WASHINGTON, D.C. — Joseph P. Ditre, founding executive director of Maine-based Consumers for Affordable Health Care and a healthcare advocate for more than 30 years, will join Families USA as the national consumer group’s Director of Enterprise and Innovation.
In his new role with Families USA, Ditre will work with stakeholders and advocates from across the country to ensure that the Affordable Care Act is implemented with health care consumers in mind. His focus will be on improving the health care system and ensuring health insurance marketplaces protect consumers.
“Joe brings a unique blend of policy knowledge, state-level advocacy experience, and the proven ability to develop innovative programs that will greatly strengthen the ability of Families USA to achieve its mission of high quality, affordable health care for all,” said Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA.
“For decades, Joe has fought to bring the voice of health care consumers to the places where key decisions are made – in local, state and federal government. He has been a leader in advocating for reforms to give all Maine residents access to health care coverage and to ensure they have coverage regardless of their ability to pay. He has been a champion of changes that will improve the quality of health care while lowering costs for consumers.
“We are thrilled that Joe is bringing his passion for speaking out on behalf of consumers to Families USA.”
As founding executive director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care, Ditré looks back with pride at the efforts of staff and fellow advocates in Maine and the state’s contribution to the progress of reform.
“Many of the core components of the Affordable Care Act, such as prohibiting exclusions based on pre-existing conditions, eliminated gender and health status rating, and requiring insurers to guarantee the issuance and renewal of health contracts, were among the reforms adopted in Maine in the early and mid-1990s,” he said.
Ditré hopes to bring Maine’s energy and innovation to the national stage. “This is a very exciting time to begin working with Families USA, the nation’s premier health advocacy organization,” he said.
“Millions of previously uninsured and underinsured people have obtained affordable health insurance—many for the first time. The prospect of working with these consumers, health insurance companies, and health care providers to ensure that consumers maintain their health and get value from their coverage is very exciting and opens up many opportunities for alliances and partnerships that never existed. “
Earning his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1983, Ditré went to work as the staff attorney of the Medicaid Specialist unit with Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, beginning a lifetime of service as a health care advocate.