Cybele Bjorklund is the Democratic staff director for the Health Subcommittee on the Committee on Ways and Means in the United States House of Representatives. The Committee’s health portfolio includes Medicare, selected provisions in the Affordable Care Act, private health insurance, and other health issues in the Internal Revenue Code. She has been the senior health care advisor to Democratic members on the Committee since 2001.
Bjorklund has been at the center of virtually every major Medicare debate since 1995. She had a leading role in the creation and enactment of the Affordable Care Act, and in the health information technology (IT) and comparative effectiveness research provisions enacted in the Economic Recovery Act of 2009.
Prior to this position, she spent nearly four years as Senator Edward Kennedy’s (D-MA) deputy staff director for health policy on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee in the United States Senate. In this capacity, Bjorklund provided policy guidance during the development and enactment of the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and developed and advanced a variety of legislative initiatives, including the Patients’ Bill of Rights, medical privacy, HIPAA implementation, reauthorization of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and other public health initiatives and insurance reform legislation.
From 1995-1997, she worked as a legislative aide on health and veterans’ issues for Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), covering Medicare reform during the Balanced Budget Act debates of 1995-1997 and other issues. Before moving to Congress, Bjorklund was a Medicare and insurance policy analyst at the Health Care Financing Administration (now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) within the US Department of Health & Human Services.
Bjorklund received a master’s degree from The Johns Hopkins University’s School of Hygiene and Public Health, with an emphasis on health policy and a concentration in law, ethics and policy, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the School of Journalism at the University of Oregon. She is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, serves on the advisory committee for the National Health Policy Forum, and is on the board of directors for the David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship