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Toolkit: ERISA and state health reform

This toolkit from the Alliance for Health Reform offers links to resources that will help people better understand the relationship between the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and state-level health reform. (Aug. 10, 2007)

Many policy experts believe that experimenting at the state level is the most politically feasible way to achieve health reform. Sweeping general reform to our national health care system, they argue, is not likely to happen without success stories from state programs. Yet many state reforms may be in conflict with the federal statute known as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA.

This toolkit covers the basics of ERISA and presents opinions of experts who think ERISA will prevent or undo certain state-level health reforms, as well as others who believe that ERISA poses no serious threat to state reforms - if those reforms are crafted carefully.