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: Obama Election Win Leaves GOP Governors Scrambling on Affordable Care Act

For most of the last year, a handful of Republican governors have refused to take action on implementing the Affordable Care Act, preferring instead to bank on the Supreme Court or the November presidential election to send the law to the legislative junk heap. But with all such options now exhausted...

State Net Capitol Journal: Lawmakers Will Face Wide Array Of Issues In 2013

For much of 2012, it seemed just about every major issue confronting states and the federal government was put on hold in anticipation of the impending election. With that process finally over, lawmakers will settle in to try and solve a myriad of thorny problems in 2013. Over the next few issues, SNCJ...

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: 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: 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: 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...

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...

State Net Capitol Journal: California Governor Signs Several Pro-Obamacare Measures

The rollout of health benefits exchanges was pretty bumpy across the nation last Tuesday, but that didn't stop California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) from throwing his full support behind the Affordable Care Act. Brown signed 10 health care-related bills on Oct. 1, the same day the Golden State's exchange...

State Net Capitol Journal: Kentucky, Michigan, West Virginia Will Benefit Most From ACA

Residents of Kentucky, Michigan and West Virginia will benefit more from the Affordable Care Act than those of any other state, according to a study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Eighty-one percent of currently uninsured residents of those three states will receive some sort of financial assistance...

State Net Capitol Journal: Ohio Governor Decries ‘War on the Poor’

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) has ended months of wrangling with his own party over his desire to expand Medicaid last month, opting to have the state's little-used Controlling Board approve his proposal to accept $2.55 billion of federal funding to pay for it. The move will allow approximately 300,000...

State Net Capitol Journal: Medicaid Outpaces Private Insurance in ACA’s Opening Weeks

In May the Congressional Budget Office projected that as a result of the Affordable Care Act, nine million more Americans would enroll in Medicaid in 2014 and seven million would sign up for private health coverage through new health-insurance exchanges. In the initial weeks of the health reform law's...

State Net Capitol Journal Spotlight: Hot Issues Won’t Vary Much in 2014

By Rich Ehisen | For most states, 2013 was a welcome respite from the usual election year political gridlock. That all changes next year, with 38 governorships, 46 legislative chambers, 33 United States Senate seats and all 435 House of Representatives seats up for grabs. But amidst all that politicking...

State Net Capitol Journal: The Obamacare Pitfall: Health Care Issues Dominate State Politics

By Lou Cannon Obamacare remains an untidy work in progress in the states, which are struggling with Medicaid expansion, website problems, and insurance issues in an election year in which health care policy issues are overshadowed by partisan politics. Tim Storey, a political analyst with the National...

State Net Capitol Journal: A Tale of 2 Obamacares

The starkly contrasting ways in which Democrat- and Republican-led states have generally responded to the Affordable Care Act is creating two separate health care systems, according to a report released last week by the Obama administration. Democrat-leaning Kentucky, which has warmly embraced the ACA...

State Net Capitol Journal: States Embracing Efforts to Combat Rise in Heroin Deaths

By Rich Ehisen For years, America's "war on drugs" has inspired police and lawmakers to take a very tough minded, arrest-and-incarcerate approach to dealing with illicit drug use. But an alarming increase in heroin overdose deaths nationwide has a growing number of states turning away...

State Net Capitol Journal: California Ponders Health Insurance Rate Regulation

By Rich Ehisen | Note: On Nov. 4, 46 states will hold legislative elections, while 36 will elect or retain a governor. Meanwhile, 41 states will also weigh in on a wide range of ballot measures addressing some of the most controversial issues of the year, including abortion, marijuana use and the...