Tommy Thompson: Wisconsin's governor for 14 years, HHS Secretary Thompson, 59, has been known in Washington as an innovator on welfare and Medicaid. Thompson made Wisconsin one of the first states to expand the state children's health insurance programs to include the parents of children eligible for the program. But in his state, he was known as "King Tommy," making use of the state's partial veto to thwart legislative initiatives by eliminating words and numbers from bills that reached his desk. His first months in Washington in a subordinate role have been sometimes tumultuous, as he's diverged from the White House on such issues as medical privacy and tobacco regulation.
Thomas Scully: President of the Federation of American Hospitals, HCFA administrator candidate Scully, 43, has been one of the most effective voices on hospital issues in Washington since joining the association in 1995. Before becoming the for-profit hospital sector's top lobbyist, Scully was with the powerful lobbying firm Patton, Boggs & Blow. He was associate director for healthcare programs in the White House Office of Management and Budget under President Bush's father. Known as a talkative-at times frenetic-lobbyist, budget analyst and healthcare policy wonk, he is a well-connected politico who raised for or contributed to the Republican Party an estimated $400,000 in the last election cycle. Outside the federation and his government posts (May 14, p. 6), Scully has served on the advisory board of the Bush Library at Texas A&M University.