Peter Lee Named 1st Exchange Board Director

Here’s the release from the Exchange today…

Peter V. Lee Named First Executive Director of the California Health Benefit Exchange

Pat Powers to continue as Acting Administrative Officer through the end of December

SACRAMENTO – The California Health Benefit Exchange Board unanimously approved the appointment of Peter V. Lee as its first Executive Director, Chair Diana Dooley announced today.

“Peter is a nationally respected leader in health care who has led innovative projects aimed at promoting health, improving care quality and reducing cost in the health care delivery system,” said Dooley, who is also California Health and Human Services Secretary. “His more than 25 years of health policy experience and deep understanding of California’s challenges and opportunities make him the right leader to ensure the success of our new health insurance marketplace.”

As Executive Director, Lee will oversee the planning, development and ongoing administration and evaluation of the California Health Benefit Exchange. He will join the Health Benefit Exchange on October 17, 2011.

“I am honored, humbled and excited by the opportunity to lead the California Health Benefit Exchange,” said Lee. “It is an historic time in reforming our health care system and the California Health Benefit Exchange will serve as a national trailblazer toward establishing new consumer-oriented health insurance marketplaces to help more people have access to quality affordable health care.”

Lee currently serves as the Deputy Director for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in Washington DC where he has helped shape initiatives to identify, test, and support new models of care in Medicare and Medicaid that can result in higher quality care while reducing costs. Previously he served as the Director of Delivery System Reform at the federal Health and Human Services’ Office of Health Reform.

“Peter’s leadership has helped to chart a course toward a patient-centered, value-based health care system,” said Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services. “I’m encouraged that we will be able to keep working with him as he applies his talents to launching the Exchange in his home state of California.”

From 2000-2008, he served as the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Business Group on Health in San Francisco. From 1995-2000, Lee served as the Executive Director of the Center for Health Care Rights and from 1993-1995, he practiced law at Tuttle and Taylor in Los Angeles. From 1984-1993, he served in a variety of leadership positions in Washington DC, including the Director of Programs for the National AIDS Network. Lee holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley.

California was the first state to create a Health Benefit Exchange following the passage of federal health care reform. It is charged with creating a new insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses will be able to purchase competitively priced health plans using federal tax subsidies and credits beginning in 2014.

The Exchange is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and Legislature; the California Health and Human Services Secretary serves as an ex officio voting member and is its current Chair.

For more information on the Exchange including meeting calendar, visit

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.
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