Baucus Welcomes Montanan as Lead Welfare Reform Staff, Promotes Current Health Staff
Kate Kahan Takes Over Welfare Issues, Andrea Cohen Adds Medicaid and S-CHIP to Duties
(Washington, D.C.) U.S. Senator Max Baucus today announced that Kate Kahan, a longtime welfare advocate in Montana, will become the lead welfare professional staff member on the Finance Committee beginning January 20. Baucus also announced that Andrea Cohen, who has worked on healthcare policy for the Finance Committee since 2001, will be taking on the additionalissues of Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Kate Kahan will be responsible for working to renew the expiring 1996 TemporaryAssistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Since 1999, Kate has served as the executivedirector of the Missoula, Mont.-based Working for Equality and Economic Liberation (WEEL) andcoordinator of the Western Regional Welfare Activists’ Network.
“Kate’s tenacity and dedication at WEEL made sure the voices of Montana’s low-incomefamilies were heard,” Baucus said. “She will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Finance Committee. As we continue to work in Congress to renew the TANF welfare program, Iknow Kate's years at WEEL, as well as her personal experiences, will allow us to succeed in helpingto cut poverty and move more folks off of welfare and into jobs.”Kate, who earned a degree in Women’s Studies from the University of Montana in 1999, hasextensive experience creating policy that supports low-income Montanans. Kate has taught at the University of Montana and has received several awards honoring her work, including the Center forPolicy Alternatives’ Emerging Leader Award and the Ms. Foundation Women Gloria Award, whichhonors women of “vision.” In addition, Kate brings an additional level of knowledge to welfareissues having been as a former welfare recipient herself. She is also the mother of an eleven yearoldson, Elliot.
“I’m excited to continue carrying out the critical efforts to reduce poverty in Montana on theSenate Finance Committee,” Kahan said. “As an instrumental voice for the poor, Max has been achampion for Montana. It’s an honor for me to join his team.”
Baucus also announced that Andrea Cohen, who has been with the Finance Committee sinceOctober 2001, previously as Health Investigative Counsel and now as Health and OversightCounsel, will be working on all policy issues related to Medicaid and the State Children's HealthInsurance Program, as well as continuing to work on the Finance Committee's general oversight ofthe Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services(CMS). In addition, Andrea will be monitoring the implementation of the low-income subsidyprograms in the Medicare prescription drug bill, as well as the State financing issues.
"Andy has done a superb job combining her roles on health policy and oversight since shejoined the Committee a few years ago," Baucus said. "I am pleased that she will be taking over the issues of Medicaid and S-CHIP -- programs that are especially depended upon in my state ofMontana."
Prior to joining the Committee, Andrea was an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice doing civil litigation from 1996 -2001. Andrea received her B.A. from Harvard College and herJ.D. from the Columbia University School of Law.
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