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Head of Mass. Health Connector Resigns

Jon Kingsdale, head of the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, is stepping down. He has led the agency since it was created by the state's 2006 landmark health care reform law to help uninsured residents sign up for coverage.

In Kingsdale's four years on the job, the state has gotten more than 97 percent of its residents insured. His next task would have been to integrate Massachusetts health reform with the new national health care reform law.

Kingsdale said he concluded that a new executive director would have the fresh eyes — and could make the years-long commitment — needed to do that.

"I decided this was the right time to kind of step off the cliff and see where I landed, see if I can't combine my two passions — to build something from scratch and to implement national reform," he said.

Kingsdale said he doesn't have a new job lined up yet. But he said he wouldn't rule out working on health reform for the Obama administration if the opportunity comes up.

"I can't tell you it's an impossibility," he added, referring to the likelihood that he might work on reform at the national level, "but there's absolutely nothing in the works."

Kingsdale's last day on the job will be June 4.

Gov. Deval Patrick immediately announced Kingsdale's successor: Glen Shor, assistant secretary for health care policy at the state's Executive Office for Administration and Finance. In that role, he has been a key point person for Patrick in implementing state health reform.

In a letter to the Connector board Wednesday, Kingsdale wrote that he will leave the agency "with a mixture of pride in our achievements and sorrow at saying goodbye to a truly exceptional team…They are my good friends now as well, and I will truly miss working with them."

In February, the Connector's chief financial officer, Patrick Holland, also announced his departure.

This program aired on April 15, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Sacha Pfeiffer Twitter Host, All Things Considered
Sacha Pfeiffer was formerly the host of WBUR's All Things Considered.

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