Brian Sutter, Partner & CEO
Brian Sutter joined the Capitol Hill Consulting Group in 2015. Mr. Sutter joined CHCG from the Ways and Means Committee where he served as Staff Director for the Health Subcommittee under Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI).
During his tenure on the Health Subcommittee, Mr. Sutter was actively engaged in crafting a broad range of health care policy. Mr. Sutter worked with Members of Congress, House and Senate leadership and committee and staff to address some of the most pressing health care issues. As a result of these efforts, Mr. Sutter was directly involved with a group of bipartisan, bicameral staff in the development and passing of several bills that were signed into law by President Obama.
Mr. Sutter’s expertise in Medicare and success in shepherding several bills through the legislative process successful has made him a trusted advisor for congressional staff. He was key to crafting legislation leading to major reform of Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) that later passed as the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Prior to the enactment of MACRA, Mr. Sutter led the development of Congressional priorities for the SGR replacement over two years, with three laws providing relief from SGR cuts, numerous hearings, drafts, public feedback and listening sessions under his watch.
Mr. Sutter was also instrumental in shaping legislation to eliminate or redefine portions of the Affordable Care Act. These changes include the inclusion of income verification for individuals receiving health care subsidies as part of the agreement to reopen the government in 2013; changes to the employer mandate to define 40 hours as the standard work week; and redefining how expatriate American workers living abroad are able to obtain health care. He also staffed then Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, the Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, and Representative Jeb Hensarling for the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (also referred to as the Simpson Bowles Commission) in 2010.
Mr. Sutter served as Professional Staff for the Health Subcommittee, working primarily on Medicare Advantage, Medigap, and Part D. Prior to joining the Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Sutter served as Legislative Director in addition to several other positions for Congressman Camp.
Tom Wharton, Senior Vice President
Tom Wharton joined the Capitol Hill Consulting Group in 2017 as Senior Vice President. Wharton brings nearly 20 years of political and policy experience and has raised more than one million dollars in support of Democratic Members of Congress. In addition to his political experience, Wharton brings a wealth of health care experience from his legislative work in both the private sector as well as the United States Senate and House of Representatives.
Wharton came to Capitol Hill in 2002, when he joined the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as a junior aide to Chairman Joe Biden. Three years later, Wharton would go on to work for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee during the 2006 election cycle when Senate Democrats won back the majority and elevated Senator Harry Reid to Majority Leader.
Following his political work, Wharton joined the legislative staff of Congressman Dan Boren (D-OK), an influential moderate Democrat and a senior member of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition. He served as a senior advisor to the congressman on domestic policy issues during the historic first term of President Obama. Following his work in the House of Representatives, Wharton served as senior health care policy advisor to Senator Joe Lieberman, where he led Senator Lieberman’s work on all health care related matters, including Medicare and Medicaid reform.
After Senator Lieberman announced his retirement, Wharton became the principal Senate Democratic Lobbyist for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), whose health care plans insure more than 107 million Americans. During that time he was the point person for BCBSA to then majority staff of the Senate Finance Committee, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Senate Democratic Leadership on all health care related matters including the critical implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Wharton currently splits his time between Washington D.C and his home state of Florida. He is a graduate of the University of South Florida and is married to Kendra Wharton, an attorney in Washington D.C. They are parents to a son, Connor, and a daughter, Taylor.
Emily Wilkinson, Senior Vice President
Emily Wilkinson joins Capitol Hill Consulting Group as Senior Vice President. Ms. Wilkinson joined CHCG after serving two and half years at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), first as an Advisor in the Office of the Secretary of HHS, and then as a Senior Advisor to the Administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). During her tenure in the agency, Ms. Wilkinson focused primarily on private insurance and Medicare policy impacting issuers, healthcare providers, and expanding opportunities for technology companies in the healthcare space. She shepherded some of the largest burden reduction projects from conception and throughout the annual rulemaking process, including three rule cycles that resulted in the Federally Facilitated Exchange markets first ever average premium decrease in 2019, and burden reduction policies that were represented in each Medicare payment rule. Ms. Wilkinson also worked on several other Presidential priorities while working at CMS, such as surprise billing, improving interoperability, and price transparency.
Prior to her work in the Administration, Ms. Wilkinson spent nearly a decade working for members on the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees. While on Capitol Hill, she actively engaged in a broad range of health care policy. She has a proven record of developing focused strategies in complex environments, which has allowed her to pass multiple bills with nearly unanimous consent, including initiatives that expanded Medicare coverage for certain medical devices, access for women’s health services, Medicare Advantage, and she led the charge in delaying the Affordable Care Act’s 40 percent excise tax on employer sponsored coverage, commonly referred to as the “Cadillac tax”. Ms. Wilkinson has demonstrated an exceptional ability to drive initiatives by leveraging her strong understanding of policy and political dynamics, and capacity to collaborate across functions of large organizations. Her experience working across the aisle with colleagues in the House, Senate, and HHS, will add value to CHCG’s clients in the healthcare space and across the legislative spectrum.