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The most powerful people influencing Trump on healthcare

Kimberly Leonard   

The most powerful people influencing Trump on healthcare
LifeScience4 min read


Welcome to Dispensed, Business Insider's healthcare newsletter. I'm Kimberly Leonard, and I'm BI's healthcare reporter focused on policy and politics.

I'm guest hosting our newsletter today from Philadelphia. Thanks to a quick turnaround in coronavirus testing provided for free in Washington, DC, I was able to get cleared before visiting family here.

It's a huge relief to have that peace of mind. Even though I wasn't having symptoms, I wanted to be careful given data showing that 40% of people who've been infected haven't gotten sick.

Having said all that, I was getting whiplash this week when I read about the changing guidance from the Trump administration on testing. Our reporters covered it: First the administration said people who'd been exposed to the coronavirus but weren't having symptoms shouldn't be tested, and then officials seemed to walk back that guidance.

If you know what happened behind the scenes, I hope you'll tell me about it at

There's tons more news on the coronavirus pandemic, but we also covered other business developments this week. Here's a quick look at some of our stories:

A quick reminder: You can now get our newsletter every day. Subscribe here for your daily dose of healthcare news from the Business Insider team.

Meet the most powerful people advising Trump on healthcare as the president vies for a second term

For my latest story I spent some time thinking about the last few year's of Trump's presidency — the changes his administration made to the Affordable Care Act; the initiatives on HIV, opioid addiction, and kidney care; and of course the handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Who were the people who shaped and handled the details of the various policies?

There are of course the obvious, such as Surgeon General Jerome Adams, Vice President Mike Pence, and Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. But I also identified people close to the administration that you probably haven't heard of. They're the people working behind the scenes who are on the front lines of handling the nitty gritty details of policy making.

Check out my full list here>>

See our comprehensive list of the people shaping Trump's healthcare agenda for a second term

Is my list missing anyone? Let me know at

Are you new to Business Insider's paywall? Use my link here to get 20% off your subscription.

We just got our first look at how Moderna's experimental coronavirus vaccine works in older adults

This week, Moderna shared more results from its early stage coronavirus vaccine trial looking at how its vaccine works in older adults.

The shot was found to be safe and created an immune response in trial participants who were older than 55. The data is important because elderly Americans are more at risk from the novel coronavirus. Some vaccines don't work as well in older people.

Moderna is currently running a late-stage trial, testing 30,000 people to see whether its vaccine can prevent infection or disease. Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told Business Insider that in a best-case scenario, we might know if the vaccine works by October.

Check out Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer's story here>>

Moderna's experimental coronavirus vaccine was found to be safe in older adults

American Well is going public with a $100 million investment from Google

On Monday, telehealth company American Well filed to go public in what's become a huge year for companies that deliver healthcare over the internet.

As part of the IPO, Google is making a $100 million investment in Amwell at the IPO price. Through the arrangement, Google's cloud business will host Amwell's technology and partner with the company on all-things-healthcare.

The two companies have plans to make the disconnected healthcare industry more connected through devices in people's homes, data analytics, and machine learning to lighten doctors' administrative loads, Chris Sakalosky, Google Cloud's head of healthcare sales, told Business Insider. They're also going to market each other's services to their respective client bases.

Read Blake Dodge's full story here>>

We pored over the 196-page IPO filing to find 5 crucial details about American Well's plans to change how you get healthcare

A top Walmart healthcare exec left the retail giant to run a company that's looking to upend lab testing

Sean Slovenski, the former president of health and wellness for Walmart, has taken a new post at lab-testing company BioIQ.

The company, founded in 2005, is looking to change how lab testing is done. Slovenski told Lydia that the need to shake up lab testing became particularly pronounced to him during the coronavirus pandemic.

Rather than own laboratories outright, BioIQ partners with labs around the country to provide groups like insurers, employers, and government organizations with testing capabilities.

BioIQ is backed by investors including HealthQuest Capital and Arboretum Ventures and Slovenski said part of his role as CEO may include leading the privately held company to an initial public offering.

Read Lydia's full interview with Sean Slovenski>>

Sean Slovenski departs Walmart to oversee lab testing startup

Thanks for reading!

Be sure to drop me any scoops/tips you might have. I'm at, and you can reach the whole healthcare team at

- Kimberly