This San Francisco Chronicle story is a retrospective on how omnibus Massachusetts health care reform enacted by the Romney administration in the middle of the previous decade became a template for California in 2007 and 2008. When the California reform effort under then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger faltered in the Legislature amid opposition to the individual mandate and concerns the state could not afford it, the Obama administration subsequently adopted Massachusetts model in crafting its Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Had the U.S. Supreme Court not left the law largely intact last month, California may well have picked up where it left off in 2008 with leading policymakers voicing support for the individual mandate. However, financing subsidies would have likely proven problematic just as four years ago as the Golden State continues to grapple with chronic budget deficits and high unemployment.
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