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  • Meagan Dorsch
    Director of Public Affairs
  • Jon Kuhl
    Public Affairs Specialist
    Washington, D.C.
January 23, 2012

Policymakers Can Track State Responses to Federal Health Reform Requirements

Thirty-nine states and six territories will head back into legislative session this January, and health reform has been identified as one of the most pressing and important topics on state legislative agendas.   

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) will continue to update its Federal Health Reform: State Legislative Tracking Database, a first-of-its-kind database that tracks the actions of state legislatures related to some of the major provisions in the Affordable Care Act. This database has been used by state legislators, legislative staff, the media and the public since it was launched in 2011.

The database includes both carry-over measures from 2011 legislative sessions and legislation introduced in 2012. The bills in the database are identified as pending, enacted and/or failed, and can be searched by state, year, topic, keyword, status or primary sponsor.

Topics in the database include Medicaid, Health Insurance Exchanges, Health Insurance Reform, Health Information Technology, Prevention and Wellness, Providers and Workforce, and Challenges and Alternatives. The last category contains bills that oppose, opt out of, or differ from elements of the federal provisions.

In 2011, 10 states created health benefit exchanges through legislation, and 42 states passed insurance reform laws to comply with or address requirements in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

This year, states are expected to address health insurance exchanges, build and upgrade health information technology systems, determine essential health benefit packages, and prepare for Medicaid expansions.

This 2012 legislative database is online and free to all Web users.

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.