- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Obama administration has tapped a health reform leader from Connecticut to be the new CEO of the federal Obamacare marketplace known as HealthCare.gov.

Kevin Counihan will oversee the federal exchange system that assists three dozens states in his new role at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency announced Tuesday.

He will also manage relationships with the 15 state-run exchanges and run the agency division that regulates health insurance at the federal level.

Most recently, Mr. Counihan served as a CEO of Connecticut’s state-run exchange. Federal officials said Connecticut cut its uninsured rate in half, from 7.9 percent to 4 percent, and that nine states have contacted the state to inquire about its technology.

As the federal exchange and several state-run exchange encountered woes during Obamacare’s first sign-up period from October to April, Connecticut earned kudos for its unique approach to signing up customers. It opened up Obamacare storefronts, a maneuver called the “Apple store model,” to attract customers inside for face-to-face help.

Connecticut officials said Mr. Counihan’s appointment reflected positively on their approach to the law.

Kevin’s appointment is a ringing endorsement of the success we’ve had implementing the Affordable Care Act in Connecticut,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said.

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