Person

Katherine Villers

Katherine Villers is the co-founder of and an executive with several prominent left-of-center organizations primarily focused on federal and state government intervention in the U.S. health care market. These include Families USA, co-founded with her husband, factory automation pioneer Philippe Villers, as well as Community Catalyst. Families USA is primarily focused on healthcare regulation at the federal level, being a key advocate of Obamacare and similar preceding legislation like the failed “Hillarycare” during the Clinton administration.

Community Catalyst emerged out of a loose network of health care organizations in Massachusetts before spreading nationwide, it is focused on health care regulation at both the state and national level.

Organizational Efforts

Katherine “Kate” Villers is a left-of-center American political activist who serves as an executive for a number of major left-of-center activist organizations, prominently Families USA, which she founded with her husband, computers and industrial robotics businessmen Philippe Villers, in 1981. [1]  By 1985 she was working as the executive director of the organization’s Massachusetts office. [2]

A 1985 profile published in the non-profit grant tracking publication Grantwatch noted that Katherine Villers and the rest of the Families USA organization were unusually active in politics for a not-for-profit foundation. [3] Families USA was a major backer of both Hillarycare, the attempt to introduce federal healthcare regulation by then-President Bill Clinton in 1993, and Obamacare. [4] [5] While her husband, Phillippe Villers, raised funds for Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis during his failed run in the 1988 presidential election, Katherine worked to shore up support behind the scenes for expanded federal intervention in the health care market. [6] She is credited with funding and organizing a loose coalition of existing groups in the state of Massachusetts in support of the Massachusetts Health Security Act, which was successfully passed in 1988. [7]

In 1998, having succeeded in coalition building at the state level in Massachusetts, Villers expanded, founding Community Catalyst. [8] Community Catalyst’s serves as an umbrella organization working to intervene in the health care market at the state and national level. [9] The organization has been active in criticizing Catholic health care organizations, and has even stated that some Catholic hospitals should be required to provide services against their code of religious ethics, like abortion and euthanasia, in supposed “emergency situations.” [10]

In 2001, Community Catalyst began incubating Real Benefits, an organization which used a web-based portal to encourage the use of welfare and other government programs among those who were eligible but did not use them. [11] Villers served concurrently as the president of Community Catalyst and on the board of Real Benefits throughout most of its existence. [12] Real Benefits was eventually spun off of Community Catalyst and ultimately sold to health information technology firm TriHealix. [13] As of November 2020, Real Benefits, and its website, are no longer operational. [14]

Donations

Villers and her husband are both major donors to the Center for American Progress, a controversial left-of-center think tank headed by the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential election campaign, John Podesta. [15] [16]

References

  1. Board of Directors Bios. (2020, August 21). Retrieved November 04, 2020, from https://familiesusa.org/board-of-directors-bios/ ^
  2. Greenberg, L. G. (1989). Profile, Grants, and Outcomes. Health Affairs, 8(3), 221-232. ^
  3. Greenberg, L. G. (1989). Profile, Grants, and Outcomes. Health Affairs, 8(3), 221-232. ^
  4. Cohn, B. (2010, March 13). Health-Lobby Mania. Retrieved November 04, 2020, from https://www.newsweek.com/health-lobby-mania-194584 ^
  5. Roy, A. (2013, May 09). Families USA’s Bogus Claim That Overturning Obamacare Will Kill People. Retrieved November 04, 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2012/06/22/families-usas-bogus-claim-that-overturning-obamacare-will-kill-people/?sh=35327df21b3f ^
  6. Berke, R. L. (1988, July 06). More Wealth Than Meets the Eye Lies Behind Frugal Dukakis Image. Retrieved November 04, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/1988/07/0 6/us/more-wealth-than-meets-the-eye-lies-behind-frugal-dukakis-image.html ^
  7. Villers, K. (2018, December). 20 Years of Building Consumer-Based Power for Health Justice. Retrieved November 04, 2020, from https://communitycatalyst.org/news/newsletters/december-2018/20-years-of-building-consumer-based-power-for-health-justice ^
  8. Katherine S. Villers, Board President. (n.d.). Retrieved November 04, 2020, from https://www.communitycatalyst.org/about/board/katherine-s-villers ^
  9. Katherine S. Villers, Board President. (n.d.). Retrieved November 04, 2020, from https://www.communitycatalyst.org/about/board/katherine-s-villers ^
  10. Solomon, T., MPH, Uttley, L., MPP, HasBrouck, P., MBA, & Jung, Y., MPH. (2020). Bigger and Bigger: The Growth of Catholic Health Systems. Retrieved November 04, 2020, from https://www.communitycatalyst.org/resources/publications/document/2020-Cath-Hosp-Report-2020-31.pdf ^
  11. Greenberg, L. G. (1989). Profile, Grants, and Outcomes. Health Affairs, 8(3), 221-232. ^
  12. Real Benefits. (n.d.). Retrieved November 04, 2020, from https://web.archive.org/web/20080613090522/http://www.realbenefits.org/wv/index.php?base_id=33 ^
  13. Kingsbury, K. (2009, March 09). Selling Out to Growth. Retrieved November 04, 2020, from https://business.time.com/2009/03/09/selling-out-to-growth/ ^
  14. Real Benefits. (n.d.). Retrieved November 04, 2020, from https://web.archive.org/web/20080613090522/http://www.realbenefits.org/wv/index.php?base_id=33 ^
  15. Fang, L., & Perez, A. (2016, October 18). Hacked Emails Prove Coordination Between Clinton Campaign and Super PACs. Retrieved November 04, 2020, from https://theintercept.com/2016/10/18/hillary-superpac-coordination/ ^
  16. Our Supporters 2017. (2017). Retrieved November 05, 2020, from https://www.americanprogress.org/our-supporters-2017/ ^
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