Access to Health Care Legislative Tracking 2010

Access to Health Care: State Legislation for 2010 

Last Updated: November 5, 2010

About 46 million Americans lacked health insurance in 2008. The number of uninsured people varies considerably from state to state, ranging from 2.7 percent of the population in Massachusetts, according to state government data, to 25.2 percent in Texas, according to a 2008 Kaiser report on state health facts. The number of uninsured increased during the recession as people lost their jobs and their employer-sponsored health insurance.

The recession has made it harder for states to finance programs to cover the uninsured. According to NCSL’s fiscal survey in November 2009, states had already closed a cumulative budget gap of $145.9 billion for FY 2010, with new gaps reported. Many states foresee budget gaps continuing in FY 2011 and FY 2012.  As states try to close these gaps, programs face funding challenges.

State policymakers are also keeping a close eye on federal health reform. On March 21, 2010, the House approved the Senate language in H.R. 3590, the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" and approved H.R. 4872, the "Reconciliation Act of 2010" to address national health care reform.  Included in the many provisions of this legislation is an eligibility expansion of Medicaid which would go into effect in 2014.  President Obama signed H.R. 3590 on Tuesday, March 23. His signature allowed the Senate to begin consideration of the reconciliation language. On Thursday, March 25, the Senate passed the reconciliation bill and sent it back to the House. For more information on federal health reform, click here.

In light of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, states have began implementing various components of the new federal law. For information on state implementation of federal health reform, click here.

For state legislation opposing certain federal health reform measures, click here.

The chart below provides a snapshot of state bills introduced in 2010 to expand coverage and increase access to health care.

For additional NCSL resources on access to health care, including information about state health care reform, click here.  

2010 Legislation

Notes: For legislation filed in 2009, but subject to carryover into 2010, please see 2009 legislation
For archived legislation, please see 2008 legislation2007 legislation, 2006 legislation and 2005 legislation for a more comprehensive list of introduced access to health care legislation.




HB 365 and SB 310 Would provide that certain state employees who have been employed with the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the state for a particular period of time and who have attained a certain age may elect to continue coverage in the plan if the employee pays all costs involved in the coverage. House: Failed, session adjourned. Senate: Passed, Vetoed by the governor, 4/22/2010.


HB 335 and SB 276 Would establish a grant program and an account to provide supplemental funding to a health care facility that provides primary care services to needy persons and to persons 65 years of age or older who are recipients of medical assistance or Medicare. The purpose of the program would be to increase the availability of health care services in areas in which the commissioner determines a physician shortage exists. House and Senate Bill: Failed.

SB 139 Would establish a loan repayment program and employment incentive program for certain health care professionals employed in the state. Failed.

HB 25 Would establish the Alaska Health Reform Policy Commission in the Department of Health and Social Services and the position of the executive director of that commission in the partially exempt service. Would provide for an effective date. Failed.


HB 1037 Would make an appropriation for the Medicaid expansion program for the Department of Human Services for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011. Passed, signed into law by governor as  Act No. 240, 2/26/2010.


SB 810 Would establish the State Healthcare System to be administered by the newly created State Healthcare Agency under the control of a Healthcare commissioner appointed by the governor. Would make all residents eligible for specified health care benefits under the system, which would, on a single-payer basis, negotiate for or set fees for health care services provided through the system and pay claims for them. Extends the application of insurance fraud laws to providers of services and products under the system. Failed.

SB 1 Would expand Medi-Cal and Health Families programs eligibility. Would require the State Department of Health Care Services and the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board to maximize federal matching funds for the programs and to monitor the programs to ensure children are timely enrolled for presumptive eligibility benefits. Would establish the Medi-Cal Presumptive Eligibility Program. Would change the eligibility under the Children's Service's Program. Failed.

SB 1431 This bill would allow persons who are unable enroll in the Healthy Families Program due to enrollment policies established by the board to receive this coverage and would also allow a county, a county agency, a local initiative, or a county organized health system that will provide an intergovernmental transfer to apply to the board for funding to provide health care coverage to eligible children whose family income is at or below 400% of the federal poverty level. Vetoed by the governor. 

