May 2000 Policy Forum

Bios & Background Material


Dallas Salisbury is president and CEO of the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), Washington, DC. EBRI was founded in 1978 to provide objective, unbiased information regarding the employee benefit system and related economic security issues. The objective: that decisions be made based on verifiable facts. Salisbury joined EBRI at its founding in 1978.  EBRI has earned widespread regard as an organization that "tells it like it is." The Institute does not lobby and does not advocate or oppose any policy position. Its mission: "to contribute to, to encourage, and to enhance the development of sound employee benefit programs and sound public policy through objective research and education." The Institute provides information that is central to financial and human resources planning and to public policy analysis. Salisbury is also chairman and CEO of the American Savings Education Council (ASEC), and the Consumer Health Education Council (CHEC). Both are partnerships of public- and private-sector institutions that undertake initiatives to raise public awareness about what is needed to ensure long-term economic and health security. ASEC and CHEC are part of the EBRI Education and Research Fund.  Salisbury is currently a member of a number of commissions and study panels, and he serves on many editorial advisory boards.  He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources, the recipient of the 1997 Award for Professional Excellence from the Society for Human Resources Management and the 1998 Keystone Award of the American Compensation Association. He has served on the Secretary of Labor's ERISA Advisory Council and the Presidential PBGC Advisory Committee, has been an advisor to numerous government agencies and private organizations, and is on the committees of many professional organizations. He has written and lectured extensively on economic security topics. Salisbury was one of 39 statutory delegates to the 1998 National Summit on Retirement Savings, hosted by the President and congressional leaders, and he moderated one of two general session panels. The EBRI/ASEC Choose to Save education campaign was featured in the other general session panel. Prior to joining EBRI, he held full-time positions with the Washington State Legislature, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), and the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor. He holds a B.A. degree in finance from the University of Washington and an M.A. in public policy and administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.

Paul Fronstin is a senior research associate with the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to original public policy research and education on economic security and employee benefits. He is also Director of the Institute's Health Security and Quality Research Program. Dr. Fronstin's research interests include trends in health insurance coverage and the uninsured, the effectiveness of managed care, retiree health benefits, retirement transitions, employee benefits and taxation, the role of nonprofit organizations in providing employee benefits, children's health insurance coverage and public opinion about health care. His most recent publications include papers in The Gerontologist, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, and Health Affairs

In 1995, Dr. Fronstin testified twice before the U.S. House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee, Subcommittee on Health, to discuss health insurance portability and how employers have responded to rising health care costs. In 1998, he testified before the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, Subcommittee on Civil Service, to discuss long-term care insurance. He also testified before the U.S. House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight to discuss COBRA and small employers offering health insurance, and before the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee to discuss health insurance of the near elderly population.  In 1999, he testified on the uninsured in front of the U.S. House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee, Subcommittee on Health.

Dr. Fronstin has appeared before many groups to share his expertise on employee benefits. He has spoken before the Alliance for Health Reform, American Economic Association, American Public Health Association, Association for Behavior Analysis, Dade County Economic Forum, Gerontological Society of America, Harvard School of Public Health, Healthcare Leadership Council, National Association for Business Economics, National Conference of State Legislators, National Education Association, National Health Policy Forum, National Press Foundation, Orange County Employee Benefit Council, Population Association of America, and the Southern Economic Association. He has also made numerous presentations for congressional staff and the media.

Dr. Fronstin has been quoted in numerous newspapers, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Miami Herald, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. In addition, he has appeared on CNN, CNBC, C-Span, ABC News, Fox Morning News, Money Watch, and America's Talking and has been repeatedly interviewed on National Public Radio.

Dr. Fronstin earned his Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY Binghamton and his Ph.D. from the University of Miami.

Workers and Access to Health Care: Consequences of Being Uninsured

Dr. Greg Acs is a Senior Research Associate in The Urban Institute’s Income and Benefits Policy Center.  He holds a Ph.D. in Economics and Social Work from the University of Michigan.  His research focuses on issues of social insurance, social welfare, and the compensation of workers.  Dr. Acs has examined trends in health insurance coverage over time and has also studied the potential impact of expanding health insurance coverage through a combination of employer mandates and a federal insurance program.  His work has appeared in leading journals such as Health Affairs and Inquiry.

