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Raimondo: Roberts For Health & Human Services

Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo announced Sunday she will nominate outgoing Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts to head the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

Roberts, a longtime advocate on health care issues, headed the state Health Care Reform Commission that set up Rhode Island's health insurance exchange, HealthSource RI, under the federal health care overhaul. She did not seek re-election as lieutenant governor because of term limits.

Raimondo said Roberts has the key combination of management skills and compassion for the job.

Roberts said she was ready to get to work.

Among the issues facing Raimondo and Roberts will be the future of HealthSource RI as it and other state exchanges set up with federal funds must begin paying for themselves. HealthSource has gotten high marks but some lawmakers say Rhode Island may be better off joining the federal exchange to avoid paying annual operating costs estimated to be at least $17 million.

Raimondo has said she wants to keep HealthSource local and has pledged to scrutinize its budget and get "creative."



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