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Sources: Christy Ferguson to run RI health insurance exchange

May 17, 2012

Christine “Christy’’ Ferguson of Jamestown is one of the nation’s top health policy experts. She is now a professor at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Ferguson has held a slew of top health policy positions, including top health care policy aide to U.S. Sen. John Chafee; director of the Rhode Island Department of Health and Human Services under former Gov. Lincoln Almond; and Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health under then-Gov. Mitt Romney.

Now Ferguson, a moderate Republican who made an unsuccessful race for U.S. House in the 1st District, is under consideration by Gov. Lincoln Chafee to run Rhode Island’s new health care exchange, State House sources say. Almond said when contacted yesterday that Ferguson would be a very good choice. “She’s really sharp,’’ said Almond.

Ferguson has been in the thick of health care policy at the highest levels since the 1980s. Working for John Chafee, she was a key advisor on the Clinton-era health care debate in Washington, D.C. And under Romney she helped craft the Massachusetts connector plan that had an individual mandate as the centerpiece of that state’s universal care plan. It is difficult to see how Chafee could find anyone as qualified as Ferguson for what is sure to be a very important job crafting the New World Order of health care.


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