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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the landmark federal health reform legislation of 2010, makes a wide variety of changes to the existing health system in the United States. California is currently implementing the Affordable Care Act and preparing the health system for necessary changes. On this page, you will find information about federal and state health policy and regulations.

CaliforniACA August Newsletter

The California Health Benefit Exchange August Board Meeting Makes Decisions on SHOP Structure, QHP Policies and Service Center Options During the August meeting, the Exchange board announced it had been awarded $196M from the federal government, which will be mostly used for the Exchange’s IT system, CalHEERS. The board also […] more

An Initial Report on Mandatory Enrollment of Medi-Cal’s Seniors and People with Disabilties into Managed Care

The California Healthcare Foundation (CHCF) recently released a report examining health plans’, providers’, and stakeholders’ experiences during Medi-Cal’s mandatory transition of seniors and people with disabilities to managed care as a part of California’s “Bridge to Reform” 1115 waiver. The managed care expansion primarily affected 240,000 beneficiaries in 16 counties […] more

Mental Health and Substance Abuse in CA’s Public Health Programs

California has had a unique mixture of behavioral health silos[1] that are going to need to evolve under the Affordable Care Act. In this paper, we will try to summarize its current state, the needed evolution and the benefits to patients and their improved health outcomes. The full report is […] more

DHCS Rural Managed Care Expansion Stakeholder Webinar

On August 28, 2012, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) held a stakeholder webinar about the Medi-Cal rural managed care expansion. The webinar began with a review of the request for application (RFA), and DHCS officials indicated that they are working to release the RFA in September. DHCS representatives […] more

Final Week of 2012 California Legislative Session: Votes Scheduled on ACA Implementation Legislation; New Bills Arise to Halt Healthy Families Transition to Medi-Cal

This week, the California Legislature is scheduled to vote on key pieces of legislation that will implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in California. Bills under consideration would enact key health insurance market reforms, including prohibiting denials of coverage for preexisting conditions and establishing an essential health benefits package for […] more

Basic Health Plan: Taking a Slow Deep Breath and Thinking of Alternatives

In the last few weeks, I have received many concerned inquiries about the Basic Health Plan (BHP). For lack of a better definition, a Basic Health Plan is a hybrid, – not Medi-Cal, not Medicare, not commercial insurance – an option for states to cover individuals with incomes between 133% […] more

RomneyCare vs. ObamaCare: A Comparison

Although the economy has received much of the attention during the presidential campaign, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or “ObamaCare” has also been an important issue.  As one of the most ambitious and consequential pieces of legislation that President Obama signed into law during his first term, it has also […] more

Health Care Reform in Massachusetts: Act II

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed into law today an expansive range of health care cost-control measures. The new legislation comes six years after former Governor Mitt Romney, the current presumptive Republican presidential nominee, signed the state’s previous major health reform law, which greatly expanded insurance coverage. Many policymakers and stakeholders […] more

Proposition 30: Options and Consequences

Proposition 30 (Prop. 30) would raise approximately $6 billion in annual revenue by implementing temporary increases in sales taxes for all taxpayers in California and in marginal personal income tax rates for high-income earners. This piece outlines the elements of Prop. 30 and discusses the consequences for taxpayers and public […] more

CaliforniACA July Newsletter

State Budget Special Funds Discrepancy Between State Controller and Dept of Finance A review of the state controller’s records and the Department of Finance found a $2.3 billion discrepancy in Special Fund accounts. The state spends about $40 billion annually on special fund programs, which include mental health services and […] more