by the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. In November, 2019, the School of Health Policy at Vanderbilt University hosted a debate between Dr. Paris and Mr. Chip Kahn, CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals. 

Dr. Paris received her medical degree from West Virginia University School of Medicine where she also completed her residency training in adult psychiatry.

David Steil
President and CEO of MicroTrap Corp

Former Republican legislator

David Steil is the president and CEO of MicroTrap Corp., a manufacturer of air filtration equipment in Morrisville, Pennsylvania. He was a Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 31st District, elected in 1992 until his retirement from legislative life in 2007. He and his wife live in Yardley, Pennsylvania and have two children.