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CPhA's Weekly Legislative Briefing
November 11, 2014

Welcome to this week's issue of the Capitol Pulse.

What to Expect from the Next Congress on ACA

Since the outcome of Tuesday's elections became clear, a lot has been said, and threatened, about repeal of the Affordable Care Act.


Republican control of the next Congress is likely to bring ACA challenges in two flavors. There will be early "statement legislation" to repeal the law and possibly to repeal the ACA's individual mandate, a linchpin of the law that spreads risk and makes its insurance market changes work. These bills, intended to honor election promises to the Republican base, would be vetoed by President Barack Obama if they pass. Read more...  


Board of Pharmacy Update: 
Last week, the BOP held a meeting of its SB 493 Implementation Committee, at which the Board released draft protocols for the hormonal contraceptive furnishing authority and tobacco cessation/NRT furnishing authority.  CPhA board members and staff were there to provide detailed feedback on these protocols.  CPhA President Dr. Kathy Besinque spoke at length about the hormonal contraceptive protocol.  Later, CPhA President-Elect Dr. Sarah McBane and CPhA SB 493 Committee Chair Dr. Lisa Kroon gave feedback on the tobacco cessation protocol.  Our comments will be taken into consideration as the BOP refines its draft protocols.  Earlier in the week, the BOP held a hearing to accept oral comments on proposed sterile compounding regulations.  CPhA has submitted written comments on the regulations.


Other Pharmacy-Related News

Supreme Court Will Hear Newest Challenge to ACA 

The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will hear the most serious challenge to the Affordable Care Act since the justices found it constitutional more than two years ago: a lawsuit targeting the federal subsidies that help millions of Americans buy health insurance. Read more...


Will Rate Regulation Return to Legislature?  

What's next after Proposition 45? Will the subject surface again in the Legislature? California voters yesterday rejected the proposal to give the state insurance commissioner power to deny health insurance rate increases deemed excessive. Read more...


An Election Night Murder

Back in June, more than 60% of Californians supported it. But on Tuesday night, more than 60% of Californians voted against it. What went wrong with Proposition 45, the once popular rate-review ballot initiative? Here's a list of potential factors -- and it's hard to pick just one. Read more... 


Fragile, Rural Population About to Move into Medi-Cal

Next month, state health officials will launch a transition of rural Medi-Cal beneficiaries into Medi-Cal managed care health plans. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program. The transition involves about 20,000 of the most frail and elderly segment of the rural Medi-Cal population -- seniors and persons with disabilities, known as SPDs. Read more... 


GOP Wins Unlikely to Affect Medicaid
The status of states' Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act is unlikely to change substantially following the midterm elections on Tuesday, particularly given Republican victories in several gubernatorial elections, the New York Times' "The Upshot" reports. Read more...


Voters Pass Soda Tax in Berkeley, Not in San Francisco   

On Tuesday, Berkeley residents voted to pass the country's first soda tax, while voters in San Francisco rejected a similar ballot measure, KQED's "State of Health" reports. Read more... 


California, New York Efforts Highlight Shift in Health Data Exchange

A major source of funding for electronic health information exchange has historically been federal grants, such as those provided by the HITECH Act, which included, among other things, grants for the development of statewide HIE infrastructure. With this funding largely gone, the locus of electronic HIE activity has been shifting from the federal government to public -- and, increasingly, private -- health care stakeholders at the state and local level. Read more...


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