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Health Reform

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law on March 23, 2010. The bill extends health insurance to 32 million uninsured Americans. Some provisions of the health reform law will take effect immediately, and others will be phased in over the next few years.

WEBINAR SERIES Closing the Gap: Making the Most of Health Reform.
Join us to learn where we are with health reform nationally and in California, what to expect, and how to get involved. The webinars explore issues related to health reform from a community perspective.

Session 6: What the Medicaid Expansion Means for California (October 18, 2012)
Nearly 2 million uninsured Californians will become newly eligible for Medi-Cal coverage under the Medicaid expansion resulting from the Affordable Care Act. The expansion increases Medicaid eligibility to 138% FPL and makes sweeping changes to simplify the eligibility and enrollment process for new and existing beneficiaries. Stakeholders will need to stay abreast of federal and state developments to maximize enrollment. This webinar will provide an overview of the Medicaid expansion and current federal policies, how California is preparing for the implementation, and how stakeholders can get engaged. Speakers include Kimberly Lewis, Managing Attorney, National Health Law Program, and Elizabeth Landsberg, Director of Legislative Advocacy, Western Center for Law and Poverty. Listen here.

Session 5: Prevention & Wellness. (April 4th, 2012) This webinar covers the benefits of the Prevention Fund for consumers, health advocates and healthcare professionals. The ACA prioritized chronic disease prevention and wellness as critical components of healthcare reform. How does this benefit community-based advocates? What are the implications for under-served communities? We review the budget impacts on current and future prevention and wellness provisions, particularly for low-income and communities of color and the impact of the ACA's Community Transformation Grants on LA County. Presenters are Richard Hamburg, Trust for America's Health, and Dr. Paul Simon, Director LA County Department of Public Health.  Listen here. Follow-up Questions.

Session 4: Public Education Campaigns & Health Reform. (October 11th, 2011) Are consumers getting the information they need to be able to take advantage of the ACA’s benefits now and beyond 2014?  This webinar focused on: (1) The role of California's Office of the Patient Advocate in developing, coordinating and providing consumer education (2) Examples of consumer education efforts already underway (3) Opportunities for consumers and advocates to engage in discussions. Presenters: Sandra Perez, Office of the Patient Advocate, and Richard Figueroa, The California Endowment. Listen here. Download the presentations: OPA. California Endowment.

Previous Sessions
Session 3: Health Insurance Exchanges (July 2011)
This webinar provides an overview of what Health Benefit Exchanges are required to do, recent activity at the federal level, and an update on the California Health Benefit Exchange including priorities and next steps. Learn from presenters Edwin Park, Vice President for Health Policy, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Patricia E. Powers, Acting Administrative Officer, California Health Benefit Exchange. Listen here. Download the presentations: CBPP. CA Health Benefit Exchange.

Session 2: Patient-Centered Medical Homes (February 2011)
Learn from
Kristine Thurston Toppe (Director for State Affairs, NCQA),  Dr. Brian Prestwich (Medical Director, USC Family Medicine Center at California Hospital) and Ellen Turner (Project Manager, LA Care) about the incentives in health reform legislation that will facilitate the creation and adoption of medical homes. This webinar addresses the differences between how our current safety net functions and the medical home model, ways to track the progress and success of the model, local initiatives to help clinics become medical homes and how patients are being prepared and educated for the transition. Listen here. Download the presentations: NCQH LA Care Brian Prestwich, MD

Session 1: Getting Ready for Health Reform (December 2010)
Hear presentations from Herb K. Shultz, Regional Director for the US Department of Health & Human Services, and Sandra Shewry, Advisor on Health Care Reform for California’s Health & Human Services Agency. Listen here (CHC apologizes for the technical difficulties in the first 1:30 minutes).


Recommendations on CMS-2349-P: Medicaid program eligibility changes under the Affordable Care Act. October 31, 2011.

Comments on CMS-9989-P: Proposed rule on the establishment of Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans. October 31, 2011.

Recommendations regarding IRS Notice 2011-52: Community Health Needs Assessment requirements for non-profit hospitals. September 22, 2011.

Recommendations that the Navigator Program be built upon California's CAA infrastructure and remove a requirement to be a licensed insurance agent. March 25, 2011.

Recommendations for the development of standards for the operation of State Exchanges. October 4, 2010.

Recommendations on the Interim Final Rules relating to coverage of preventive services. September 17, 2010.

Recommendations on the Interim Final Rules for the Patient's Bill of Rights. August 27, 2010.

The Kaiser Family Foundation offers an interactive tool that explains how and when the provisions of the health reform law will be implemented with their Implementation Timeline, an animated video that covers the basics of health reform and many other resources on their health reform website.

A number of other excellent resources are available on the web for both consumers and advocates. Watch here as we add more.

Families USA. Health Reform Central for tools to understand the new law, implementing the new law, roadblocks to implementation, and the impact on states.

HealthCare.gov badgeHealthCare.gov. A federal government website that explains healthcare reform and what it will mean to families with children, individuals, people with disabilities, seniors, young adults, and employers.  Spanish-language.

California HealthCare Reform. Learn more about what state government officials are doing to plan for and administer the sweeping changes coming to California’s health care system in the months and years ahead.

Previous Developments
June 2011

The California Health Benefits Exchange has been meeting to ensure California's implementation of a Health Insurance Exchange by 2014.

March 2011
A year after its enactment, implementation of ACA continues to make progress in California. Several key bills  have been proposed that would bring state law in conformity with or enhance ACA. 

January 2011
On January 19th, the United States House of Representatives voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act by passing HR2 “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law.”  It now heads to the US Senate where it is unlikely to garner the same support as in the House. Read Families USA's HR2: Guilty of a Double Standard to learn what the House members are willing to take away from American families but intend to keep for themselves.

November 2010
The 2010 Elections created a drastic shift in the House of Representatives. Control of the House moved to the Republicans along with a large number of state governorships.  Opponents of health reform have already declared that they will put a vote up early next year to repeal the new health reform law. Learn more about the possible impact of the 2010 election on health reform.

October 2010
In early October, California launched California Health Care Reform, its health reform website. The site features information on the Governor’s Health Care Reform Task Force and priorities for implementation, timelines for the major changes contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and resources to help Californians with their health coverage options. Learn more about California’s health reform priorities.

September 2010
On September 23rd, six months after the law passed, many significant patient protections were implemented. Read a summary of the September 23rd changes, reflecting major victories for consumers.