Former CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner was selected this week to be president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans. She succeeds Karen Ignani, who left her post in May after more than two decades. Ignani was tapped to become EmblemHealth’s new president and CEO.

Writing in Forbes, Merrill Mathews commented that with her close ties to the White House, Tavenner is the perfect choice for an industry that is consolidating and becoming more dependent on government ties. “America’s Health Insurance Plan’s (AHIP) decision to hire former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Mary Tavenner makes perfect sense—if you understand that the health insurance industry is morphing from a dynamic, competitive industry into a public utility,” Matthews said. ”Dynamic, competitive industries compete for customers by innovating new products and keeping prices low and quality high. Public utilities, by contrast, compete for government favors.”

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