California lawmakers worked feverishly at the end of June to move
forward significant health reform legislation, including implementing
new Medicaid rules for the next five years, setting a framework for
establishing health insurance exchanges, and moving the state towards a
single-payer health care system.
Childhood Poverty Persistence: Facts and Consequences - An Urban Institute study finds that 49 percent of American babies born into poverty will be poor at least half of their childhood and are more likely to drop out of high school, have teen births out of wedlock, be poor between the ages of 25 and 30 and have more difficulty with employment, as compared to those not born into poverty.
While the new Affordable Health Care law provides a variety of funding
opportunities for states, one provision in the health law that could
shift billions of dollars from cash-strapped states to the federal
government. Under the National
Medicaid Drug Rebate Program created by the Omnibus Budget
Reconciliation Act of 1990, drug manufacturers are required to enter
into agreements that provide rebates for Medicaid purchased drugs,
establishing a 15% minimum level of rebates. Up until now, the rebates
were divided between the states and the federal government. But under
the new health reform law, a significant portion of the rebates will go
solely to Washington beginning this year.
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 longest legislative session in Georgia’s history adjourned on
April 29th. Dominated by budget reductions, tax and revenue
policy debates, and education and transportation issues, it was a
difficult and mostly painful session for progressive change as extensive
cuts were made targeting education, health and social service programs.
a week of negotiations in the House and Senate Budget Conference
Committee, an agreement was reached on the $17.8 billion state budget
just hours before the legislative session was scheduled to adjourn.
In spite of difficult budget decisions, Maine leaders enacted
significant progressive initiatives this year, from first-in-the-nation
health reforms to clean energy bills to consumer protections to campaign
states in the country, Alaska was able to increase spending
and maintain a surplus due to increased gas and oil tax revenue.
However, the state has not been immune from the economic impact of the
downturn as the unemployment rate has increased over the past year and
percent in March. Nevertheless, the state took significant steps
to protect children, expand health care access, and establish a
statewide energy efficiency plan.