Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Guide to State Legislation on Comprehensive Health Care Coverage

The Law Library of Congress has prepared a guide to state legislation on comprehensive health care coverage for the four states that have attempted to cover all residents or those without insurance. Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont have each taken different approaches, and the guide offers background information as well as citations to relevant statutes for the extent of coverage, employer and individual contributions, benefits assistance, and exemptions. Hawaii was the first state to offer near universal coverage with the passage of the Hawaii Prepaid Health Care Act in 1974, which was implemented the following year. Hawaii requires most employers to offer insurance, while Massachusetts requires most individuals to obtain some coverage. Maine and Vermont partner with the private sector, and subsidize coverage for low-income individuals.

An important related resource from the Library of Congress is Thomas (named after Jefferson), which is a comprehensive digital collection for federal legislation, including the current health care reform bills in the House of Representatives and Senate. Thomas also offers the Congressional Record as well as the full-text of bills, resolutions, presidential nominations, treaties, committee reports, and other government resources; an online guide describes the various resources available and how to search them effectively.

No comments: