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The State of California Healthcare Reform

 

Email Alert

By Jeannine McGregor*

December 1, 2008

2008 was a particularly active year in California for healthcare reform efforts. Coverage for all California citizens, and affordability and cost containment are representative of these efforts. Several healthcare proposals were presented in 2008 that would have provided substantial coverage expansions, but none have been implemented. For example, SB 840, a proposal that was passed by the California legislature, creates a single-payor healthcare system to cover all Californians, replaces private insurers with a state-administered system, and requires all Californians and employers to pay into the system. Although this Bill was vetoed by the Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in September, there are plans to reintroduce it in 2009.

California's current budget crisis poses another challenge to state healthcare reform efforts. In January, the projected deficit for 2008-09 was $14.5 billion. In September 2008, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed, a long-delayed budget. The 2008 budget resolves the $24.3 billion budget deficit that was identified in May and provides a modest reserve of $1.7 billion this year, but projects a deficit of $1 billion in 2009-10. The economic tightening that has resulted from this budget crisis has made the adoption of an expansive healthcare reform system in California even more difficult to implement. Because of the strong interest in healthcare reform in California, recent healthcare reform proposals have been tracked closely.

View summaries of these proposals on the following websites:

*We would like to thank Jeannine McGregor, Esquire (Foley & Lardner LLC, Los Angeles, CA) for providing this email alert.

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