Individual Mandate

Tax Bill Would be a “Triple Hit” To Californians and Our Health Care

California Congressmembers are expected to vote Thursday on a decidedly anti-California tax bill, which in order to provide a tax giveaway to corporations and the wealthy, would raise taxes for many middle-income families, and force future cuts to key health care programs and other core services. If passed, it would be merged with the Senate […] Read More

Health Access CA Discussion Paper: Options and Opportunities for California under Section 1332 of the ACA

Covered California is collaborating with the California Department of Health Care Services to explore options for California under Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act (see Covered CA’s slide deck from last month’s informational webinar). Under Section 1332, states may seek a waiver from the federal government to pursue innovative approaches to achieve the primary […] Read More

Gearing Up for November 1 Open Enrollment

With only three weeks to go until Covered California’s next open enrollment (November 1-January 31), today’s meeting of the Marketing, Outreach, and Enrollment Assistance Advisory Committee was packed with helpful information about Covered California’s research-driven strategies to maximize enrollment, especially in communities of color, and to help enrollees find their way into the best plan. Many […] Read More

Judges from across the spectrum affirm the ACA…

Two or three years ago, there was never even a question about the constitutionality of the so-called “individual mandate,” the requirement that people should have health insurance. There were (and remain) political and policy questions. In the debate over Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposal in 2007-8, and in the federal reform discussion, we had questions about its […] Read More

Getting to universal…

Ezra Klein, now at his new web address at The Washington Post, tags off the report by The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn that health reform might not cost as much as believed. The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that some portion of the uninsured will stay uninsured, even with the “individual mandate.” But this should […] Read More

From insurers? Read the fine print…

Among the positive signs for health reform this week was a New York Times article by Robert Pear, entitled “Health Insurers Offer to Accept All Applicants, on Condition.” The news: the main insurance industry lobby is willing to support “guaranteed issue”–that everybody gets access to coverage–as long as there is an “enforceable individual mandate”–that everybody […] Read More

On another ballot….

There’s lots of important ballot measures on the California ballot, but one for health advocates to watch is in Arizona. In Arizona, there’s Proposition 101, which would block future universal health coverage efforts in that state, according to Jacob Goldstein of the Wall Street Journal Health Blog. The initiative, as a constitutional amendment, states that […] Read More

The individual market makeover: mend it, end it, or both?

Last week, I attended a conference with fellow state-based health consumer advocates and now-notorious “community organizers,” and was impressed by the range in activity around the country. Even as we see what is likely at the federal level next year with a new President and reconfigured Congress, state legislators and advocates are not waiting around: […] Read More

So much for a truce…

Jacob Hacker–soon to be at if UC-Berkeley–may have been someone who helped advise the Democratic candidates on their health care plans, but they didn’t listen to his LA Times op-ed yesterday asking for a truce on the question of an “individual mandate.” They spent 16 minutes of their Ohio debate last night on the differences […] Read More

Moving beyond Mandates

Two interesting pieces in today’s news on mandates. First, California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner is dropping his ballot effort, which would have punished drivers without car insurance by allowing police to seize the license plates (and possibly impound) these drivers’ vehicles. Instead, he says, “One of the key problems with why people don’t buy auto […] Read More