ABOUT US | Tarplin

LINDA E. TARPLIN cofounded Tarplin, Downs and Young, LLC in January of 2006. Tarplin has been a leading healthcare consultant since 1993. Prior to that, she served in senior positions in the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services under two Republican Presidents. Tarplin was Special Assistant for Legislative Affairs to President George H.W. Bush, serving as the White House liaison to the Congress on health care issues. She also served under both Presidents Bush and Ronald Reagan in legislative and policy positions in the Department of Health and Human Services. Tarplin served in the Office of Legislative Affairs as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislation overseeing legislative policies affecting the Department. Before joining the Reagan Administration, Tarplin was responsible for health care legislation for a Republican member of the Ways and Means Committee. In 1993, Tarplin was a founding principal of the OB-C Group (founded as O’Brien-Calio) and had built and managed their health care practice until the formation of the new firm.


RAISSA H. DOWNS cofounded Tarplin, Downs and Young, LLC and brought nearly 10 years of Congressional and Executive branch experience to the firm. Downs had served as Subcommittee Staff Director and Healthcare Policy Advisor to Senator Mike Enzi, Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. She then joined the legislative team at the Department of Health and Human Services in 2002 as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislation, finishing her tenure after a promotion to Principal Deputy. While her portfolio captured all of the programs under the HHS jurisdiction, she spent a significant amount of time on implementation of the new Medicare Modernization Program and other major regulatory matters before CMS and FDA. Prior to the creation of the firm, Downs was a Vice President at the lobby firm Barbour, Griffith, and Rogers.


JENNIFER B. YOUNG served as the Assistant Secretary for Legislation at the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as Senior Counselor to Secretary Mike Leavitt before cofounding Tarplin, Downs and Young. She was an integral part of the Administration’s efforts during the development, passage and implementation of the Medicare Modernization Act and oversaw all legislative efforts on behalf of HHS. Prior to joining HHS, Young was on the staff of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. In addition to her federal experience, Young also headed the health care team at the National Governor’s Association..


ISAAC A. FORDJOUR joined Tarplin, Downs, & Young, LLC in February 2007. He was most recently the Director of Federal and State Legislative Affairs for the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). Prior to joining NMDP, Fordjour worked in the office of the Tennessee House Speaker Pro Tempore where he assisted the legislative effort to establish TennCare. Fordjour is also co-founder of Legacy PAC, a bipartisan political action committee focused on supporting emerging political leaders. He serves on advisory committees for numerous organizations including the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the National Conference of Black Mayors, and the Democratic National Committee.


MICHELLE P. EASTON joined the firm in 2008 bringing over 14 years of health care experience on Capitol Hill. She most recently served as the Chief Health Counsel to the United States Senate Committee on Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT). Prior to joining the Finance Committee team, she served in several capacities for former Senator John Breaux (D-LA), including as Legislative Director and Staff Director for the Senate Special Committee on Aging. Michelle worked extensively on the Medicare and Medicaid programs while working in the Congress, including instrumental work on the Modernization Act (MMA). She also was a Vice President at PhRMA during the critical MMA enrollment process and coordinated efforts with third party allied groups to maximize enrollment in the Medicare prescription drug benefit. Easton comes to the firm uniquely positioned to help the firm’s clients prepare for the opportunities and challenges of major Medicare legislation and health care reform.


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