Ray Werntz was named President of the Consumer Health Education Council (CHEC) in May 1999. CHEC's mission is to build a diverse coalition of private and public sector organizations committed to raising public awareness and knowledge of the importance of health insurance coverage to health care access, quality, and personal health.

Previously, Ray was Vice President of Compensation and Benefits for Whitman Corporation in Rolling Meadows Illinois where he was a strong proponent of health and financial education for employees and their families. In addition to his over thirty years' experience as a human resources executive, Ray has been active on many Boards and in other private and public sector organizations established to address health care delivery, quality, education, and access.

Ray, a native of Chicago, has a BA and MA in history and philosophy from De Paul University and a JD from John Marshall Law School.

Employment-Based Health Insurance: Its Debits And Credits

Alphonse G. Holtmann is a professor of economics at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, where he has taught since 1981. He was chairman of the Department of Economics from 1981 to 1988.  Previously, he served as chairman of the Department of Economics at the State University of New York at Binghamton, NY from 1978 to 1981. He has been a Fellow of the Employee Benefit Research Institute since 1994. He was associate editor of The American Economist from 1991 to 1997, was on the Board of Editors of the SUNY Press in Albany, NY from 1980 to 1981, and was co-director of the Metropolitan Consolidation Study at Binghamton during 1972–1974.  Holtmann is the author of Vocational Rehabilitation for the Disadvantaged: An Economic and Sociological Evaluation (with others); The Economics of Local Public Service Consolidation (with T.G. Cowing), and The Economics of the Private Demand for Out-Patient Health Care (with E.O. Olsen), as well as many articles on human resources, education, and economics.  Holtmann holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Illinois, and a Ph.D. degree from Washington University.

Productivity Gains from Employment-Based Health Insurance

Dr. Edward Yelin, a social scientist, is a Professor of Medicine and Health Policy at the University of California, San Francisco.  He has been involved in studies of the social and economic impact of chronic disease and disability for two decades and has over 90 publications in this area. He has published widely on the role of changes in the nature of work on the employment of persons with disabilities; includes among these publications is his book: Disability and the Displaced Worker (Rutgers University Press, 1992).  For the past two years, he has been the principal investigator of the California Work and Health Survey, a project designed to assess how the health of Californians is affected by changes in employment and, conversely, how poor health affects employment among Californians.

Health Insurance, Employment, and Health Status: Results from the California Work and Health Survey

D.W. Edington, is a Professor in the Division of Kinesiology at the University of Michigan, Director of the Health Management Research Center, a Research Scientist in the School of Public Health and a frequent faculty member of the Michigan Business School's Executive Education Program.  In addition to his research and teaching he spent 25 years in academic administration.

Trained in mathematics, kinesiology and biochemistry, Dr. Edington received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Michigan State University and completed his M.S. at Florida State University.  He did post doctoral work at the University of Toronto and taught at the University of Massachusetts before coming to Michigan in 1976.

Dr. Edington's research focuses on the precursors of disease and vitality His interest is in the relationships between healthy lifestyles, vitality and quality of life, as they benefit both individuals and organizations.  He is specifically interested in how individual health promotion, worksite wellness activities and programs within managed care organizations impact health care cost containment, productivity, and human resource development. He is the author or co-author of over 300 articles, presentations and several books, including Biology of Physical Activity, Biological Awareness, Frontiers of Exercise Biology, and The One Minute Manager Gets Fit.

The Health Management Research Center's Health Risk Appraisal has been completed by over 1.5 million individuals.  The concepts and materials from the Center have influenced health promotion and wellness programs in over 1,000 corporate worksites.  Current research is concentrated on eight organizations and nearly 2 million persons who have been in the HMRC database for seven to 15 years.  These longitudinal studies continue to provide leading edge research learning opportunities.

Health Management for the Insured and the Uninsured

Stephen Adams is the Vice President for Research and Strategy at the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC).  Stephen joined ICIC in 1999.  He brings nearly 20 years of experience in economic analysis and policy, strategy development, and public finance. Most recently Steve served as Assistant State Treasurer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where he helped direct the Commonwealth’s $900 million annual bond program and managed the $2.5 billion Massachusetts Deferred Compensation Plan.

From 1995 to 1997 Steve was a senior associate with the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation where he specialized in state capital finance.  His expertise regarding the Central Artery/Tunnel project allowed MTF to play an influential role in shaping state poicy in highway finance.

