December 08,2005

Baucus Hires Michelle Easton as Chief Health and Welfare Counsel for Senate Finance Committee

(Washington, DC) - U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today announced that he has hired Michelle Easton to be Chief of the Senate Finance Committee Health and Welfare Team. Easton is currently Vice President for the Affordability and Access Committee for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

“Michelle’s an expert not only in health policy, but also in how that policy affects American families where they live,” said Baucus. “Her background in public health and on the Senate Aging Committee will be particular assets as we work to make Medicare, Medicaid and other vital programs work better for all our citizens.”

At PhRMA, Easton has focused on making health insurance more affordable for Americans and on increasing seniors’ understanding of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit. From 1997 to 2003, she worked for then-U.S. Senator John Breaux (D-La.), serving as legislative director and counsel in the Senator’s office and as staff director on the Senate Aging Committee. Michelle is also a former project manager for Dr. C. Everett Koop’s National Safe Kids Campaign, developing and coordinating comprehensive, community-based public health programs across the country.

A native of Lafayette, La., Michelle has both a law degree and a Master’s degree in public policy from the George Washington University, and a B.A. in psychology from the Louisiana State University.

Pat Bousliman, who has served as Acting Chief on the health team since June, will continue to work on Medicare issues for the Democratic staff of the Committee.