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The Senate Rules Committee today appointed the head of a large, statewide private health foundation to the California Health Benefit Exchange Board.

The California Endowment President and CEO Robert Ross, will join the newly created oversight board, which is tasked with setting up a statewide health insurance marketplace to comply with the federal health care overhaul. Ross, whose term ends in 2016, will receive $100 per diem and travel expenses to attend the board meetings.

Ross fills the final opening on the five-member board, which is also made up of Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley and appointees by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez. Schwarzenegger tapped his former chief of staff Susan Kennedy and his Health and Human Services Secretary Kim Belshe, for the board while Pérez picked Paul Ferer, a human resources executive who chairs a nonprofit business coalition dealing with health care issues.

The state health benefits exchange, which must be up and running by 2014 under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was created by legislation signed into law last year. California was the first state to establish such a system in the wake of the federal law's passage.


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