GOP Takeover of House Could Threaten State’s Health Reform Efforts
California's efforts to implement key elements of the federal health reform law could face challenges when Republicans gain control of the House, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Possible Republican Roadblocks
Although the GOP gained control of the House in last week's midterm elections, Republicans likely will be unable to fully repeal the health reform law or take back federal funds already appropriated under the law, according to the Bee.
However, Republicans could block the allocation of certain reform law funds that California and other states are expecting to receive. For example, GOP leaders could target the law's roughly $115 billion in discretionary funding that still needs congressional approval.
According to the Bee, billions of dollars could be at stake for California, including about $13.8 billion in tax credits designed to help 3.5 million residents obtain coverage through the state'sÂ insurance health exchange.
On Sept. 30, California became the first state to pass legislation creating a health benefits exchange under the reform law. HHS has provided California with $1 million to help set up its exchange, with the possibility of more funding in the future.
How To Move Forward?
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) said California should be "careful about committing additional dollars" toward implementing the reform law because GOP lawmakers potentially could block certain allocations.
However, Ken Jacobs, chair of UC-Berkeley's Labor Center, said California should "move forward toward implementation" because Republicans likely will be limited in their ability to obstruct the law (Calvan, Sacramento Bee, 11/11).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.