No. 72: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

72. Peter Lee

Peter Lee has a tough and politically charged job: He is the executive director of Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act, which has come under repeated fire by the Trump administration. Covered California has served more than 3.5 million Californians since it first began offering coverage in 2014. Not only must Lee manage the challenges involved in a nervous, fluctuating health insurance market, he must do so in the face of undying enmity from Washington Republicans, including California’s own congressional delegation. The exchange announced in July last year that rates would climb by 8.7 percent in 2019, adding that “Without the federal decision to eliminate the individual mandate penalty, which added between 2.5 and 6 percentage points to the rates, consumers would be seeing a rate change closer to 5 percent.” Lee is a native Californian and came back to his native state after serving in the Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama administration.

Updated Aug. 15, 2o18

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