California Stakeholders Discuss Implementing Affordable Care Act
At a Health Access symposium on Wednesday, state officials, legislators and health care advocates gathered to discuss details of implementing the Affordable Care Act in California, KQED's "State of Health" reports.
Comments From Dooley
Diana Dooley -- secretary of the state Health and Human Services Agency -- discussed her concerns about federal funding for the ACA's Medicaid expansion.
The law provides 100% funding for residents who are newly eligible for Medicaid. However, Dooley suggested that ongoing deficit-reduction negotiations in Congress could reduce that funding.
She said that the state is "not going to extend benchmark coverage beyond what is sustainable," adding, "I don't want to be on the hook for promising things we can't deliver."
Comments From Mitchell
State Assembly member Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) said that Dooley "has a much narrower view than I see," adding that the state should be "bold" in its implementation efforts.
She said lawmakers should work to "create policy and create legislation" linked to the ACA "that can get a signature out of the governor."
Comments From Hernandez, Pan
Senate Health Committee Chair Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) said that during a special legislative session on health reform that is expected to begin in January 2013 he plans to introduce several bills related to the ACA, including a Medi-Cal expansion bill.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Pan (D-Natomas) said that state officials should work to get "as close as we can to universal coverage."
Comments From WrightAnthony Wright -- executive director of Health Access -- said that there are only "10 short months" until the state health insurance exchange is scheduled to begin selling insurance in October 2013. He said, "The final obstacle is the clock. That should not curtail our ambition" (Aliferis,"State of Health," KQED, 12/5). 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.