After much anticipation throughout the fall, we are finally having the first stakeholder meeting around the new Medi-Cal waiver.

As you may know, the current agreement between the state and federal government about the administration of Medi-Cal runs out in September of this year. There’s lots to discuss, from areas of agreement to issues of contention. In this process, there’s lots for California, for low-income patients, and for our health care system to gain, and lots for us to lose.

To start negotiations with the federal government about an extension or renewal, the Schwarzenegger Administration released a final concept paper to the federal government in mid-December.

As part of this process, the state had convened a sexily-titled “Section 1115 Comprehensive Demostration Project Waiver Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC),” of which I am on with 38 others in California’s health policy world.

The first meeting is today, Thursday, January 7th. It is public, starting at 9:30am – 12:30pm at the Sacramento Convention Center, Room 204. All the materials for the festivities are at the Waiver Renewal website of the CA Department of Health Care Services:

We’ll post our impressions here afterwards, and maybe even post some reactions on Twitter if time permits. Until then, here’s Health Access’ paper, which focuses on the opportunities to use this waiver renewal as a bridge to health reform over the next five years:

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

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