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Sec. Belshé on 2011 and beyond…

Yesterday, the state convened a meeting of the 1115 Waiver Stakeholder Advisory Committee during which the state gave updates on various parts of the waiver’s implementation.

CHHS Secretary Kim Belshé began by addressing health reform, and outlined what she sees as the state’s greatest ACA implementation challenges and considerations:

  • Supporting state internal capacity
  • Promoting a culture of coverage
  • Simplifying and streamlining eligibility and enrollment systems
  • Aligning provider capacity with health needs of the newly eligible
  • Advancing delivery system innovation, and
  • Bending the Medi-Cal cost curve.

Secretary Belshé also mentioned other points worth consideration: first, that while near-universal coverage will be an impressive goal, California will still have nearly one million uninsured even after full implementation of health reform; second, that the Exchange presents a unique opportunity to help advance coverage and system transformation; third, that with the state taking on much of the counties’ current responsibilities to cover the medically indigent adult (MIA) population, there are uncertain fiscal changes that will need to be decided; and finally, the importance of on-going stakeholder support and engagement.

With Governor-Elect Brown’s announcement yesterday that Diana Dooley will be California’s next Secretary of CHHS, this is Ms. Belshé’s last full month as secretary. From championing statewide health reform in 2007-08 and assisting the federal reform effort in 2009-10, to working with the Legislature on implementation legislation this year and negotiating the §1115 waiver and provider fee over the past two years, the Schwarzenegger Administration’s health team — led by Sec. Belshé — has laid the foundations for California’s achievement of meaningful reform. The uninsured and underinsured in California are truly in their debt.

We will be honoring their leadership and discussing all facets of ACA and waiver implementation at our annual conference on February 2nd. We hope to see you there!