From 1985 to 1995 Steve was with the Maine State Planning Office —the state’s strategic planning office.  Steve was a senior economic policy advisor to the Governor and Legislature on issues ranging from defense cutbacks to utility regulatory reform. During his 11 year tenure at SPO he served as State Economist/Director of Economic and Energy Policy, and then as Director of State Planning, a cabinet-level position.  His duties included conducting economic and industry studies and managing teams of analysts, to designing major economic policy initiatives and representing the Governor in complex negotiations with legislative leaders and private sector senior executives.

Steve is on the Board of the Northeast/Midwest Institute and is past president of the Council of Governors Policy Advisors.

Steve attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario where he received a Bachelor Degree in International Politics, and earned a Master in Public Administration from Pennsylvania State University’s Institute for Public Administration.

Expanding Health Insurance Coverage Through Inner-City Business Development

Deena Robben, Benefits Consultant, American Century Investments, has been with American Century since 1997.  She is a founding member and ongoing facilitator of a Board whose role is to manage the long-term healthcare costs of American Century through the utilization of a select group of experts to create innovative cost management and healthy living strategies.  Additional job responsibilities have included the daily administration of current benefit plans, management of vendor relationships, financial analysis, benefit communications, research and development of new plans and compliance.  Prior to joining American Century, she managed the benefits department of Marion Merrell Dow.  She is a CPA.

Plus One Coverage at American Century Investments

Chris Queram assumed his position as Chief Executive Officer of the Employer Health Care Alliance Cooperative (The Alliance), in Madison, Wisconsin, in June 1993. The Alliance, a non-profit cooperative formed by Dane County employers in 1990, partners employers and providers in an effort to improve the cost and quality of the health care system. The Alliance currently serves more than 700 corporations of all sizes in Dane County and southern Wisconsin, representing over 110,000 individual subscribers.

Prior to joining The Alliance, Mr. Queram was employed as a hospital administrator in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mr. Queram graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and History and a Master's degree in Health Management (hospital administration).

In addition to his role at The Alliance, Mr. Queram is Chairman of the Board of the National Business Coalition on Health, a member of the State of Wisconsin's Board on Health Care Information, and a board member (and past president) of the Wisconsin Business Coalition on Health. Mr. Queram is a fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives and a clinical instructor for Programs in Health Management at the University of Wisconsin. Mr. Queram served as a member of President Clinton's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry.

Small Group Health Insurance: Tales From the Front Lines

Mark Gibson, is the Governor’s Policy Advisor for Healthcare, Human Services and Labor in the Oregon Governor’s Office.  He began his work in public policy as an assistant fire chief and chief medical officer.  He left the fire service in 1985 to serve as Executive Assistant to then Senate President John Kitzhaber.  In this capacity he was intimately involved in the creation of the Oregon Health Plan and subsequently has lectured on this ground breaking legislation throughout the United States and overseas.  He has since worked as a consultant to state governments on health policy issues, and currently serves as Policy Advisor to the Governor of Oregon for Health Care and Human Resources issues.

Public Initiatives which Increase Private Health Insurance Coverage

John Colmers has played a major role in Maryland's efforts to provide its citizens with access to quality health care at an affordable price. Effective October 1, 1999, Mr. Colmers was appointed Executive Director of the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) which was created as a result of a merger of two existing health regulatory commissions. The MHCC is charged with the combined responsibilities of the former Health Care Access and Cost Commission and the Health Resources Planning Commission. In addition to the health care reform activities performed by the HCACC, the MHCC will also be responsible for the development and adoption of the State Health Plan, administration of the Certificate of Need Program, and the compilation and analysis of health care data sets.

From July 1993 to September, 1999 he was Executive Director of the Health Care Access and Cost Commission (HCACC), one of the preceding organizations. The HCACC has developed the Comprehensive Standard Health Benefit Plan for the small group insurance market; developed a medical care database of non-hospital services, creation of "report cards" that provides the quality and performance of health maintenance organizations; established standards for the operation of electronic health networks; implementation of a payment system for all health care providers; and the development of an Advisory Committee on Practice Parameters to develop recommendations on the use of statewide practice parameters.

From 1987 through 1993, Mr. Colmers was the Executive Director of the Health Services Cost Review Commission-the agency that oversees Maryland's unique all payor hospital rate setting system.

Mr. Colmers is currently the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Reforming States Group, a bipartisan group of senior state health leaders from the legislative and executive branches of over 40 states. Mr. Colmers is also currently serving on two Institute of Medicine Committees.