AB 1595 States the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would implement federal health care reform in the state. Failed.


Governor Ritter and state policymakers introduced a series of bills and one executive order that focused on cost-savings and efficiencies, changes to public and private insurance and care for women. Click here to view the full press release. The following bills were introduced as part of the series:

SB 167 Would increase efficiency in the administration of the Colorado medical assistance act, and, in connection therewith, creating the Colorado Medicaid false claims act. Passed, signed into law by Governor, Chapter No. 296, 5/28/2010.

HB 1330 Would create an advisory committee to make recommendations regarding the creation of a Colorado all-payer health claims database for the purpose of transparent public reporting of health care information.Passed, signed into law by Governor, Chapter No. 299, 5/28/2010.

HB 1166 Would require that health benefit plans, limited benefit health insurance, dental plans, and long-term care plans that are issued or renewed on or after a certain date, be written at or below the tenth-grade reading level. Would require the policies to be written in a specified point type or larger and to contain an index of table of contents if the policies are of a specified length in pages or words. Passed, signed into law by Governor, Chapter No. 143, 4/26/2010.

HB 1242 Would require the commissioner of insurance to implement a uniform application form for individual sickness and accident health benefit plans. Would require the commissioner to take recommendations from members of the insurance industry regarding the form and content of the uniform application form and to promulgate rules to require its exclusive use by the industry after January 1, 2012. Passed, signed into law by Governor, Chapter No. 222, 5/28/2010.

HB 1004  Would require the Commissioner of Insurance to adopt rules establishing standard formats for policy forms and explanation of benefit forms provided by health insurance carriers to consumers. Would obligate the Commissioner to seek input from the health insurance industry, consumers and other stakeholders prior to adopting the rules. Passed, signed into law by Governor, Chapter No. 141, 4/26/2010.

HB 1008 Would prohibit carriers from using gender as a basis for varying premium rates for individual health insurance policies and declares premium rates based on gender to be unfairly discriminatory. Passed, signed into law by Governor , Session Law Chapter No. 40, 4/6/2010.

HB 1138 Would encourage and provide incentives for health care professionals to practice in rural and underserved communities. Passed, signed into law by Governor, Chapter No. 142, 4/26/2010.

HB 1041 As part of the Medicaid eligibility modernization, the bill would authorize the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to create a universal application or single point of entry for home- and community-based services waivers for children. Passed, signed into law by Governor, Session Law Chapter No. 25, 3/23/2010. 

HB 1321 The bill would establish the primary care special distribution fund for health clinics. Portions of the moneys in the fund shall be appropriated to 2 classes of clinics that received reduced funding due to moneys being transferred out of the primary care fund. The department of health care policy and financing shall develop distribution formulas to equalize the reductions experienced by health clinics. Current law allows up to $15 million of the money in the primary care fund to be appropriated for certain health-related purposes. The bill increases this limit to $17,790,000. The bill also transfers $2,005,000 from the primary care fund to the fund. Passed, signed into law by Governor, Session Law Chapter No. 48, 4/6/2010. 


SB 401 Would develop an academic initiative to address health professional workforce shortages.Failed, session adjourned.

HB 5064 Would amend the general statutes to require that 33 percent of all moneys that are deposited in the Tobacco Settlement Fund or derived from taxes on tobacco products be allocated to programs that: (A) Relate to tobacco education, prevention and cessation programs, (B) promote pulmonary health, (C) reduce the incidence of asthma, and (D) expand access to health care for uninsured children and adults. Failed, 3/26/2010.


HB 837 Relates to Medicaid buy-in for persons with disabilities; would provide for Medicaid eligibility for certain persons with disabilities under Medicaid buy-in program, subject to specific federal authorization. Would require the Agency for Health Care Administration to seek amendments to specified Medicaid waivers for certain persons with disabilities. Failed, 4/30/2010.

HB 933 Relates to Medicaid rural county pilot project. Would authorize the Agency for Health Care Administration to seek a Medicaid pilot project waiver. Would create the Medicaid rural pilot project. Would provide duties and responsibilities of agency and boards of county commissioners with respect to implementing project. Would provide requirements for county contracts with HMOs; would authorize agency to adopt rules to implement project; would require agency to submit report to Legislature. Failed, 4/30/2010.

