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Officials hurry to set up CA health benefit exchange

Ventura County Star, January 7, 2013

At a mid-November conference in Sacramento on implementation of the federal health care overhaul in 2014, California Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley outlined the political aspects of the task ahead. There is much to be worked out, such as a Medi-Cal expansion expected to add up to 1 million new enrollees by including all those with incomes up to 138 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Governor Jerry Brown is expected to call a special session of the Legislature this month to deal with implementation issues. But perhaps nothing will make or break the success of the overhaul in California, and the public's perception of it, than the performance of the state-run health benefit exchange, Connect California. By Oct. 1, it must have an online insurance marketplace up and running, with the expectation of signing up about 1 million enrollees before the end of 2014.