Business Initiative for Health Policy is a group of business leaders, economists, and health policy experts focused on educating the public and advocating on behalf of a Single-Payer healthcare system in the United States.
About BIHP. The Business Initiative for Health Policy (BIHP) is a public education and advocacy campaign led by CEOs, presidents, and other business executives and advised by health care professionals and health policy experts.
The goal of the Business Initiative is to advance health policy solutions that:
1) Ensure the on-going competitiveness of American business,
2) Enhance economic growth, and
3) Provide full coverage for American citizens.
Members of the Business Initiative for Health Policy believe that a healthy citizenry is a prerequisite to a stable and prosperous nation, and that the current structure of the health care and health insurance industry is damaging American businesses and the economy.
Board of Advisors
Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, FRCP is President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), an organization that Dr. Berwick co-founded and led as President and CEO for 18 years. He is one of the nation’s leading authorities on health care quality and improvement.
In July, 2010, President Obama appointed Dr. Berwick to the position of Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which he held until December, 2011. A pediatrician by background, Dr. Berwick has served as Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School, Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health, and as a member of the staffs of Boston’s Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He has also served as vice chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the first “Independent Member” of the Board of Trustees of the American Hospital Association, and chair of the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. An elected member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Dr. Berwick served two terms on the IOM’s governing Council and was a member of the IOM’s Global Health Board. He served on President Clinton’s Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry.
He is a recipient of numerous awards, including the 1999 Joint Commission’s Ernest Amory Codman Award, the 2002 American Hospital Association’s Award of Honor, the 2006 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for Individual Achievement from the National Quality Forum and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the 2007 William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research, the 2007 Heinz Award for Public Policy from the Heinz Family Foundation, the 2012 Gustav O. Lienhard Award from the IOM, and the 2013 Nathan Davis Award from the American Medical Association.
In 2005, he was appointed “Honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire” by Queen Elizabeth II, the highest honor awarded by the UK to non-British subjects, in recognition of his work with the British National Health Service.
Dr. Berwick is the author or co-author of over 160 scientific articles and six books. He also serves now as Lecturer in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School.
Gerald Friedman Ph.D. is a Professor & Undergraduate Program Director of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
After graduation from Columbia College in 1977 he worked on the research staff of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, before attending graduate school at Harvard where he earned a Ph.D. in economics.
He is the author of multiple books and articles on labor relations and healthcare economics. He has been a correspondent to television and other media outlets, a consultant to labor unions, and has drafted funding plans for campaigns for single-payer health insurance in Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, and a Federal Plan for the United States. He is currently working on a plan for Ohio.
Gabe is a co-founder of PharmacyChecker.com, which evaluates online pharmacies, compares prescription drug prices, and helps Americans find the lowest cost medication at local pharmacies. He is also the Founder of Prescription Justice, an organization focused on specific policy measures to lower the price of prescription drugs. He has testified before Congress on issues relating to access to affordable medicines and Internet freedom, and has written op-eds for publications like the New York Times and The Guardian. He received his Masters in International Relations from American University and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Political Science from Roger Williams University.
Richard is the Founder and CEO of MCS, North America’s leading supplier of picture frames and decorative mirrors. 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 Leigh 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 and Big Pharma: Market Failure. In 2017, as a natural extension of these projects, he was integral in the creation of the Business Initiative for Health Policy.
Dr. Carol Paris
Dr. Paris is a psychiatrist and the President of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP). For 25 years she worked as a psychiatrist in private practice, community mental health, prisons, and academia. After retiring in 2014, she turned full time to activism, participating in several high-profile demonstrations to demand an explanation on why legislators were unsupportive of Single Payer, and touring the country as part of the “Mad as Hell Doctors” campaign. She also spent a year as a Consulting Psychiatrist in New Zealand, where she experienced a Single-Payer system first hand.
Currently, Dr. Paris spends most of her time speaking and advocating around the country, speaking to medical students and early career physicians about positions with PNHP, and working to build coalitions that can influence the healthcare debate. She resides in Nashville, TN and obtained her medical degree from West Virginia University School of Medicine.
Erica Payne is the President of the Patriotic Millionaires, founder of the Agenda Project and a member of the board of MAYDAY.US, an anti-corruption SuperPAC.
A fearless advocate for economic justice, Erica has appeared on dozens of media outlets from NBC to Fox News. She is the author of The Practical Progressive: How to Build a 21st Century Political Movement which Jonathan Alter of Newsweek called “a blueprint for a progressive conspiracy to help save the country.” She is the co-editor with Dr. Rob Johnson of Make Markets Be Markets a post-crisis analysis of financial regulation and the U.S. banking system.
A political messaging expert, Payne is the creator of some of the most powerful issue campaigns of the last decade. Her creative portfolio includes Granny Off the Cliff, which has been compared to LBJ’s famous “Daisy and the Mushroom Cloud” ad; Romney Girl which created an international incident with the Swiss government; and Republican Cuts Kill—a series of ads which blame GOP budget cuts for everything from Ebola to the lead poisoning crisis in Flint, MI
Previously, Payne led a boutique consulting firm focused on developing the progressive intellectual and communications infrastructure and was instrumental in the founding of the Democracy Alliance.
She holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (2000) and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1991).
Wendell spent 20 years as a corporate public relations executive, before leaving his position as the Vice President of Communications for Cigna, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, to advocate for meaningful health care reform.
Wendell testified during widely covered Congressional hearings, and disclosed how insurance companies maximized profits by forcing millions of Americans into the ranks of the uninsured, while using deceptive tactics to undermine health care reform.
His book, Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks out on how Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans, is a stark warning that corporate spin is distorting our democracy. He is also the author of Obamacare: What’s in it for Me? What Everyone Needs to Know about the Affordable Care Act, and co-authored Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It with Nick Penniman.
Wendell is now launching Tarbell.org, a reader-funded journalism project examining how money in politics impacts millions of Americans.
David Steil is the President, CEO, and owner of Micro Trap Corporation, a manufacturing business in Eastern Pennsylvania. He has over 45 years of experience as a business executive, and spent 27 years as an elected official.
He has served on local township boards and planning commissions, was the Chair of the Budgets and Revenue Committee with the National Conference of State Legislators, and from 1992-2008 served as a Republican representing the 31st district of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
Despite leaving elected office, he has maintained an active interest in politics and policy, especially when it comes to achieving universal healthcare at lower costs. David regularly speaks around the country about the pro-business case for healthcare, and he served as the President of Health Care for All Pennsylvania from 2011 to 2014.
Dr. Ed Weisbart
Ed Weisbart MD, CPE, FAAFP spent 7 years as the Chief Medical Officer of Express Scripts, and chairs the Missouri chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program
He is an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, volunteers in a variety of safety net clinics and other non-profits across the St. Louis area, and serves as Vice President of Consumers Council of Missouri.
He received his medical degree at the University of Illinois in Chicago in 1979, completed his family medicine residency and a fellowship in family medicine education at Michigan State University in 1982, and practiced family medicine at Rush Medical Center in Chicago for twenty years.
Dr. Weisbart has had several articles published in both national medical journals and local media regarding the healthcare needs of the uninsured. Because of his background, he served as a pro bono consultant in the development of the 2017 documentary “Big Pharma: Market Failure”.