The California Health Benefits Review Program (CHBRP)—established in 2003 in response to new state legislation aimed at enhancing the evaluation of potential changes in health benefit packages—represents a unique marriage of academic analysis and real‐time legislative decision making. CHBRP is based within the University of California (UC) Office of the President and provides analyses to the legislature within a 60‐day timeframe on the potential consequences of specific benefit changes under consideration as part of legislative mandates. The consequences examined include current known medical effectiveness of the services for which coverage is to be mandated as well as potential costs and impact on public health considerations associated with the mandate. Teams throughout the University system specialize in analyzing medical effectiveness, costs, and public health impacts and work with a statewide faculty task force and a private actuarial firm to generate literature reviews and analyses in response to legislative requests. These teams work on multiple requests simultaneously, all within the constraints of the legislative calendar. In its first 2 years, CHBRP generated 22 such analyses.