Foundations Providing Support as States Roll Out Health Reform Law
Officials in California and several other states are seeking financial and consulting support from philanthropic organizations as they work to implement the federal health reform law, Kaiser Health News reports.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, "lessening the burdens of government" is considered a tax-exempt charitable activity.
Ties between private foundations and state government are especially pronounced in California, where Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is struggling to close a multibillion-dollar deficit.
Toby Douglas, director of the California Department of Health Care Services, said the state's funding crunch is forcing officials to focus on eliminating state services rather than implementing the reform law.
Assistance for California
Three major foundations have taken action to help California with its efforts to roll out the reform law. The foundations include:
- The Blue Shield of California Foundation, which is helping the state build a timeline for reform implementation and has hired actuaries and consultants to advise policymakers on Medicaid enrollment and the state's health insurance exchange;
- The California Endowment, which agreed to provide $500,000 to help the state plan a Medicaid "health home" initiative that could draw down additional federal matching funds; and
- The California HealthCare Foundation, which is funding two consultants to work on the state's application for federal funding for its health benefit exchange. CHCF publishes California Healthline.
Action in Other States
Other states also are receiving support from private foundations to implement the reform law. For example, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has committed up to $10 million over one year to provide 10 states with technical assistance on their reform law plans.
In addition, the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund and other charitable groups have established a $450,000 fund to finance implementation of the reform law in Kansas (Weaver, Kaiser Health News, 6/5).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.