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SF Bay Area Chapter - State health law implementation: Race to the starting line

04/23/13     San Francisco, CA

Please join the San Francisco chapter of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the nonpartisan Alliance for Health Reform for a special event on Tuesday, April 23.

Former California Medicaid Director Stan Rosenstein, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Larry Levitt, and workforce expert Susan Chapman will address the complex issues that California faces this year leading up to major 2014 health law changes.

Date: Tuesday, April 23

Time: 6:30-8:30pm (refreshments available at 6:30, program begins at 7.)

Location: San Francisco Chronicle - North Beach conference room (901 Mission St., San Francisco)
***Bring photo ID and check in at reception desk. (The Chronicle is near BART and parking garages are nearby)

RSVP to Colleen Paretty at BayAreaAHCJ@gmail.com

This event is sponsored by AHCJ, the Alliance for Health Reform and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Panelists:

  • Stan Rosenstein, principal advisor, Health Management Associates, and former California Medicaid director, will talk about the state’s plan to expand Medicaid.
  • Larry Levitt, senior vice president for special initiatives at the Kaiser Family Foundation, and executive director, Kaiser Initiative on Health Reform and Private Insurance, will discuss the major insurance changes coming in 2014, and how exchanges will work.
  • Susan Chapman, associate professor, UCSF School of Nursing, and research faculty, UCSF Center for the Health Professions, will address the medical professional workforce challenges associated with the coverage expansions.
  • Kelley Weiss, broadcast reporter, CHCF Center for Health Reporting, Sacramento, will suggest story ideas and tips on writing about the health law changes.

Moderator: Marilyn Werber Serafini, communications director and health policy advisor, the Alliance for Health Reform, a nonpartisan, nonprofit health policy group in Washington, DC

Less than a year from now, states must be ready to enroll millions of people in insurance exchanges, as outlined in the 2010 health care overhaul law. Or, the federal government will step in to do the job, or part of it. States also have the option of opening their Medicaid programs to millions of new participants. But that's not much time, considering their long to-do lists.

At least half a dozen Republican governors had delayed implementation efforts in hopes that the Supreme Court would rule the law unconstitutional, or that Gov. Mitt Romney would win the November election and repeal the law. Neither happened, but even if they decide now to run their own exchanges, it will be difficult for those states - and some others - to be ready in time, say health care experts.

California is planning to operate a state insurance exchange, and also is moving ahead with a Medicaid expansion. Also, the state will soon partner with the federal government to coordinate care for nearly half a million people who quality for both Medicare and Medicaid.  

Will California be ready to begin enrolling people this fall? Will hospitals and insurers be ready in time? Will people with changing economic situations bounce between Medicaid and subsidized private insurance, and will they have gaps in coverage? Will people know what kind of insurance to sign up for, and how to do it? Will there be a shortage of physicians and other medical providers?

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