Mr. Colmers completed his undergraduate work at the Johns Hopkins University and he received his Masters of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina in 1977. He has completed course requirements for a Doctor of Science degree in health services research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.

Public and Private Sector Initiatives to Increase Access to Health Coverage: The Experience in Maryland

David Hirschland is Assistant Director of the UAW Social Security Department.  He has major responsibility for the Union's position on employee benefits both in the public policy and collective bargaining arenas.  He has over 22 years of negotiating and program administration experience within the automobile, aerospace and agricultural implement industries, and with numerous other companies across the United States and in Canada.

Mr. Hirschland serves as a Trustee of Plans that provide benefits to the retirees of White Motor Corporation, Allis Chalmers Corporation and Navistar International Corporation.  He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Henry Ford Health System, a member of the Board of Directors of Co-op Optical of Michigan, a member of the Steering Committee of the Michigan Consortium for Quality Improvement in Health Care (formerly the Michigan project) and is a former member of the State of Michigan Health Planning Council and the U.S. Department of Labor’s ERISA Advisory Council.

Influence of Business and Labor on the Delivery of Health Care and Population Health

Gary Pheley was appointed general director of GM’s Health Care Initiatives in February of 1997.

As general director, Pheley is responsible for health care plans, managed care strategies, wellness promotion and community-based initiatives.  He also is responsible for development of collaborative efforts with the unions that represent certain GM employees.

Pheley joined GM in 1973 and since that time has held a number of positions in labor relations and human resources in various GM facilities, divisions and staffs.  He also was a member of the original GM-UAW Saturn Project Study Team.  Prior to joining the Health Care Initiatives team, he was director of Labor Relations for GM’s North American Operations.

Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Physician Review Organization of Michigan and the Cigna Healthcare Client Advisory Council.  He was also recently appointed to the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Large and Medium Groups Director Selection Council.

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Pheley earned a bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University and a master’s degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Influence of Business and Labor on the Delivery of Health Care and Population Health

Irene Fraser Ph.D. is a political scientist who has specialized in research on Medicaid, private health insurance, and health care delivery.  She currently is Director of the Center for Organization and Delivery Studies.  Prior to her arrival at AHCPR, she was Associate Director of Health Systems Research, Inc., a health care policy, research and consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Fraser also spent eight years working on access and delivery issues at the American Hospital Association.  As Senior Associate Director for Policy at the American Hospital Association, she served as the issue manager and senior policy person on indigent care, Medicaid and health care reform.  As Director of Ambulatory Care at the AHA, she led a group which focused on the delivery side of health care reform -- managed care and integrated delivery, preventive care, home care, primary care, and other ambulatory care issues.  She also served as adjunct faculty to the Institute for Health Law at Loyola School of Law.

Dr. Fraser's work has appeared in journals including Health Affairs, Inquiry, Health Care Financing Review, Journal of Ambulatory Care Management, and Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law.  A monograph series on the uninsured includes volumes on state Medicaid expansions, programs to promote private health coverage for the employed uninsured, and uncompensated care pools.  Irene has a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from Chatham College, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Illinois.

Lisa Duchon, Ph.D., is Deputy Director of Research and Evaluation for The Commonwealth Fund, a national philanthropy engaged in independent research on health and social policy issues.  She serves as a policy and research advisor on initiatives to expand health insurance coverage and as program officer for the Task Force on the Future of Health Insurance for Working Americans.  She is an author of several recent reports released by The Fund’s Task Force, including Can’t Afford to Get Sick: A Reality for Millions of Working Americans and Listening to Workers: The Commonwealth Fund 1999 National Survey of Workers’ Health.

Prior to joining The Commonwealth Fund in February 1999, Ms. Duchon was Executive Director of Healios Health Network, a managed long term care company organized as an independent practice association of skilled nursing facilities in the New York City metropolitan area.  Before coming to New York, she was Director of Public Affairs for the Denver Department of Health and Hospitals, one of the most comprehensive urban public health systems in the US.   She began her career in health care as a management engineer for Kaiser Permanente in Denver, Colorado.

Ms. Duchon holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, an M.P.A. from the University of Colorado and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from New York University, where she conducted research for a 5-year longitudinal study of poor homeless and housed families in New York City.  An article from her research, which examined differences in health care use between formerly homeless and never homeless poor mothers and children, was recently published in Medical Care.

