This Week in Healthcare
Health Reform Implementation: What Happens First?
1. Young Adult Coverage: Within a few months, young adults up to the age of 26 will be able to stay on their parents health plans.
Insurance industry agrees to fix kids coverage gap
After nearly a year battling President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats over the health care overhaul, the insurance industry says it won't block the administration's efforts to fix a potentially embarrassing glitch in the new law.
In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the industry's top lobbyist said Monday insurers will accept new regulations to dispel uncertainty over a much-publicized guarantee that children with medical problems can get coverage starting this year. Quick resolution of the doubts was a win for Obama — and a sign that the industry has no stomach for another war of words with a president who deftly used double-digit rate hikes by the companies to revive his sweeping health care legislation from near collapse in Congress.
"Health plans recognize the significant hardship that a family faces when they are unable to obtain coverage for a child with a pre-existing condition," Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, said in a letter to Sebelius. Ignagni said that the industry will "fully comply" with the regulations, expected within weeks.
Health Reform Law Could Limit Calif.'s Proposed Program Cuts
The health care reform law includes a "maintenance of effort" provision requiring states to maintain their Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Programs. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program, and Healthy Families is the state's CHIP program.
Schwarzenegger has proposed eliminating several social service programs, including Healthy Families, unless the federal government provides the state with an additional $7 billion. So far, the federal government has pledged only $3 billion.
If Schwarzenegger attempts to follow through with his proposed cuts, California would have to forgo all federal Medicaid funding, amounting to billions of dollars annually, according to Kelly Hardy, policy director for the national advocacy group Children Now.
Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers are examining the new federal law to determine what it will mean for the state financially.
At a press conference last week, Schwarzenegger said, "My concern about the federal government's health care reform is only how do we fund it, because they have shifted the funding from the federal government and ... it will cost us $3 billion more."
KPBS interviews Sharp Healthcare CEO, Michael Murphy and Gary Rotto, Director of Health Policy for the San Diego Council of Community Clinics on the impact of health reform legislation on their industries.
KPBS interviews business leaders Richard Ledford, owner of Ledford Enterprises, Ruben Barrales, CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and Ruben Garcia, Executive Director of the Small Business Administration in San Diego on the impact of health reform legislation on small business.
Don't Believe the Writedown Hype
The new comprehensive health-care legislation meets these goals, and will significantly benefit American businesses by slowing and eventually reversing the tide of crippling premium increases washing over our nation's employers.
These cost savings are real. They will grow over time. And they will make U.S. businesses more competitive.
Thank you for subscribing to Voices for Reform. Your email will never be shared or sold to other companies. You can subscribe / unsubscribe at our newsletter page.