Senior Vice President, Policy and Advocacy
David Merritt is senior vice president of policy and advocacy for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), a national federation of 34 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies. Today, one in three Americans is covered by the Blue System.
With nearly 20 years’ experience in high-profile health care leadership positions and a proven track record in politics, policy and press, Merritt provides the vision and direction for BCBSA’s legislative and regulatory strategy, coordinating efforts of BCBS companies and other organizations to represent the Blue System before Congress, the Administration and associations of state regulators in support of BCBSA’s legislative and regulatory agenda.
Before joining the Association, he served as executive vice president of public affairs and strategic initiatives at America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), where he led that association’s most important and impactful advocacy initiatives, from nationwide advertising and constituent mobilization campaigns to the first organizational rebrand in nearly 20 years.
Previously, he led political strategy and messaging research for Frank Luntz, one of America’s best known and most respected public opinion and communication strategists. He also served former HHS Secretary and Utah Governor Mike Leavitt, leading Leavitt Partners’ Washington, D.C., office, and worked closely with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich for seven years, including as CEO of the Center for Health Transformation. He also advised three presidential campaigns.
Merritt received his bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in political science and government from Loyola University Chicago. In addition to national TV and radio appearances, he has been widely quoted in national media and his writing has been widely published, including opinion columns in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. He currently serves as president of the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future and on the board of directors for the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing.