Chris Jennings

Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy
Chris Jennings
  • Over 30 years of political experience, including eight years with the Clinton White House and ten years as a Senate aide on Capitol Hill
  • Vital to the development and implementation of bipartisan healthcare reform, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Senior health policy advisor to six Democratic presidential campaigns

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Chris Jennings is a healthcare policy veteran of the White House, Congress, and the private sector. He has more than 30 years of experience that includes eight years with the Clinton White House, 10 years as a Senate aide on Capitol Hill, a far-reaching network in the world of healthcare, and a command of policy intricacies. He served two tours of duty in the White House – most recently as deputy assistant to the president for health policy and coordinator of health reform for President Obama, and previously as President Bill Clinton’s chief healthcare advisor. With a deep understanding of health policy and Capitol Hill, combined with his renowned communication skills and ability to work across party lines, he has been involved in many of Washington’s political and policy debates involving healthcare in the past three decades.

White House Expert. From his positions in the executive branch, Jennings has helped implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as played leadership roles in the development, passage, and implementation of bipartisan health reforms, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) of 1997, and major Medicare reforms in the Balanced Budget Act (BBA) of 1997. In his decade of service to the U.S. Senate, he served as the deputy director of the special committee on aging for three Senators (Glenn, Pryor, and Melcher) and led major reform efforts in the areas of long-term care, prescription drug coverage/cost containment, and rural healthcare. 

Outside of government service, Jennings has been a senior health policy advisor to six Democratic presidential campaigns, including to one of his former bosses, Hillary Clinton. He also served as the healthcare policy advisor to the 2008 Democratic Platform Drafting Committee, as well as served as co-chair of the 2012 Obama campaign’s Health Care Advisory Committee.

Jennings Policy Strategies. Jennings is currently re-establishing Jennings Policy Strategies (JPS), a nationally respected healthcare consulting firm committed to assisting foundations, purchasers and other aligned stakeholders develop policies to ensure higher quality, more affordable health care for all Americans. In this capacity, he serves as a senior advisor to the Bipartisan Policy Center and other foundations committed to the pragmatic implementation of the ACA. In addition to his consulting work, Jennings is a frequent contributor on health reform issues to the New England Journal of Medicine.

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The Intersection of Healthcare Politics and Policy. Chris Jennings is a health and policy expert. With the rare experience of having served in the White House for eight years, he contextualizes the issue of healthcare for organizations, explains where they stand in the debate compared to other players, and outlines the implications for various stakeholders. Self-described as a “radical incrementalist,” he navigates the difficult world of Washington and is an advocate of taking what you can get and making it work. He believes that the ultimate oxymoron is that people want to comprehensively reform the healthcare system – without disrupting it at all. He looks at the compromises necessary to “reform the reform” and achieve an audiences’ aims and shares the information they need to know in order to stay ahead of the curve. From businesses and consumers to providers and purchasers, he knows the ins and outs of the most interesting domestic policy issue of our time. Serving as the bridge between the policy world and the political one, he understands the history and context of healthcare and shares eye-opening insights on the coming issues, complications, implications, and politics of the latest reform.

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