The federal health reform law is only the starting point for achieving
health care access for all Americans. Many states are already moving
forward, not only on implementing the basic provisions of the Affordable
Care Act in their states, but are also planning how to build on its
framework to further expand coverage and rein in costs for their
residents. The following are a few models of implementation and
comprehensive reform underway.
The choice of whether or not to establish
high-risk insurance pools represents the first major decision that
states are facing with the March 2010 passage of the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). While twenty-nine
governors -- 22 Democrats and 7 Republicans -- decided to create the
pools themselves, most conservative governors failed to take advantage
of the option to shape health care for their constituents and instead
just kicked the issue back to the federal government, which will
establish its own high-risk insurance pool in states that fail to take
Democrats have tightened the purse strings on Attorney General Rob McKenna in an attempt to limit Washington's role in challenging health care reform.
At lawmakers’ behest, the governor’s budget office has subjected the Republican’s agency to a freeze on state contracts, canceling an exemption awarded days earlier.
State leaders might go further. Gov. Chris Gregoire said Wednesday that she is open to an idea being weighed by legislative leaders: a budget proviso that would block McKenna from spending state money on a 13-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health care reform effort signed into law Tuesday by President Barack Obama.
As Congress debates the last steps needed to pass historic comprehensive health care reform, state legislators around the country have sent a letter to President Obama and Congress to urge them to complete the process and pass the health care reforms needed by the American people. The letter below, written on behalf of over 1000 legislators organized by the Progressive States Network in support of comprehensive reforms, urges that any compromises between the Senate and House use the majority vote process of reconciliation to circumvent obstruction through the use of a filibuster.