Distinguished Visitor, O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Law Center
Senior Fellow, McCourt School of Public Policy
Cybele Bjorklund is Distinguished Visitor at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University’s Law Center and a Senior Fellow at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. Bjorklund also currently serves as a Council Member for the Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG) and is on Health Advisory Board for APCO Public Affairs.
During nearly 21 years of federal service, Bjorklund was at the center of virtually every major Medicare debate. She also had a leading role in the creation and enactment of the Affordable Care Act, and in many other laws affecting Medicare and private health insurance, including the health information technology (IT) and comparative effectiveness research (CER) provisions enacted in the Economic Recovery Act of 2009.
Bjorklund left the Committee on Ways and Means in the United States House of Representatives in 2015, where she had been the Democratic Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Health and senior health advisor to full Committee members since 2001. 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.
From 1997-2001, she served 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. She also spearheaded an effort to lay groundwork for creation of a Medicare prescription drug benefit.
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 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Bjorklund serves on the Policy Advisory Committee for the Medicare Rights Center, is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and is on the board of directors and executive committee for the David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship. She 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.