Attempts to Enact Comprehensive Health Reforms Face Obstacles

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During 2008, state legislatures in California, Kansas, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania considered proposals for comprehensive health reform. Each state either failed to pass the reform proposals in their entirety or considerably scaled back the proposals’ reform provisions. Nevertheless, health reform leaders in the four states acknowledge that efforts to achieve comprehensive health reform require a multi-year process organized around education and activism across several sectors. Thus, efforts in the four states should not be characterized as failures but rather as near successes and important first steps. These states are leading a critical national debate as they wrestle with some of the most important questions and issues in health care.

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