Team Of Veterans Will Direct Health Policy For Shumlin

12/13/10 4:04PM By John Dillon

AP Photo/Toby Talbot
(Host) A team of veterans will be in charge of health care policy in Governor-elect Peter Shumlin's administration.

The Democrat campaigned on a plan to deliver a single payer health care system for Vermont. He says his new team will shape that ambitious effort.

(Shumlin) "We understand the challenge; we understand how tough it will be. It's not a promise, it's a plan. Our promise is that we will work as hard as we can to deliver a single payer health system that contains costs and provides every Vermonter with quality, affordable health care."

(Host) Shumlin announced that recently retired lobbyist Steve Kimbell will be commissioner of the Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration.

That's the state agency that regulates all of the business practices of those industries. It's an independent department that reports directly to the governor.

Kimbell promises to work together with insurance companies on regulation and health care reform.

(Kimbell) "What they can expect from me as commissioner is a consistent, predictable and collaborative approach to regulation of these key industries."

(Host) Kimbell was a lobbyist for 23 years until his retirement this summer. He also worked for former Governor Madeleine Kunin.

Former state Representative Harry Chen will be health commissioner. Chen has been an emergency room physician at Rutland Regional Medical Center for more than 20 years.

Susan Besio will remain as commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access, the agency that's responsible for all of Vermont's public health care programs.

And Shumlin also hired Anya Rader Wallack as a special assistant to the governor for health care reform. She currently is president of Arrowhead Health Analytics. She also worked for former Governor Howard Dean during earlier attempts to reform health care.

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