San Francisco lawyer Richard Spohn has been glued to his BlackBerry, watching every moment of the drama over health reform. The head of Nossaman’s 34-lawyer health care group expects to see business-development opportunities if the legislation becomes law.
Spohn was checking the news at his daughter’s track meet on Sunday when Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak announced his switch in favor of the health care bill, which tipped the scales in favor of Obama’s plan. Spohn says he let out an ill-timed whoop so loud it drew curious looks from other parents.
What's he so excited about?
Health insurance exchanges are a key part of the overhaul and Spohn says he’s been there, done that. About 15 years ago, he helped California businesses and regulators create the CaliforniaChoice program, an exchange for the private sector for businesses with two to 50 employees.
“Forty-four percent of those small employers didn’t offer health care before they joined the program,” he said.
CaliforniaChoice is already reaching out to the other states to offer its experiences as they struggle to create their own exchanges by 2014. Spohn also hopes to work closely with California on its public exchange.
And it’s not just the creation of exchanges, which come with contracts and regulatory issues. Spohn also hopes to be working with businesses as they try to figure out how Obama’s health plan will work.
“It’s going to be a whole new world.”