Majority Of Californians Support Health Reform, Poll Says; Gov. Brown Plans Special Legislative Session On Health Law

Topics: States, Health Reform, Medicaid, Politics, Insurance, Marketplace

Aug 20, 2012

Californians support health reform, a new polls says, even as Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown seeks a special session from state lawmakers to deal with health reform issues, which he says can go no further without more federal guidance.

California Healthline: Most Californians Support Reform, Poll Shows
A Field Poll released today shows that only 17 percent of Californians are aware of the state’s nascent Health Benefit Exchange but a a high percentage of Californians like the basic tenets of health care reform and the exchange, according to Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll. … The poll surveyed 1,579 registered voters in California. A majority of those polled said that the Affordable Care Act is an important first step toward reforming health care, but that more needed to be done (Gorn, 8/20).

The Associated Press: Brown Seeks Special Session On Health Care Reform
Gov. Jerry Brown has told California lawmakers that he intends to call a special legislative session on health care reform at the end of the year. In a letter dated Thursday, the Democratic governor told legislative leaders that many of the provisions of the new federal health care law cannot be implemented without further guidance from federal officials (Lin, 8/17).

Sacramento Bee: Brown Plans Special Session To Deal With Federal Health Care Overhaul
Gov. Jerry Brown plans to call a special legislative session at the end of the year on the national health care overhaul, as the state prepares to implement the landmark act by 2014. The session, to begin in December or January, will run concurrently with the regular legislative session, California Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley said Friday afternoon (8/18).

HealthyCal: ACA Helps LA Clinic Provide Affordable, Comprehensive Care
Founded in 1974, T.H.E. provides general, high-quality health care to the uninsured and under insured population in South Los Angeles on a low-cost and ability-to-pay basis. Patients can access a range of services, a one-stop shop, with an emphasis on preventative medicine. The recipe for growth, and subsequently the ability to serve a growing segment of the population in need at T.H.E is simple. More exam rooms, additional locations and longer hours will result in greater access for an ever-increasing population that requires the clinic’s services (Fulton, 8/20).

In the meantime, states in the mid-Atlantic are moving on implementing the health law changes also, as D.C. and Maryland hire consultants and Virginia updates its system to verify Medicaid eligibility —

The Washington Post: Maryland, D.C. Tap Outside Consultants To Adopt Changes In Health Care Law
The Affordable Care Act is proving to be a boon for professional services firms, with Maryland and the District awarding millions of dollars in contracts to health care consulting and actuarial firms to study and advise on ACA-related provisions, including creating state-run health insurance exchanges (Ho, 8/19).

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Virginia Moving On Implementing Health Reform
Virginia has made progress in updating its computer system for verifying eligibility for Medicaid and has passed insurance regulations in preparation for implementing federal health care reform, according to a report by a nonprofit organization tracking states’ efforts. But Virginia is behind in some key areas — it hasn’t created health insurance exchanges or marketplaces where people could buy affordable health insurance plans, and it may not be producing enough doctors to care for hundreds of thousands of newly insured people expected to be covered when reform is fully implemented (Smith, 8/18).

Also, Minnesota’s insurance agents fear what a health exchange will mean for their commissions —

(St. Paul) Pioneer Press: Minnesota Insurance Agents Fear New Health Exchange Will Cost Them Commissions
When small businesses and individuals buy health insurance in Minnesota, they usually get help from independent insurance agents. Those agents, in turn, collect commissions from health insurance companies that likely exceeded $50 million last year just for the state’s small-group and individual markets. But agents in Minnesota are up in arms because the federal overhaul of the nation’s health care system could eliminate some of their commission revenue without action by the administration of Democratic-Farmer-Labor Gov. Mark Dayton (Snowbeck, 8/18).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.


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