SB 1242 An act relating to the school health services program; would amend s. 381.0056, F.S.; would define the term "school based health center" for purposes of the School Health Services Act. Would provide that such a center is a health care entity acting as an instrumentality of the state for purposes of certain limitations on liability. "School-based health center" means an organization that, at a minimum: Would provide at least 25 hours per week of primary care services to adolescents or other school-age children in accordance with state law for the majority of the year. Primarily would provide services on site at the school. Would not deny access to health care services to students based upon insurance status or ability to pay and does not discriminate with regard to race or ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, disability, gender, or sexual orientation. Failed, 4/30/2010.

SB 2266 Would authorize the Agency for Health Care Administration to seek a Medicaid rural county pilot project waiver. Would provide duties and responsibilities of the agency and the boards of county commissioners with respect to implementing the project. Would provide conditions under which a rural county may provide health care if a federal reform is adopted. Failed, 4/30/2010.


HB 307 Would provide for a fee to be imposed on hospitals to be used to obtain federal financial participation for medical assistance payments under Medicaid. Would provide for application of the "Georgia Medical Assistance Act of 1977". Failed, session adjourned.

SB 92 Would convert Medicaid and the PeachCare for Kids Program funds to premium assistance. Would allow low-income families to participate in private sector health insurance plans. Would designate qualified health benefit plans; would provide for enrollment in a qualified health benefit plan. Failed, session adjourned.


SB 2207 Would allow medical residents who are licensed to practice medicine in the state to practice medicine outside of their medical residency program hospitals or clinics. Failed, session adjourned.

HB 2206 Would establish a task force to evaluate the current state of health savings accounts options in Hawaii's health insurance market and to explore ways to expand access to these accounts in Hawaii. Failed, session adjourned.


HB 5785 Would amend the provision concerning eligibility in the Covering all KIDS Health Insurance Act. Would add the requirement that a person must be a child who has a household income equal to or less than 300% of the federal poverty guidelines, would provide that a child who is determined to be eligible shall remain eligible for 12 months, provided that the child has not gained access to affordable employer-sponsored dependent health insurance. In House: Tabled, 3/3/2010.

HB 5243
Would amend the Children's Health Insurance Program Act, the Covering all KIDS Health Insurance Act, and the Illinois Public Aid Code. Would provide that beginning on the effective date of the amendatory Act, there shall be a 2-year moratorium on the expansion of eligibility. Rereferred to House Committee on Rules, 3/15/2010.

SB 3527 Would create the Affordable Health Care Act and would amend the Medical Practice Act. Would provide that the Affordable Health Care Act applies to and governs all health care agreements between a patient and a health care provider that voluntarily limit economic damages or non-economic damages arising out of injuries alleged to have been received by a person as a result of medical negligence. To Senate Committee on Judiciary, 2/24/2010.


SB 2092 Would create the IowaCare Plus program and the Iowa Choice program based on specified purposes and principles. The program is to be administered by the Iowa Medicaid enterprise, the division will specify eligibility criteria for the program including that an individual must be between 19 through 64 years of age and have a family income above 200 percent but not in excess of 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Failed, session adjourned.    

HSB 570 and SB 2156 Would provide for the renewal of the IowaCare program which was established pursuant to a Medicaid program waiver in 2005 and is subject to repeal or renewal beginning June 30, 2010. Would eliminate outdated references and provisions relating to the state hospitals for mental illness for which funding provisions were phased out during the initial waiver period. Would update provisions relating to existing services, financial participation in the program, and health promotion partnerships. House: Failed, session adjourned. Senate: Passed, signed into law by the governor, 4/21/2010.

SB 2151 Would appropriate increased funding to medical assistance, Hawk-I, and Hawk-I expansion programs and outreach under the current structure of the programs. Passed, signed into law by Governor, 3/3/2010.

