Karen Pollitz

Deputy Director for Consumer Support, Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight

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Why She Matters

Pollitz came to the nascent Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight after it was founded to implement the sweeping reforms of the 2010 health-care legislation.

As head of the consumer support division, Pollitz was immediately tasked with helping consumers understand their insurance options, including creating a Web site that would help consumers compare different plans.

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At a Glance

  • Career History: Research Professor, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute (1997 to 2010); Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Legislation, HHS, (1993 to 1997); Assistant Director of the Washington Office, American Academy of Family Physicians (1991 to 1993)
  • Alma Mater: Oberlin College, B.A. (honors); University of California at Berkeley, M.P.P. (1982)

Path to Power

Pollitz attended Oberlin College and earned a master's in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley in 1982.

Hill Staffer

In 1984, Pollitz began a climb up Capitol Hill that included stops as a legislative assistant to Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and the subcommittee on Compensation and Employees Benefits of the House Post Office and Civil Service Committee.

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The Issues

Pollitz is in charge of the consumer information side of the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight.

She was immediately tasked with setting up a web site that would make it easy for consumers to compare health-insurance plans and choose the best plan for them, a key promise of Obama's March 2010 health overhaul.


The Network

At the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, Pollitz works under Director Jay Angoff, and collaborates closely with other government watchdogs Steve Larsen and Richard Popper.

Many of Obama's top health advisers worked at Georgetown University with Pollitz, including key HHS player Jeanne Lambrew.

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