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Atlanta chapter: Implementing health reform in the states

11/15/11     Atlanta, GA

AHCJ Chapter EventNov. 15, 7:30 p.m. (refreshments available at 7 p.m. )
Emory Conference Center Hotel

Sponsored by AHCJ, Alliance for Health Reform and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

RSVP by noon Nov. 13 to Atlanta chapter chair Andy Miller, andymill111@yahoo.com

The health care overhaul law passed by Congress in 2010 sets out national goals and requirements. But many of the key decisions implementing the law are left to the states.  

For example, states have a lot of leeway in how they set up health insurance exchanges, where individuals and small business will be able to buy coverage starting in 2014. Florida and Louisiana have said they will refuse to set up exchanges, meaning the federal government will organize exchanges in those states. Other states are planning their exchanges, even while asking courts to toss out the law entirely.  

Still other states are working to change their health care systems in ways that go beyond the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Vermont, for example, wants the Obama Administration’s approval to put in place a Canadian-style single-payer system. Oregon wants to allow public employees to enroll in Medicaid.

What’s happening in Georgia and other states to implement exchanges and other aspects of the health reform law? How are states coping with the law’s Medicaid expansion in a time of budget deficits? As they plan for reform, how are states addressing tough issues such as health care for undocumented immigrants and cutbacks in mental health services? How do states go about getting waivers from the reform law, and how many might take advantage of that option?  

This briefing will help you better answer these questions for your readers, viewers and listeners.

Speakers: 
Deborah Chollet, senior fellow at Mathematica Policy Research in Washington, D.C. – an expert on individual health coverage and current or former director for health reform projects in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington State, Wyoming and other states. 

William Custer, associate professor of health administration and director of the Center for Health Services Research at Georgia State University – a close observer of health reform implementation in Georgia. 

Kevin Sack, health policy reporter for The New York Times who has written extensively on the health reform law as it plays out across the country.

Moderator: Ed Howard, executive vice president of the Alliance for Health Reform, a nonpartisan, nonprofit health policy group in Washington, D.C.