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Los Angeles: Implementing health reform in the states

01/31/12     Los Angeles, CA

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

Tuesday, Jan. 31, in Los Angeles

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 California to implement exchanges and other aspects of the health reform law? How are states preparing for 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:
Walter Zelman, professor and director of health science at California State University – Los Angeles, is an expert on California government, politics, health policy and markets, specifically on the uninsured, insurance and managed care, and health care costs. He has published two books on health policy, many articles on government and California politics, and multiple op-eds on government and politics, health policy and health insurance.
 
Daniel Zingale is senior vice president of the Healthy California program at The California Endowment. Earlier, he served as chief of staff to Maria Shriver and senior advisor to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Zingale also worked for the previous California Gov. Gray Davis as secretary of the cabinet and as chief of staff to the governor in the Office of the California Controller. He was also the executive director of AIDS Action in Washington, D.C. and political director of the Human Rights Campaign. As founding director of the California Department of Managed Health Care, he was the first "HMO czar" in the nation.
 
Anthony Wright has served as executive director for Health Access, the California statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition, since 2002. Health Access has been a leader in state and national efforts to fight health care budget cuts, to win consumer protections and to advance comprehensive health reform and coverage expansions. Wright led fights to pass a first-in-the-nation law against hospital overcharging of the uninsured, and to win a prescription drug discount program despite an $80 million industry campaign against it. He has been widely quoted in local and national media on a range of issues. Earlier, he worked for New Jersey Citizen Action, the Center for Media Education, The Nation magazine, and in Vice President Gore's office in the White House.

Deborah Crowe has been the health care and biotechnology industry reporter for the Los Angeles Business Journal since July 2005, and now is also the paper's Web editor. She earlier covered health care and other business beats for the Ventura County Star, and reported on business, government and education for publications in the San Francisco Bay and Dallas/Fort Worth areas.

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


WHEN: Tuesday, Jan. 31, 6 p.m. (light food/drinks at 5:30 p.m.)
WHERE: University of Southern California, Davidson Conference Center, Vineyard Room
3415 South Figueroa St., corner of Jefferson Blvd. – 213/740-5956 – Maps

RSVP: By noon Monday, January 30, to Deborah Crowe at Debcrowe2@yahoo.com (Questions? Phone 323/549-5225, ext. 232.)