SB 2388 Would establish the hospital health care access assessment program. Participating hospitals means a nonstate owned licensed hospital that is paid on a prospective payment system basis by Medicare and Medicaid. Would provide that a participating hospital in the state shall be assessed a hospital health care access assessment to be used in promoting access to health care services for Iowans, including those served by the medical assistance program. Passed, signed into law by Governor, 4/14/2010.


HB 165 Would require Kentucky residency for eligibility in Kentucky Access, would clarify that eligible individuals cannot be eligible for other group health insurance coverage but may be eligible for individual coverage, to provide that dependents shall not be eligible for Kentucky Access if group coverage has been waived, and would clarify by listing related individuals who are permitted to pay a member's premium. Passed, signed into law by Governor, Act No. 126, 4/12/2010.


HB 767 Would establish the Maryland Health System. Would require the Health System to provide health care services to all residents of the State under a single system that is not dependent on employment. Would authorize a member of the Health System to choose any participating health care provider. Would require the Health System to reimburse a member who receives health care services from an out of state health care provider under specified circumstances. Failed, 3/27/2010.

HB 929 Would require the Maryland Health Care Commission to establish a Maryland Patient Centered Medical Home Program under specified circumstances; requires specified health insurance carriers to participate in the Program; authorizes the Commission to authorize specified carriers to implement a single carrier patient centered medical home program. Passed, signed into law by Governor, Chapter No. 6, 4/13/2010.


HB 3237 and SB 3027 Would change health care eligibility provisions, would make changes to state health access program, children's health insurance reauthorization act, long-term care partnership, asset transfers, community clinics, dental benefits, prior authorization for health services, preferred drug lists, and administrative uniformity committee. House: Failed.  Senate: Passed, signed into law by Governor, Chapter No. 310, 5/11/2010.


HB 129 Would create the Healthcare Coordinating Council, which will be responsible for making recommendations to the Legislature regarding the establishment of a long-range, comprehensive preventive health care plan. Failed, 3/2/2010.


HB 1480 Would establish the Missouri Universal Health Insurance Act to provide comprehensive and necessary health care services for Missouri residents. Failed, session adjourned.

SB 722 Would establish the State Universal Health Assurance Program, a publicly financed, statewide program that would provide comprehensive health, mental health, and dental care services for state residents. This bill would divide the population of the state into regional health planning and policy development districts. It would use the Health Care Trust Fund to finance the program with health premium surcharges imposed on each resident based on their income. Failed, session adjourned.

HB 1467 Would require the Department of Social Services to identify potential low-income families who are not currently participating in the state children's health insurance program. Failed, session adjourned.

HB 1251 Would require the reporting of health insurance information on Missouri income returns and notification of taxpayers eligible for health care assistance for dependent children. Failed, session adjourned.

SB 642 Would require health carriers to devote a certain percentage of health insurance premiums to be used for the payment of health care services. Failed, session adjourned.

SB 712 Would establish a Commission on the Reorganization of State Health Care to study, review and make recommendations on creating a Division of State Health Care within the Office of Administration dedicated to providing health care coverage for all state employees, dependents, retirees and those recipients of MO HealthNet and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) by focusing the purchasing power and streamlining the administration of the state's health care purchasing.Failed, session adjourned.


LB 1017 The bill would restrict the co-payments insurance companies charge for the priciest prescription drugs, often those classified as Tier 4. Failed, session adjourned.

 New Hampshire

SB 505, amended and became LSR 2960 Would establish the New Hampshire health care services cost review commission to ensure that the uninsured have access to health care services at a reasonable cost. Would establish an assessment on certain hospitals to fund the operation of the commission. Passed, signed into law by governor, Chapter No. 224, 6/28/2010.

HB 529 Would require the Department of Health and Human Services to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Healthy Kids Program to eliminate the potential for a gap in insurance coverage as children transfer from Health Kids Gold to Healthy Kids Silver. Passed, signed into law by governor, Chapter No. 317, 8/10/2010.

HB 1283 Would prohibit participation in the state children's health insurance program if the individual is eligible for private insurance. Failed, 2/3/2010.

