Let’s Get to the Heart of Workplace Health Care

2021 Workplace Policy Conference

More than 181 million Americans receive health coverage through employers. However, proposals to eliminate employer-based insurance have been debated for the past few years. During this session, we’ll discuss the evolution of employer-based health insurance, current benefit trends, changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, legislative initiatives and how you can influence future policies governing the employer-based system.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will:

  1. Learn about Congress’ and the Biden Administration’s priorities and positions on health care and what it will mean for the future of employer-sponsored health insurance. 
  2. Stay up to date on the latest employer-sponsored health insurance trends and solutions employers are implementing to balance the needs of a diverse workforce and respond to a public health crisis.
  3. Hear directly from policy and health care experts about legislative and regulatory proposals on the horizon, and how you can advocate in support of strengthening and improving employer-based health care coverage.
Date(s) & Time(s): 
Monday, April 19, 2021 - 1:00pm to 1:50pm

Gary Claxton


Gary Claxton is a Senior Vice President, the Director of the Program on the Health Care Marketplace at KFF.  The Health Care Marketplace Project provides information, research, and analysis about trends in the health care market and about policy proposals that relate to health insurance reform and our changing health care system.  The Program for the Study of Health Reform and Private Insurance examines changes in the private insurance market under the Affordable Care Act as federal and state policymakers implement provisions of the health reform law. Prior to joining KFF, Mr. Claxton worked as a senior researcher at the Institute for Health Care Research and Policy at Georgetown University, where his research focused on health insurance and health care financing.  From March 1997 until January 2001, Mr. Claxton served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he advised the Secretary on health policy issues including: improving access to health insurance, Medicare reform, administration of Medicaid, financing of prescription drugs, expanding patient rights, and health care privacy.   Other previous positions include serving as a consultant for the Lewin Group, a special assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, an insurance analyst for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and a health policy analyst for the American Association of Retired Persons.

Katie W. Mahoney

Katie W.

Katie W. Mahoney rejoined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in June 2010. Mahoney has more than 13 years of health care experience in hospital and health plan operations, as well as health policy. She is responsible for developing, advocating, and publicizing the Chamber’s policy on health and works with members of Congress, the administration, and regulatory agencies to promote the organization’s health policy. Mahoney also crafts regulatory responses for the Chamber and its member companies and addresses material areas as part of a comprehensive health policy. 

Mahoney joined the Chamber from the law firm of Greenberg Traurig where she served as assistant director of health and FDA business. While there, she analyzed legislative and regulatory health care proposals and advised insurers, health care providers, and employers on the respective business impact. 

Previously, Mahoney worked at the U.S. Chamber as director of health care policy from 2004 to 2007. She focused on access to health coverage for small businesses and the uninsured, health plan mandates, ERISA preemption and regulatory requirements, COBRA, Medicare payment systems, retiree health coverage, medical liability reform, and health care quality improvement initiatives. 

Mahoney has consulted on a variety of projects for state agencies and hospitals to maximize reimbursement and improve coverage among underserved populations, using public financing strategies. Her operational experience includes negotiating, implementing, and monitoring all managed care agreements with hospitals and health systems, large medical groups, and ancillaries in Southwest Central Louisiana on behalf of the largest single health carrier in the United States. She completed a postgraduate fellowship with the then-fully integrated Ochsner Health System, working at the executive level with chief executive officers at the Ochsner Health Plan, Ochsner Clinic, and Ochsner Foundation Hospital.

Originally from Massachusetts, Mahoney graduated cum laude from Vanderbilt University with an undergraduate degree in English literature. She earned a law degree and a master’s degree in health administration from Tulane University’s Schools of Law and Public Health and Tropical Medicine, respectively. She lives in Rockville, Maryland, with her husband, Jason, twin sons, and a daughter. 

Marcie McClintic Coates, JD, MBA

McClintic Coates, JD, MBA

Marcie McClintic Coates currently serves as Senior Executive Advisor and Counsel in the office of the Executive Chairman as well as Deputy Corporate Secretary to the Board of Directors of VIATRIS, a global healthcare company recently formed through the combination of Mylan and Pfizer’s Upjohn division, committed to empowering people worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life.  In her current role, McClintic Coates advises executive management and the Board on various strategic, business, legal, policy, operational and governance related matters.  She is a member of the Viatris leadership team and serves on the company’s corporate affairs council and corporate social responsibility advisory committee.      

In addition to her most recent work helping to ensure the successful launch of Viatris, McClintic Coates has held various global leadership roles throughout her nearly 15-year career at Mylan, including Head of Global Policy, Head of Global Regulatory Affairs, Vice President and Chief of Staff to the CEO and Global Regulatory Counsel. She is a proven leader of global teams, recognized for her consistent commitment to collaboration, inclusivity, and sustainability. 

