Key Health Care Reform Issues

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Summary

Federal health reform sets January 1, 2014, as the date when major provisions are scheduled to take effect, such as the individual mandate, employer mandates, and Medi-Cal expansion. In many policy areas, federal regulations that interpret the Affordable Care Act (ACA) still have not been issued, but it is clear that numerous significant policy choices are left to the states. There is a need now to support options that minimize the state’s fiscal risk, promote personal responsibility, and maximize consumer choice to the extent possible.

During the State of the State speech on January 24, the Governor announced a special legislative session for health reform issues. The official proclamation laid out three specific issues that the Governor would like to address in the special session: the Medi-Cal expansion, private insurance market changes, and a Medi-Cal “Bridge” plan that potentially could be offered through the California Health Benefit Exchange (now named Covered California).  In addition, elements of the ACA will be reflected in the budget and related trailer bills.

The briefs linked below summarize key ACA legislative and budget issues, and set out initial comments and concerns. We may update these briefs as needed during the coming weeks. For more information on federal health reform in general, the Kaiser Family Foundation has published some useful background materials here, including a glossary of health reform terms, which is available here.

For a single document that includes all of these briefs, please click here.