Press Release             

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Paul Precht
Director of Policy and Communications
202-637-0961

Akiko Takano
Deputy Director of Communications
212-204-6214

June 1, 2009

Joseph Baker Tapped as Medicare Rights Center’s New President

-- Veteran Health Care Advocate Returns to Head Nonprofit He Served Earlier --

New York, NY—Joseph Baker, a senior health policy advisor in the administrations of Governors David Paterson and Eliot Spitzer, has been hired as president of the Medicare Rights Center, effective June 15. The Medicare Rights Center is a national nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling, educational programs and public policy initiatives.

Baker currently serves as deputy secretary for health and human services in the Paterson administration, where he was instrumental in developing Medicaid reforms in this year’s budget and in developing a proposal to extend coverage to younger New Yorkers. Baker served as assistant deputy secretary for health and human services in the Spitzer administration after directing the Health Care Bureau for Spitzer when he was attorney general. Baker served as executive vice president of the Medicare Rights Center from 1994 to 2001, and previously as associate director of legal services for Gay Men’s Health Crisis. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law.

“We are thrilled to have Joe Baker take the helm of the Medicare Rights Center at a time when fundamental reforms to our health care system are on the national agenda,” said Medicare Rights Center Board Chairman Bruce Vladeck, former administrator of the Medicare and Medicaid programs in the Clinton Administration. “Joe brings a wealth of health policy experience to the job, as well as a proven commitment to advocacy on behalf of older adults and people with disabilities.”

“By using the lessons from its direct service work to inform its policy advocacy, the Medicare Rights Center brings a unique and valuable perspective to the health reform debate,” Baker said. “I am glad to have the opportunity to rejoin the Medicare Rights Center. This is a challenging but also an exciting time to be an advocate for affordable health care.”

Baker replaces Robert M. Hayes, who stepped down in February after seven years as president and general counsel. During that time, the Medicare Rights Center grew to have a 50-person staff providing counseling and educational services to people with Medicare, and opened offices in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore to more effectively advocate for policy reforms.

2009 marks the 20th anniversary of the Medicare Rights Center. It was founded in 1989 by Diane Archer.

- end -

Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.

 

520 Eighth Avenue, North Wing, 3rd Floor  ∙  New York, New York  10018
1224 M Street, NW, Suite 100  ∙  Washington, D. C. 20005  ∙  www.medicarerights.org