If you think things were busy now…

This week marks when all the health policy debates of the year kick into high gear…

* Tomorrow, Wednesday, at 1:30pm the California state legislature holds a special joint hearing of both the Senate and Assembly Health Committees to review the challenges and opportunities of health reform. Health Access is one of several panelists explaining the issues. While legislators have already begun consideration of over a dozen specific bills to implement and improve aspects of health reform, this is their first sustained examination of federal health reform since its passage over a month ago.

* Thursday, the Schwarzenegger Administration will convene the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the Medicaid waiver (which Health Access sits on). There, we will go over the Administration’s new draft, just-released plan for the waiver, which will govern the next five years of this critical safety-net program. The proposal has changed from its original inception, most notably to take advantage of some new opportunities available under the new health reform law. We’ll have more comments on the new proposal–including the good, the bad, and the missing–shortly.

* Friday, Governor Schwarzenegger will unveil his proposed May Revise of the state budget. Shane Goldmacher of the LA Times quotes a gubernatorial spokesperson as indicated there will be no new revenues proposed, only “absolutely terrible cuts. “ There’s no doubt that includes health and human services.

This week sets the stage for the rest of the year, with regard to legislation, the budget, and the negotiations between the state and federal government on the Medicaid waiver.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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