HB 1467 Would establish a committee to study extending Medicaid and similar sources of private and public aid to provide health care insurance through age 20 to individuals who were foster children and are attending postsecondary school. Failed, 1/27/2010.

HB 1488 Would require certain health carriers that offer coverage in the small employer market to offer a basic wellness plan in addition to the standard wellness plan. Passed, signed into law by Governor, Chapter No.57, 5/18/2010.

HB 1431 Would authorize individuals to purchase health insurance from out-of state health insurance carriers selected by the insurance commissioner; would grant rulemaking authority to the insurance commissioner for the purposes of the bill. Failed, 2/3/2010.

HB 1586 Would require the insurance department to review mandated benefits. Passed, signed into law by Governor, Chapter No.61, 5/18/2010.

 New Jersey

SB 1288 Would create the New Jersey Health Insurance Exchange as an independent entity within the Department of Banking and Insurance, with the authority to facilitate the availability and choice of health insurance plans for employees of small employers who have less than 50 employees and other eligible individuals. In Senate Committee on Commerce, 2/08/2010.

AB 222 Would establish the NJ FamilyCare coverage buy-in program for certain small businesses. To Assembly Committee on health and Senior Services, 1/12/2010.

 New Mexico

HB 26 Would amend a section of the public assistance act to allow doctors of osteopathy to manage care in the medical-assistance medical home program. Passed, signed into law by governor, Chapter No. 43, 3/8/2010.

Governor Bill Richardson unveiled a 2010 legislative health reform package which focused on insurance reform and public insurance consolidation. Click here to view the press release and information on specific bills included in the health reform pakage.

 New York

SB 6956 Would provide for the establishment of medical home multipayer programs to improve health care outcomes and efficiency through improved access, patient care continuity, and coordination of health services. To Senate Committee on Health, 3/1/2010.


HB 198 Would establish the Medical Home Model Demonstration Project. Would provide for Choose Ohio First Scholarships to be awarded to medical students who agree to practice primary care. Passed, signed into law by Governor, Session Law No. 2010-36, 6/08/2010.


SB 1616 Would create in the "Health Carrier Access Payment Revolving Fund". The revolving fund shall be used to fund the principal state program aiming to provide access to health insurance to uninsured Oklahomans and to maximize the ability of the state to secure all possible federal funds, grants or matching funds. Failed, 4/21/2010.

 Rhode Island

HB 7560 Would establish a state-sponsored system of universal health care to take effect January 1, 2011. Failed, session adjourned.

HB 7544 and SB 2582 Would require that the health insurance commissioner develop and implement standards of certification for patient-centered medical home facilities. House: Failed, session adjourned. Senate: Failed, session adjourned.

SB 2484 Would amend the RIte Track program by increasing the qualifying family income from 250 percent to 200 percent of federal poverty level and would add to those qualified to receive benefits under the program children who are lawful permanent residents of the United States. Would also create the all kids health insurance program to provide health insurance to previously uninsured children in Rhode Island.Failed, session adjourned.

SB 2552 Would create the Rhode Island Health Reform Act of 2010. Would establish the HealthRIght Authority through which all public and private purchases of insurance or health care services will be transaction for employers and individuals. Would establish a health insurance from which residents can purchase insurance coverage from a range of insurers. Would also establish an insurance product which will serve as the basic plan which includes setting and limiting co-pays and deductibles for the plan. Failed, session adjourned.


 South Carolina

SB 986 Would allow the department of insurance to offer health insurance policies from out-of-state insurers. Would authorize the director of the department of insurance to conduct market and solvency examinations of out-of-state insurers seeking to offer plans. Provides language that must be used in an out-of-state health insurance plan offered to state residents. Failed, session adjourned.


HB 397 Would require internal audits of the Medicaid program and would require a study concerning direct contracting for primary care services and the feasibility of establishing a medical homes model program. Would require a certain report when changes to the Medicaid plan or a Medicaid waiver effect the care of youth in custody of the Divisions of Child and Family Services or Juvenile Justice. Passed, signed into law by the Governor, Chapter No. 340, 4/7/2010.

