Webinar: Implementing Health Reform in the States

March 27, 2012

The health care overhaul law passed by Congress in 2010 sets out national goals and requirements. But many of the key decisions implementing the law are left to the states.

For example, states have a lot of leeway in how they set up health insurance exchanges, where uninsured individuals and small business will be able to buy coverage starting in 2014. But only 15 states have actually passed legislation establishing an exchange, or have a governor who has set one in motion by executive order. Florida and Louisiana have said they will refuse to set up exchanges, meaning the federal government will organize exchanges in those states. On the other end of the spectrum, states such as Vermont and Oregon are working to change their health care systems in ways that go beyond the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The law provides for Medicaid expansions that will bring an estimated 16 million additional Americans under the Medicaid umbrella. But will states aggressively promote the program to these newly eligible individuals? What if the Supreme Court rules that the Medicaid expansion is unconstitutional?

This webinar offered an update on what’s happening in the states with implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. By watching the archived webcast of this event, you will be better able to answer questions on this topic for readers, viewers and listeners. Cosponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Speakers were:

Enrique Martinez-Vidal (Enrique.Martinez-Vidal@academyhealth.org) is vice president for state policy and technical assistance at AcademyHealth. He is also the director of State Coverage Initiatives, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Matt Salo (matt.salo@namd-us.org) is executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors.

Noam Levey (Noam.Levey@latimes.com) covers health care policy for the Los Angeles Times/Tribune Washington bureau, which distributes his reporting to the Times and other Tribune newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and Harford Courant.


Ed Howard (EdHoward@allhealth.org) is the founding executive vice president of the Alliance for Health Reform, a nonpartisan, nonprofit health policy group in Washington, D.C. that he formed in 1991 with Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)

The Alliance thanks the Kaiser Family Foundation for the use
of their television studio for this webinar.


Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

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