States Pick Their Way Through the Minefield of Obamacare

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State Net Capitol Journal's Lou Cannon reports that Obamacare will force most states into making hard decisions long before federal health care reform goes into effect.

Although the bulk of the federal health care reform law, known to some as "Obamacare," doesn't go into effect until 2014, State Net Capitol Journal's Lou Cannon reports that states are already facing "immediate and difficult decisions."

"For Democrats and Republicans alike, the new bill contains several potential minefields that all states are likely to have difficulty negotiating," Cannon writes.

The first of those comes in just weeks, on April 30, when states must inform federal officials if they intend to operate their own programs to cover people presently considered "medically uninsurable." Most states already have such programs, but many don't meet the new federal guidelines. One state without a program, Georgia, has already said it won't create one. Serious questions also surround Medicaid, the joint federal-state health insurance program for low-income Americans that has swollen to 62 million recipients. Increased federal funding for the program is set to run out at the end of this year, potentially adding another burden to states already pushed to the fiscal brink.

These and several other quandaries have states under intense pressure to make fast, accurate decisions on questions they barely have had time to consider.

"All of this seems distant, but the locomotive of health care reform is already speeding down the tracks," Cannon says.

To get the full story, check out the new issue of the State Net Capitol Journal on the State Net Web site at http://www.statenet.com.

About State Net
State Net (http://www.statenet.com) has helped organizations track legislative and regulatory developments for more than 30 years. Headquartered in Sacramento, State Net monitors every bill in the 50 states, District of Columbia and Congress as well as all state agency regulations. The company delivers online services, issue-based consultation and analysis that enable the nation's leading organizations to effectively respond to opportunities and risks across the nation.

The State Net Capitol Journal delivers coverage of public policy issues from all 50 states. Featuring analysis of emerging trends, state budgets, governors, legislatures and elections, SNCJ readers gain an intelligent overview of the major political issues and events in state governments.

References: Cannon, Lou. (2010, April 19, 2010). "States pick their way through the minefield of Obamacare"

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