Some Question ACA’s Fate Ahead of Special Legislative Session
Although California is preparing for a special legislative session on implementing the Affordable Care Act, some opponents of the law do not think that it necessarily will take full effect, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/13).
In August, Gov. Jerry Brown (D)Â announced plans to call a special legislative session to discuss various federal health reform initiatives, such as the launch of a state health insurance exchange and an expansion of Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program.
Diana Dooley -- California Health and Human Services Secretary -- said that the session will begin in December or January 2013 and will run concurrently with the regular legislative session (California Healthline, 8/20).
Lawmakers still are planning for the session following President Obama's re-election, which many experts say guarantees full implementation of the ACA.
ACA Opponent Questions Fate of Law
Sally Pipes -- CEO of the Pacific Research Institute -- said that she expects continued legal challenges to impede implementation of the ACA. Specifically, Pipes said that she expects challenges to a provision that would provide federal subsidies to help individuals with incomes of up to 400% of the federal poverty level pay for insurance premiums in the state health exchanges.
Pipes said that the GOP-led House of Representatives also could find ways to hinder implementation.
Others Say Law Will Stand
Alan Weil -- executive director of the National Academy of State Health Policy -- said, "The primary hurdles were the [Supreme Court decision] and the election, and those hurdles have been overcome."
He said, "The primary risk at this point is operation -- just getting the work done."Wade Horn -- an adviser on health and human services issues at Deloitte Consulting -- also said that the law will be fully implemented. Horn said, "[W]e are a nation of laws," adding, "And most people will say they may not agree with every aspect of the law, but it is the law" (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/13). 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.