On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA made sweeping changes to federal health care laws and will significantly affect how millions of Californians access health care coverage, including health insurers, employers that sponsor group health plans, employees who participate in them, and individuals. The ACA seeks to make coverage more accessible by:
- Imposing an individual mandate requiring most U.S. citizens and legal residents to have health insurance coverage or pay a penalty.
- Establishing Health Insurance Marketplaces (Exchanges) in order to make coverage more accessible and affordable. Exchanges are created for individuals who generally have not had access to affordable employer coverage, as well as small businesses, to purchase coverage.
- Establishing new requirements for health plans and insurers designed to expand access to affordable coverage, and prevent individuals from losing coverage.
- Expanding the Medicaid program (known as Medi-Cal in California), primarily by mandating coverage of certain population groups not previously covered—such as low-income, childless adults.
Promote a sound and affordable health care system. Work to contain costs and avoid unnecessary and expensive regulatory controls, including mandates.
- Stopped state proposals in recent years that would have increased health care premiums by establishing numerous health care coverage mandates.
- Promote efforts to contain costs and improve access to health care by supporting a health care system that is affordable and improves the overall health of California citizens.
- Work to avoid unnecessary and expensive regulatory controls, including mandates, and continue to support a climate where market forces play the predominant role.
- Continue to support managed care legislation and regulatory action that promotes quality care and cost containment.
- Encourage personal responsibility for individual health care, including coverage, wellness and education, in order to enhance quality of life and achieve long-term health care cost savings.
- Oppose policies and initiatives that shift the cost of health care programs and coverage of the uninsured and underinsured to employers.
- Support opportunities to gain efficiencies and optimal outcomes by coordinating the fragmented health care delivery systems.
- Support policies that promote affordability and value in the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchange.
- Support efforts to streamline government regulations in order to increase efficiency and reduce overall administrative burdens.
- Support innovative solutions to improve access, quality and cost of health care delivery, including inter-operable e-prescribing with the appropriate assistance for development of infrastructure.
- Support policies that encourage continued Medi-Cal discoveries and innovations that improve quality of care.
Health and Public Policy
Position: Support efforts by both the public and private sector to find avenues to educate Californians about balanced diets and healthy lifestyle choices. The CalChamber encourages California’s leaders to ensure that particular industries are not unfairly burdened by taxes and unworkable regulations, and to avoid policies that charge one industry with responsibility for public health costs that are caused by a variety of factors. Health and Public Policy
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