State Net Capitol Journal: Can California Rescue the Affordable Care Act?

While national candidates wage a war of words and half-truths on health issues, a handful of states, led by California, are charging ahead to implement the key feature of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), widely viewed as the signal achievement of Barack Obama's presidency. The feature is an on-line...

State Net Capitol Journal: States Look to Answer 'Essential' Health Question

Although 35 of the 50 states have yet to create the marketplaces known as health benefits exchanges required by the Affordable Care Act, they aren't completely ignoring the law's impending requirements. A majority, in fact, are moving forward on another key component of federal health reform...

State Net Capitol Journal: Substantial Progress on Affordable Care Act Health Plan Benchmarks

The Affordable Care Act requires states to provide a minimum package of services called "essential health benefits" (EHBs), and the Department of Health and Human Services is allowing each state to model its EHB plan after an existing small group health insurance plan, state employee health...

State Net Capitol Journal: Health Care Reform Law Doesn't Halt Major Rate Hikes

One of the main objectives of the Affordable Care Act was to stem the rising cost of health insurance for American consumers. But that hasn't stopped health insurance companies from seeking and obtaining big premium increases across the country. In Florida and Ohio, insurers have secured rate increases...

State Net Capitol Journal: Iowa Governor Issues Alternative to Medicaid Expansion

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) last week unveiled an alternative to expanding Medicaid in the Hawkeye State. Under federal health care reform, states are given the option of expanding their Medicaid eligibility to cover people living at up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line. In Iowa, that would...

State Net Capitol Journal: States Have Key Role In Making Affordable Care Act Work

By Lou Cannon , State Net Capitol Journal Winston Churchill famously described a crucial British military victory in North Africa during World War II as "not the end...not even the beginning of the end" but "perhaps, the end of the beginning." For the Affordable Care Act (ACA...

State Net Capitol Journal: States Ponder Broadening Health Care Scopes of Practice

By Rich Ehisen There has long been friction in the relationship between doctors and other health care providers, with the former ferociously guarding their turf against incursion from the latter. But with the Affordable Care Act soon to bring 33 million new patients into the system, many states are pondering...

State Net Capitol Journal: ACA Could Cost Businesses in Non-Expansion States $1.3 Billion Per Year

The Affordable Care Act requires companies with more than 25 employees to pay a "shared responsibility" fine of $3,000 for each worker who isn't eligible for Medicaid and who receives a federal tax subsidy because their employer doesn't offer them health insurance. The provision was...

State Net Capitol Journal: State and Federal Governments Struggle Over Health Care

By Lou Cannon The Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration's vaunted plan for overhauling the nation's health care system, will cost more, insure fewer people and probably take longer to implement than originally planned. States and the federal government are struggling to meet...

State Net Capitol Journal: Brewer Wins Medicaid Battle With Her Own Party

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) scored a huge political victory last week as Grand Canyon State lawmakers finally endorsed her call to greatly expand access to the state's Medicaid program. The expansion, part of the $8.8 billion budget lawmakers also adopted, is expected to provide health care coverage...

State Net Capitol Journal: Changes Challenge ACA Implementation

By Rich Ehisen Faced with growing complaints from employers over the complexity of implementing the Affordable Care Act by next January, the Obama administration on July 2 announced it would postpone for one year enforcement of a provision of the law that requires large employers, those with 50 or...