HB 294 Would reform the health care delivery and health care payment demonstration project, consumer awareness of costs and transparency in the health care market, health care provider costs and disclosure of such costs, consumer comparison of health insurer claims denial information, group coverage for employers in the defined contribution market, a Health Insurance Exchange program, the Health System Reform Task Force and taxation of health insurers. Passed, signed into law by Governor, Chapter No. 068, 4/7/2010.

HB 20 Would amend provisions that require that contractors with certain state entities to provide qualified health insurance to their employees and their dependents who work or reside in the state. Passed, signed into law by Governor, Chapter No. 229, 4/7/2010. 


SB 88 Would establish the goal of universal access to essential health care services in Vermont through a publicly financed, integrated, regional health care delivery system; provide mechanisms for cost containment in the system; provides a framework, schedule, and process to achieve that goal. Passed, became law without Governor's signature, Act No. 128, 5/27/2010.

HB 510 Proposes to provide comprehensive, affordable, quality health care coverage for all Vermont residents and to contain health care costs. Failed, session adjourned.

HB 512 Would provide access to and coverage for health services provided in hospitals. This bill builds on Catamount Health and offers opportunities for premium relief to all Vermonters. It also would establish a global hospital budget for the state and an individual hospital budget for each hospital in the state. Failed, session adjourned.

HB 491 Would create a single payer health care system in Vermont to promote health, to prevent chronic health conditions, and to contain costs. Failed, session adjourned.

HB 530 Would allow parents to keep their young adult children on their health insurance until the child reaches age 27. Failed, session adjourned.

HB 526 Would modify the process for income calculation in determining eligibility and premium amounts for the Vermont health access plan for seasonal workers. Failed, session adjourned.

HB 678 Would encourage incentives for health care providers to practice in Vermont. Failed, session adjourned.


SB 266 Would change the eligibility for the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security Plan from children in families with an income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level to those with an income at or below 225 percent of the federal poverty level. Carryover to 2011.

HB 317 Would require a group health insurance plan to offer enrollment opportunities for employees and dependents who are eligible for coverage under, but not enrolled in, the plan upon their losing eligibility for coverage under the Commonwealth's Medicaid or Family Access to Medical Insurance Security program or becoming eligible for premium assistance under either program. Passed, signed into law by Governor, Chapter No. 504,  4/11/2010.


 HB 2807  Would designate a health plan that meets the requirements of the health coverage tax credit program created by the trade act of 2002 (P.L. 107-210) and adopt rules for the pool to administer the health coverage tax credit program. Failed, 3/15/2010.

 West Virginia

HB 2518 Would expand West Virginia's Children's Health Insurance Program to children of employees whose annual income is $25,000 or less. Failed, session adjourned.

SB 528 Would create the Commission on Scope of Practice in health care delivery. Failed, session adjourned.


AB 878 and SB 633 Relates to a grant that would provide assistance to individuals to obtain and maintain health care benefits. House and Senate version failed, session adjourned.


SB 61 Would create a health care reform demonstration project using the board and administrative structure of the health insurance pool as specified; provides for a benefit design committee. Would allow 500 participants to enroll in the program beginning in July. It would be limited to people whose family income is below 250 percent of the federal poverty level — $55,125 for a family of four. Enrollment could rise to 3,000 participants by 2014. The bill would put up $750,000 from income from the state's Tobacco Settlement trust fund. It would establish personal health accounts for each participant in which the state would match participant contributions. Passed, signed into law by governor, Chapter No. 96, 3/10/2010.  




Additional Information

NCSL Main Access to Health Care Page || NCSL Main Medicaid Page ||  NSCL Main CHIP Page || NCSL Main Health Disparities Page || State Health Reform || Federal  Health Reform || Federal Economic Stimulus Package &  Medicaid FMAP || State Health Programs to Cover the Uninsured  || Comprehensive Health Reforms:  State Examples  ||  State Programs to Subsidize or Reduce the Cost of Health Insurance for Small Businesses and Individuals  ||  Covering Young Adults Through Their  Parent's or Guardian's Health Policy  ||  State Legislation/Actions on Health Savings Accounts and Consumer Directed Plans  

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