With her unique background across many disciplines in healthcare, McClintic Coates has also become a recognized policy thought leader, representing the generic and biosimilar industries before Congress, the White House, HHS, FDA and in various international policy forums to increase patient access to more affordable medicine.   

McClintic Coates played a leading role in negotiating the $1.5 billion Generic Drug User Fee Act (GDUFA) of 2012 and 2017 with the FDA to improve access to safe and high-quality generic drugs. She also helped lead industry efforts for passage of the FDA Amendments Act of 2012, which updated antiquated U.S. law to ensure that all prescription drugs are held to the same high-quality standards regardless if made in the U.S. or abroad.  McClintic Coates has remained active in numerous advocacy efforts, including advancing solutions to help reduce out-of-pocket costs for Medicare patients, ensuring that trade and intellectual property laws balance both competition and innovation, and working with policymakers to harmonize regulatory requirements.  

In addition, McClintic Coates currently serves as vice chair of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership organization, a nonprofit group devoted to developing high school student leaders to tackle the world’s biggest challenges beginning in their own communities. She also previously served on the Board of Directors of the Association for Accessible Medicines Board, the trade association representing the generic and biosimilar industry and served as chair of its membership committee.  

McClintic Coates holds a law degree and M.B.A. from West Virginia University where she served as Editor in Chief of the West Virginia Law Review and an undergraduate degree from Wittenberg University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Prior to her time at Viatris and Mylan, she was an attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of the Baker & Daniels law firm, now known as Faegre Drinker.

Wendell Primus



Wendell Primus is the Senior Policy Advisor on Budget and Health issues to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  In that capacity, he was the lead staffer in developing the Affordable Care Act.  He also played a major role in the SGR legislation in 2015 and various budget agreements.  Prior to this appointment in March, 2005, Dr. Primus was the Minority Staff Director at the Joint Economic Committee. He has also held positions at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, served in the Clinton Administration at the Department of Health and Human Services and also served as Chief Economist for the House Ways and Means Committee and Staff Director for the Committee's Subcommittee on Human Resources.  Dr. Primus received his Ph.D. in economics from Iowa State University.


Chatrane Birbal


Chatrane Birbal is Vice President, Public Policy in SHRM national’s Alexandria, Va. office. In this capacity, she is actively involved in solidifying strategic partnerships and research to address policy issues on Capitol Hill that impact the workplace. In her role, Ms. Birbal lobbies Congress and develops policies and positions in support of workplace public policy issues including workplace healthcare, workforce development, workplace equity, workplace flexibly and leave, workplace immigration and employer-sponsored benefits (retirement, education assistance, unemployment insurance, among others).   

Prior to joining SHRM, Ms. Birbal was the director of government relations at the Council on Foundations, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit membership association of some 2,000 grant making foundations and corporations, with assets totaling more than $282 billion. During her tenure at the Council, Ms. Birbal implemented strategies and launches programs in support of the organization’s public policy and government relations work. She lobbied Congress on tax legislation relating to charitable giving, raised the Council’s profile with Congress and other nonprofit organizations, advised members on legislative activities impacting philanthropy and planned and executed the Council’s annual legislative fly-in conference, “Foundations on the Hill.”

Prior to joining the Council, Ms. Birbal was a federal legislative lobbyist at the American Psychiatric Association (APA), an Arlington, Va.-based medical specialty society with over 38,000 U.S. and international member physicians who work together to ensure humane care and effective treatment for all persons with mental disorders, including mental retardation and substance-related disorders. During her tenure at APA, Ms. Birbal lobbied Congress on behalf of psychiatrists, planned and executed the association’s annual advocacy day training session for membership as well as developed the APA’s online advocacy action center to further legislative efforts on behalf of the psychiatry profession.

Chatrane previously served on the Board of Directors for the ACT for Alexandria community foundation.  ACT for Alexandria brings the community together to elevate local philanthropic giving and engagement to new heights, supports local nonprofits working to aid the most vulnerable and develops solutions for the community’s most pressing challenges. During her tenure on the Board Ms. Birbal supported the foundation’s initiatives including ACTion Alexandria, an online civic engagement platform and Spring2ACTion, 24 hours of online giving to support local nonprofits.

Chatrane obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the State University at Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y. and received her graduate degree of public administration and public policy from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.


Ms. Birbal currently serves on the Board of Directors of Women in Government Relations (WGR) - the premier, non-partisan professional society dedicated to advancing and empowering women by fostering professional development and growth opportunities through a community that supports women’s leadership in government relations. She is a member of the Tax Coalition, which provides a forum for the exchange of ideas among professionals in federal tax policymaking to encourage the professional development of women in federal tax policy and Birbal also serves as a Director-at-large on George Mason University’s Alumni Board.

Session Type: 
Concurrent Session
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