Live webinar: Implementing health reform in the states


What are the trends? What are the implications for states if the Supreme Court strikes down parts the reform law, or the entire law?

This webinar is archived, click here to view it.

Materials List (PDF),
Selected Experts List

WHEN: Tuesday, March 27, 2-3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time

SPONSORS: Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ), Alliance for Health Reform, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

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 uninsured individuals and small business will be able to buy coverage starting in 2014. But only 15 states have actually passed legislation establishing an exchange, or have a governor who has set one in motion by executive order. Florida and Louisiana have said they will refuse to set up exchanges, meaning the federal government will organize exchanges in those states. On the other end of the spectrum, states such as Vermont and Oregon are working to change their health care systems in ways that go beyond the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The law provides for Medicaid expansion that will bring an estimated 16 million additional Americans under the Medicaid umbrella. But will states aggressively promote the program to these newly eligible individuals? What if the Supreme Court rules that the Medicaid expansion is unconstitutional?

This webinar will bring you up to date on what’s happening in the states with implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. By watching, you will be better able to answer questions on this topic for readers, viewers and listeners. 


Enrique Martinez-Vidal
( is vice president for state policy and technical assistance at AcademyHealth. He is also the director of State Coverage Initiatives, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which provides timely, experience- and research-based information and technical assistance to state leaders in order to help them move health care reform forward at the state level. In May 2010, he was appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley to the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Board.  Previously Mr. Martinez-Vidal was the deputy director for performance and benefits at the Maryland Health Care Commission, an independent state agency. There he was responsible for the oversight of Maryland's small group insurance market reforms, among other responsibilities.

Matt Salo ( was named the executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) in February 2011. NAMD represents the officials responsible for administering the Medicaid program in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. Territories. Mr. Salo spent the previous 12 years at the National Governors Association, where he worked on the governors’ health care and human services reform agendas, helping to modernize the Medicaid program and secure the tobacco settlement for the states, getting more than $100 billion in state fiscal relief. He began his career in the health policy field working as a policy analyst for the Medicaid Directors from 1994 to 1999.

Noam  Levey ( covers health care policy for the Los Angeles Times/Tribune Washington bureau, which distributes his reporting to the Times and other Tribune newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and Harford Courant. He has written for papers in the Persian Gulf, the Midwest and California, including the San Jose Mercury News, where he was an investigative reporter before he joined the Los Angeles Times in 2003.


Ed Howard
( is the founding executive vice president of the Alliance for Health Reform, a nonpartisan, nonprofit health policy group in Washington, D.C. that he formed in 1991 with Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) Mr. Howard and his staff have organized almost 500 briefings for members of Congress and their staffs, for reporters, for Executive Branch staff and for health-related groups. He has written, has lectured across the country and has testified before Congress on a range of topics related to aging and health, including long-term care, the uninsured, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, age discrimination in the workplace and services for the elderly. Prior to the Alliance’s founding, Mr. Howard served as the general counsel for the U.S. Bipartisan Commission on Comprehensive Health Care, the “Pepper Commission,” which reported to Congress on ways to assure access to health care and long-term care for all Americans.

Webinar schedule

2–2:05 p.m. Welcome/Introductions

Ed Howard
Executive Vice President, Alliance for Health Reform


2:05–2:35 p.m. Presentations

Enrique Martinez-Vidal
Vice President, AcademyHealth

Matt Salo
Executive Director
National Association of Medicaid Directors

Noam Levey
Los Angeles Times/Tribune Washington Bureau

2:35 p.m.3 p.m. Question and Answer Session                                                            

The Alliance thanks the Kaiser Family Foundation for the use of their television studio for this webinar.