California Officials React to Ruling on Individual Mandate in Reform Law
Health officials in California say a recent ruling that found the federal health reform law's individual mandate unconstitutional might not have an immediate impact on health reform efforts in the state, the Merced Sun-Star reports (Amaro, Merced Sun-Star, 12/15).
On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson ruled that reform law's requirement for individuals to purchase insurance or face a penalty exceeds Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce (California Healthline, 12/14).
Effects on California
Anthony Wright -- executive director of consumer advocacy group Health Access California -- said if the judge's ruling is upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, the decision would not have a substantial impact on the reform law's implementation in California, including efforts to expand Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program.
However, Wright said that a ruling striking down the entire law would negatively affect the state's ability to expand coverage.
Tammy Moss Chandler -- director of the Merced County Department of Public Health -- said that improvements to the county's health care system might not materialize should the entire law be struck down.
She added that the county could extend coverage to some residents through the recently approved Medi-Cal waiver (Merced Sun-Star, 12/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.