STATEMENT: CAP President Neera Tanden on Appointment of Counihan to be CEO and CAP SVP Lori Lodes to be Director of CMS’ Communications Office

Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden issued the following statement after the announcement that Kevin Counihan, executive director of Connecticut’s health care exchange, has been chosen to be the first CEO of and that Center for American Progress Senior Vice President Lori Lodes will become the director of the Office of Communications at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS.

Kevin Counihan led one of the most successful launches of an ACA health care exchange in the entire country. AccessHealthCT worked well right out of the gate and became a model for other states struggling to get their exchanges operating at their full potential. Kevin’s efforts have become so successful that other states are seeking out his expertise, and as the first CEO—a position originally advanced by CAP—he will be in a unique position to bring that experience and his well-proven practices to the nation’s largest health care exchange. As the second open enrollment period approaches and the ACA faces a different set of challenges, the president has made an excellent choice in tapping an executive with a terrific track record and the vision to ensure is a success.

In her four years at CAP, Lori Lodes has been instrumental in moving the dial on a variety of CAP’s top priorities. As the next director of the Office of Communications at CMS, she will bring the same leadership, dedication, energy, and expertise that she exhibited at CAP to the department’s important public outreach work. She will be greatly missed but I am confident that with her wealth of experience and considerable talents she will be an excellent addition to CMS as they continue their work to improve the health and quality of life for America’s seniors and most vulnerable.

A Center for American Progress report released in May called for the creation of a CEO to manage Click here to read the report.

For more information on this topic, contact Tom Caiazza at 202.481.7141 or