During its afternoon session in the Capitol, Santa Clarita Valley leaders met Tuesday with members of the Assembly who discussed significant issues for the state’s health care pictures in a question-and-answer session.
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Leading the discussion is the state's only practicing practitioner in the Assembly, Dr. Richard Pan.
The discussion comes on the heels of several special sessions on the the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
In California, the first step for implementation will be the creation of a marketplace that would set standards for health care, Pan said.
The creation and maintenance of this "exchange" would be federally funded, Pan said.
"In terms of the exchange itself, that's through the Affordable Care Act the first three years," he said. "That's all going to be federally funded."
One of the bigger reforms on the horizon for the Legislature would be more practical, necessary ways for keeping costs down, Pan said.
Looking at the way everything operates from illness prevention to delivery models to co-pays is part of this process, Pan said.
Noting that approximately 40 percent of Californians have a chronic condition, Pan said the current health care system is, in a sense, counter intuitive to healing and treating patients officially.
“Co-pays are counterintuitive -- it encourages people not to take medication,” Pan said. “The purpose of a co-pay is to get people to think twice and maybe not have people take the medicine that they are supposed to be taking.”
A study showed that when providers tried eliminating co-pays, they found reduced hospitalization costs.
“We need to look at preventative measures and education,” Pan said. “Those are the kinds of things we need to be thinking about. We’ve created a lot of silos and barriers for people getting treatment.”
Legislators are looking at how they can find a moderate solution for increasing access, Pan said.
“(We're trying to look at how to do) not too much and not too little, and find the right place,” Pan said. “We’re trying to create incentives for how that can happen.”
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