On March 23, 2010 President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Like it or not, this represented the most significant overhaul of U.S. healthcare regulations in over forty years. As Vice President Biden said at the signing, “This is a big f—ing deal.” Its far reaching provisions include a mandate for individuals to have insurance, for states to develop health insurance exchanges and a historic expansion of Medicaid.
Barely waiting for the ink of the president’s signature to dry, several states sued the Federal government in an effort to block implementation of the law, citing unconstitutional individual mandate and Federal overreach on Medicaid. The Supreme Court recently upheld the individual mandate as a tax but did say that the federal government could not force the states to increase their Medicaid spending by threatening to cut-off their share of the Federal match.
So, in essence, states have been up in the air for the last two years, as they waited to see what the healthcare law of the land would be. As usual, nearly every state has handled this purgatory differently. Some, like Maryland, and Vermont, have moved forward on health care exchanges and are preparing to accept the increase in Medicaid roles as they will expand to take advantage of the temporary increase in Federal funding. Others, like Texas and South Carolina have done little to implement the law and have already announced they will not change their Medicaid eligibility rules, which would eventually lead to an increase in state budgets.
Most states are somewhere in the middle, waiting to see the outcomes of the November elections, which could mean changes not only in the White House and Congress, but state houses and state executive houses as well. With all 50 state legislatures set to meet in 2013 and governors and state agencies preparing to implement PPACA, many stakeholders should expect to be very busy over the next 16 – 18 months.
We at BillTrack50 realize that implementation of the PPACA is important for states and for stakeholders. Whether you are a healthcare service or insurance provider, a nonprofit advocacy group, a corporation trying to determine how the law and its implementation will impact your business or just an ordinary citizen just trying to follow what is going on, the amount of information can be both frustrating and overwhelming. Frustrating, in that there are so many places to look for information, and overwhelming in the sheer volume of information out there.
We want to help. Just as we help these same stake holders find and track the over 200,000 state and federal bills introduced each session, BillTrack50 can help you track what states are doing to implement PPACA.
BillTrack50 is proud to introduce our PPACA Tracker. Every night we check the state websites looking for new documents and updates to existing documents. These documents are then linked to dummy bills so they can be listed on our website. In the table below, click the document tracking link, and then check out the ‘Associated Documents’ tab to see a list of documents for any given state. If you choose to subscribe to the tracker, you can set alerts to be emailed whenever there are changes or new documents available.