Bumps in the Road to Implementing the New Health Care Reforms

As the six month mark of Obama’s health care overhaul arrives, it’s the state workers who are feeling the brunt of the initial changes.  For them, the task of expanding Medicaid to include millions of more Americans, converting medical records from paper to electronic records, and creating a new health insurance marketplace is extraordinarily time consuming and labor intensive.  And all of this is occurring at a time when the recession has cut their budgets.Similarly, the federal government is working overtime to implement the law’s major provisions by the 2014 deadline.While the federal government has an amazing array of grant offerings in place to help states with their overhaul-related initiatives, actually applying for these grants isn’t easy.As Alan Weil, executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy, explained, putting the overhaul in place is “a phenomenal task.” He said that federal grants are really the backbone of the reform, but he did indicate a fear that there aren’t enough workers available to make their application viable.Cindi Jones, director of the Virginia Health Reform Initiative, voiced her concerns about having employees keep up with the overhaul. “We have less staff doing more,” she said. “It’s just difficult to pull somebody off their job to write grants. Second, when you do get grants, if you’re successful, you have to have staff to manage it.”

Janice Marks

Janice Marks – A retired nurse and home health care professional, Janice has written prolifically about the American health care system. As a writer for Left Justified focused on the current changes in the health care community, she weaves her professional background and expertise into her evaluation of the current health care issues facing the American government and people. Contact Janice at janicemarks(at)leftjustified.com.

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