The Commonwealth Fund Task Force on the Future of Health Insurance

Sherry Glied, Associate Professor of Public Health and Head, Division of Health Policy and Management, Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University.

Sherry Glied is Associate Professor and Head of the Division of Health Policy and Management of Columbia University's Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health. She holds a B.A. in economics from Yale University, an M.A. in economics from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

In 1992-1993, she served as a Senior Economist for health care and labor market policy to the President's Council of Economic Advisers, under both President Bush and President Clinton. In the latter part of her term, she was a participant in President Clinton's Health Care Task Force and headed working groups on global budgets and on the economic impacts of the health plan. In 1996-1997, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. Professor Glied's principal areas of research are in health policy reform and mental health care policy.

Her research on health policy has focused on the financing of health care services in the U .S.  She is an author of recently published articles and reports on managed care, women's health, child health, and Medicaid managed care. Her book on health care reform, Chronic Condition, was published by Harvard University Press in January 1998. She is a recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Investigator Award through which she has been studying the U.S. employer-based health insurance system. She is currently conducting research on the characteristics of uninsured Americans and on strategies to expand health insurance coverage among them.

Her work in mental health policy has focused on the problems of women and children. She is an author of two reports to the Commonwealth Commission on Women's Health on the changing pattern of mental health service use by women and has published several studies in this field. She has also written extensively on the economic determinants of children's mental health service utilization.

Workable Solutions for Improving Health Insurance Coverage

Jack Meyer is the founder and president of the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), a nonprofit research organization pursuing a broad range of studies evaluating health and social welfare programs. ESRI specializes in studies aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of social programs, improving the way health care services are delivered and financed, and making quality health care accessible and affordable.

General areas of recent and current work include: examinations of new models to improve access to health care, analysis of safety net health care providers, evaluation of innovative health purchasing strategies developed by coalitions of private employers and by government purchasers, studies of the nature and extent of disability and of states’ efforts to enroll people with disabilities on Medicaid in managed care, assessments of the strengths and limitations of managed care, evaluation of welfare reform initiatives.

Dr. Meyer’s recent publications include an evaluation of health care purchasing strategies  and an assessment of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), both prepared under grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; studies of Medicaid managed care for persons with disabilities and a study of public hospital conversions prepared for the Kaiser Family Foundation; and a study of employers’ attitudes toward hiring people on welfare, prepared for the Urban Institute.

Dr. Meyer is also founder and President of New Directions for Policy, a Washington, DC research and policy organization that develops, analyzes, and evaluates health care issues and other social policies for business and government.

Federal Health Insurance Tax Credits for Employers: A Strategy to Encourage Offering of Health Insurance Coverage

Mark Merlis is Senior Fellow at the Institute for Health Policy Solutions, an independent organization in Washington, D.C., that studies health coverage and access issues.  His recent work has included research on long-term care financing in the United States and internationally, studies of options for restructuring Medicare, and assessment of incremental options for extending coverage to the uninsured.  Previously, Mr. Merlis was a senior health policy analyst at the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, and an administrator in the Maryland Medicaid Program. 

Subsidies for Employer-Sponsored Insurance (ESI)

Vernon Smith, Ph.D. is a Principal with Health Management Associates.  His expertise is in state and federal health policy, with an emphasis on Medicaid and Medicare reforms. He has extensive experience analyzing and developing health reform proposals, implementing programs and representing state agencies with federal and national organizations. At HMA, Dr. Smith assists state agencies in managed care, long term care and understanding the impact of welfare reform on Medicaid enrollment.

Prior to joining HMA, Dr. Smith was Michigan Medicaid Director and Senior Advisor for Federal Policy for the Michigan Department of Community Health.  He also served as budget director for the human services agency, and began his career 30 years ago handling the welfare and Medicaid budgets for the Governor’s budget office.

Throughout his 30-year public service career, Dr. Smith has taken pride in policy initiatives, cost containment strategies, reimbursement and coverage changes, and new large-scale systems, including managed care, that improved access to quality care and saved millions of public dollars.

In recent years, Dr. Smith has held academic appointments in health care and public administration, including Adjunct Professor in Health Services Administration for Michigan State University and Adjunct Associate Professor in Public Administration for Western Michigan University.

Allowing Small Business and the Self-Employed to Buy Health Care Coverage Through Public Programs

revised 5-4-2000