Day at the Capitol Speakers

Federal Health Insurance Legislation and Priorities
Husni Abdelaziz,  Manager of State Affairs, NAHU

In his current role, he monitors legislative and regulatory issues in thirty states, where he works closely with NAHU’s Northeast, Midwest, and Southwest chapters and their lobbyists. Before joining NAHU in 2015, Husni gained experience with an internship in the U.S. House of Representatives and a small advocacy firm in D.C. He received his B.A. in Government and International Politics, with a concentration in American Politics, at George Mason University in Virginia.

In his free time, Husni can be found catching a concert at one of the many D.C. music venues or watching his favorite soccer team, Arsenal FC, at a local Irish Pub.

2020 Complianace Challenges, Looking forward when everything is subject to change
Misty Baker, Director of Compliance. Benefit Mall

Baker began her career in the insurance industry in 1998, and worked as a benefit analyst before opening Lonestar Benefit Solutions as an independent agent. Prior to joining the team, Baker was the Director of Health Insurance Services with the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas (IIAT) and has a wealth of experience in ACA compliance. She brings more than ten years of expertise in ACA, ERISA, FMLA, COBRA and legislative advocacy.

Additionally, Baker was named to the task force of the Texas Health Coverage Awareness and Education Program by former Texas Department of Insurance Commissioner Mike Geeslin in 2006. She is a current member of the National Association of Health Underwriters, and has held several offices at the local, state and national level during which she has been awarded more than half a dozen awards. Employee Benefit Advisor recently named Baker as one of the Most Influential Women in Benefit Advising.

Public Health Insurance Options, How they Work and Where They Are Going
Chris Brown, Director of Policy & Research, Common Sense Policy Roundtable

Chris Brown leads the research efforts of Common Sense Policy Roundtable, to provide insightful, accurate and actionable information on the implications of public policy issues throughout the state of Colorado.

Prior to joining CSPR in September of 2017, Chris spent close to a decade working for REMI (Regional Economic Models Inc). In 2011, he established REMI’s Washington, DC office and oversaw the growth of the company in the nation’s capital and lead numerous engagements on both federal and regional policy issues. Highlights of Brown’s work cover modeling the fiscal and economic impacts of Medicaid expansion in eight states and evaluating the economic impact of major air quality regulation in Washington state. He also helped forecast the state-by-state economic effects of budget sequestration with Third Way, a centrist think tank, and examined a small business tax credit proposal for the U.S. Senate.

Since joining CSPR, Chris has led several reports on a range of policy and economic issues facing the state of Colorado including, measuring the impacts of potential 1% growth-caps imposed in the state’s major metro areas, analyzing theneedandoptionsforPERAreform, simulatingtheeconomicimpactsifColoradoschoolswere#1andmeasuring the economic and fiscal impacts of a 2,500-ft setback for new oil and gas drilling.

Colorado Health Insurance Legislative Changes for 2020
Michael Conway, Colorado Insurance Commissioner, Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies

In this position Conway serves as the chief executive of the Division of Insurance and oversees the regulation of the insurance industry in Colorado. His role brings together consumers, the insurance industry and other stakeholders to create an inclusive, firm and fair regulatory approach to all lines of insurance such as auto, health, homeowner, life, property and casualty, title and workers’ compensation.

Before joining the Division, Conway was an assistant Attorney General for the Colorado State Attorney General’s Office from 2010 to 2016, where he represented the Division of Insurance in all facets of the regulation of the insurance industry including mergers and acquisitions of insurance companies, insurer rehabilitation/liquidation, and producer and company licensure litigation. He served three Commissioners of Insurance during that time. While in the Attorney General’s Office, he worked with the Colorado Attorney General Pro Bono Family Law Clinic, advising clients on matters of divorce and child custody.

Conway has also worked as an attorney for Colorado Legal Services, advocating for indigent clients regarding housing rights, homelessness prevention, evictions and subsidized housing.

 Colorado’s first-of-its-kind community health care purchasing collaborative from design to implementation
Tamara Drangstveit, CEO of Peak Health Alliance

Tamara Drangstveit became the CEO of Peak Health Alliance in July of 2019. Prior to that she was the Executive Director of the Family and Intercultural Resource Center where she worked on issues related to health care and the social determinates of health care. She brings more than a decade of nonprofit, government and political management experience to this assignment. A native of Connecticut, Tamara is a graduate of Bates College in Lewiston Maine. Tamara has served as staff to Maine Governor John Baldacci, Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean and the Maine Senate. Prior to moving to Summit County, Tamara served as Deputy Directory of Wisconsin Citizen Action, Wisconsin’s largest public advocacy nonprofit organization where Tamara was instrumental in involving Wisconsin citizens in developing legislation in the areas of health care, economic development and education. Tamara holds a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management from Regis University. She lives in Dillon, CO with her daughter Aila and twins Anja and Graham.           

The View from On Top of The Dome, Colorado State Association of Health Underwriters Legislative Priorities
Jenn Penn, Principal Owner of Dome Strategies, LLC, a Colorado Independent public and government affairs consultant.

Jenn Penn has more than 18 years of experience working in Colorado politics. Jenn launched her public affairs career after completing the CSU legislative internship program and receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Colorado State University. Jenn began her political career working as a legislative aide to key legislators in the late 1990’s including. Jenn directed the advocacy efforts for a non-profit organization, for over four years. Jenn then held the position of Colorado Senior Lobbyist for Coors Brewing Company from late 2004 – 2008. MillerCoors remains a client of Jenn’s, along with other business interests.

Jenn is a respected member of the lobby, known for her ability to form coalitions to successfully pass, defeat or amend legislation impacting her clients. Jenn has relationships with both Democrat and Republican members of the Colorado Legislature and the Governor’s office. Jenn has demonstrated success working in all areas of the lobbying profession from identifying and securing legislative sponsors, bill drafting, coordinating testimony, building coalitions, developing positions papers, minimizing opposition and successfully passing, defeating or amending legislation based on client specifications. Jenn has strong oral and written communications skills and is able to communicate in a clear and concise manner. Jenn is able to comprehend complex subjects and present the issue in an understandable form.

Important Updated to the Public Option
Rep. Dylan Roberts, Colorado General Assembly

Representative Dylan Roberts was sworn in as a Colorado State Representative in November 2017. During his first year in the legislature, he was the primary sponsor of twelve bills and six of them were successfully passed and sent to the Governor.

On November 6, 2018, the voters of Eagle and Routt Counties elected him to a two-year term by a margin of 60%-36%. During the 2019 and 2020 Legislative Sessions he has been proud to serve as the Chair of the House Rural Affairs & Agriculture Committee, Chair of the Capital Development Committee, and as a member of the House Judiciary Committee. He was the prime sponsor of 35 bills, 30 of which became law, including a first-in-the-nation state public health insurance option, capping insulin costs, protecting Colorado’s water, and many others.