government

Massachusetts health reform chief moves on

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 26, 2010

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Jon Kingsdale, PhD, the first director of the agency responsible for implementing Massachusetts' landmark 2006 health reform law, is resigning effective June 4. Kingsdale wrote in his April 15 resignation letter that he wants to seek new challenges and that he hopes to "play some role in national health care reform."

Kingsdale "has been a tremendous asset in our efforts to expand health care coverage to all Massachusetts residents," said Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Kingsdale was appointed director of the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority in May 2006. Before that, he served as a senior executive at Tufts Health Plans for almost 20 years.

The Massachusetts health reforms were a model for the national law enacted in March. The state law includes a requirement either to have health coverage or pay a tax penalty, and it created a health insurance exchange to offer coverage options. About 97% of residents have insurance, up from about 94% in 2006. But Massachusetts leaders at times have struggled to pay for and control coverage cost increases in the exchange.

Kingsdale will be succeeded by Glen Shor, assistant secretary for health care policy in the governor's office. Patrick said Shor has been his point person for implementing health reform.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/04/26/gvbf0426.htm.

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