February 26, 2018

The bipartisan 'blueprint' for health reform from 5 governors

Daily Briefing

    A bipartisan group of governors on Friday released a proposal for reforming the U.S. health system that centers on transitioning the system toward value-based payments.

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    According to Dayton Daily News, governors gathered in Washington, D.C., this past weekend for the 2018 National Governors Association meeting.

    Proposal details

    Govs. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), John Kasich (R-Ohio), Brian Sandoval (R-Nev.), Bill Walker (I-Alaska), and Tom Wolf (D-Pa.) drafted the proposal, which aims to give states flexibility to innovate their own health programs, stabilize the health insurance markets, and reduce overall health care costs.

    The proposal urges the Trump administration and Congress to commit to a shift toward value-based payments and ask the administration and Congress to work with states to make that shift.

    In addition, the proposal calls on the administration and Congress to:

    • Address "anti-competitive" practices in the health insurance market—such as increasing consolidation in the industry;
    • Create incentives for U.S. residents to live healthy lives and contribute to their health costs;
    • Ensure U.S. residents have access to health care;
    • Expand state Medicaid experiments;
    • Grant states flexibility to reduce health care costs by redesigning health care coverage, including whether insurers must comply with the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) essential health benefits, and innovating payments;
    • Maximize insurer participation and consumer enrollment in the health insurance market;
    • Reinstitute the ACA's cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers; and
    • Stabilize insurers' risk pools.

    The proposal does not include legislative language or details regarding costs.

    Comments

    Kasich said the governors are "looking for ways to continue to provide great health care for lower prices." He said, "What we're talking about is providing market-based incentives so we move away from fee-for-service medicine, where you get paid for how many things you do to a system, where you pay for quality," adding, "We don't want to pay for quantity in medicine. We want to pay for quality."

    Hickenlooper noted a need for bipartisan health reform solutions. "A bipartisan approach to a subject and policy issue as complicated and difficult as this one is the only real solution that will bear fruit," he said.

    Walker echoed Hickenlooper, saying, "There should not be party lines on this issue" (Hellmann, The Hill, 2/23; Wehrman, Dayton Daily News, 2/23; Howell, Washington Times, 2/23; A Bipartisan Blueprint for Improving Our Nation's Health System Performance, 2/23).

    Mar. 7 webconference: Learn the key health care trends to watch for in 2018

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