Smart Shopping: How States Can Help Consumers

Thursday, August 16th
10:00am – 11:30am

A key lever in a state’s health care cost containment strategy is galvanizing consumers, employers, and health plan sponsors to make more effective choices about how they purchase health care. But what works and what doesn’t? From benefit design to price transparency, this session explores three very different state initiatives designed to empower consumers. National experts explore how states are leading the charge to reduce costs and encourage responsible consumption of health care. Participants include:


Richard N. Gottfried, Chair, New York State Assembly Committee on Health

Richard N. Gottfried has chaired the NY State Assembly Health Committee since 1987 and represents a district in Manhattan. He works to expand publicly funded health coverage; protect patient autonomy, especially in reproductive and end-of-life care; and support safety-net health care providers. He sponsors the “New York Health” bill to create a state single-payer universal health plan and sponsored NY’s medical marijuana law. He’s a lawyer (Columbia, JD ’73) but does not have a private practice. Member of NY Academy of Medicine, National Academy for State Health Policy, Reforming States Group, NYC Bar Association, and NY Civil Liberties Union.


Elisabeth Benjamin, Vice President, Health Initiatives, Community Service Society of New York

Elisabeth Benjamin is the Vice President of Health Initiatives at the Community Service Society, where she supervises health policy, health advocacy, and consumer health assistance programs that annually help 100,000 consumers and small businesses enroll in and use health insurance or access low-cost health care. Ms. Benjamin has received many honors, including: the New York State Health Foundation Luminary Award (2016) and the Progressive Leadership Award (2014). Ms. Benjamin is a graduate of Harvard School of Public Health and Columbia Law School.


Karynlee Harrington, executive director, Maine Quality Forum