41. Peter Lee
A lawyer by training, and a native Californian, Peter Lee came to direct the state’s health insurance exchange by way of Washington, D.C., after serving in the Obama Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services. As the executive director of Covered California, the state exchange spawned by the federal Affordable Care Act, Lee manages a critical, fluctuating marketplace. Efforts to repeal the ACA in Washington have brought uncertainty to the future of Covered California; much depends on Congress. Though the repeal push seems dead for the moment, any attempt to resuscitate it could make Lee’s work even more challenging. If the goings-on in D.C. aren’t challenging enough, Lee also has the whims of the insurance market to deal with. His work overseeing the rollout of the gargantuan healthcare exchange is far from over. Last year, premiums rose 13 percent, and next year they are expected to increase again by 12.5 percent.
Updated Aug. 29, 2o17