What California Stands to Gain: The Impact of the Stimulus Package on Health Care

Manatt Health


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This is archived content, for historical reference only.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), commonly referred to as “the stimulus package,” is intended not only to jumpstart the economy but also to provide support to individuals who have lost jobs and health coverage, and to offer fiscal relief to state governments. ARRA health care provisions include addressing immediate health services needs, providing health care coverage assistance to individuals, and increasing the quality of health care and its long-term economic efficiency through investments in health-related science and technology.

Under tight deadlines, federal agencies will disburse large amounts of ARRA funding. To maximize the benefits offered to California by ARRA, the state’s administrators, policymakers, industry leaders, and affected individuals all need to understand and act on prerequisites to qualify for or to trigger disbursement of stimulus funds.

This issue brief is the second in a series of ARRA analyses conducted by the California HealthCare Foundation in collaboration with Manatt Health Solutions. This brief describes the major ARRA health care provisions and their funding, and highlights actions required by the state or other stakeholders.

Among the ARRA-related health care programs and issues discussed in the brief are:

  • Medi-Cal support, including increases in federal matching payments, increased Disproportionate Share Hospital funding, a moratorium on federal Medicaid provider reimbursement changes, and extension of Transitional Medi-Cal and Indian health care programs
  • Assistance with health coverage, including subsidies for and extensions of COBRA coverage and expansion of the federal Health Care Tax Credit
  • Investments in primary care, including grant opportunities, enhanced reimbursement for community health centers, and additional support for primary health care workforce programs
  • Elevated status for comparative effectiveness research, including establishment of a federal advisory board and dedication of substantial funding

The brief also examines ARRA provisions relating to support for public health activities, health and science research, and facility modernization, as well as health information technology, including telehealth and broadband programs.

The complete issue brief is available under Document Downloads. The link to the previous issue brief on ARRA and its potential impact on health information technology is also included under Related CHCF Pages. A third brief, which focuses on ARRA’s impact on the expansion of telehealth in California, is available at the Center for Connected Health Policy’s website through the External Link below.