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ADEA Advocacy and Government Relations — January 2014

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The ADEA Advocacy and Government Relations (ADEA AGR) portfolio members attended two important meetings in December 2013 aimed at developing higher education policy solutions. The conferences provided a wonderful opportunity for ADEA AGR staff to meet and network with state legislators from around the country and help state public officials understand what resources ADEA offers in helping them develop public policy that is of benefit to academic dentistry, practicing dental providers and the public.

During the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) 2013 Fall Forum in Washington, D.C., December 4–6, 2013, ADEA AGR staff attended the conference to observe, share ideas, talk with experts, learn from nationally renowned speakers, discover policy solutions and develop agendas for state legislators to use as they lobby federal officials and tackle challenges in their own states.

At the 20th Annual Higher Education Government Relations Conference in San Francisco, CA, December 11–13, 2013, ADEA AGR staff heard sessions focused on how to effectively partner with leaders from government, education, business and other sectors to create a shared state agenda that fully leverages the capacities of colleges and universities.

Highlights from both conferences are presented below.

National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) 2013 Fall Forum Session Highlights:

  • Speaker Tricia McGinnis, Center for Health Care Strategies, in a session titled Improving Cost and Quality: State Medicaid Innovations, spoke about the State Innovations Model (SIM) operated by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). According to Ms. McGinnis, the purpose of the SIM Initiative is to support state government’s use of policy and regulatory levers to design and test innovative models that will transform health delivery and payment systems, resulting in improved health and care at lower costs.

    More than $250 million in Model Testing awards support six states (Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon and Vermont) that are ready to implement their State Health Care Innovation Plans. A State Health Care Innovation Plan is a proposal that describes a state’s strategy to use all of the levers available to it to transform its health care delivery system through multi-payer payment reform and other state-led initiatives.
  • A panel discussion in a session titled A New Era in Outreach and Enrollment updated the audience on the status of states expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Panel members included Jocelyn Guyer, Manatt Health Solutions; Sen. Irene Aguilar, MD (D-CO); Rep. Mark Biviano (R-AR); and Sheldon Weisgrau, Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved.

    Overall, the speakers noted the following with regard to implementation of the ACA and health insurance exchanges:
    • Insurance rates will vary dramatically among states and within regions of states. For example, in New York, silver plans range from $276 to $694.
    • There will be plenty of data points in 2014 to support pro and con cases on the impact of the ACA.
    • Rates are not expected to reach a new equilibrium until 2016.
  • Several presented during the Connecting College Affordability and Earning Potential session: Carlos Contreras, Intel Corporation; Daniel Hurley, American Association of State Colleges and Universities; Spiros Protopsaltis, U.S. Department of Education; and Richard Rhoda, Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

    Mr. Contreras challenged the audience to look at the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) pipeline to increase the number of students interested in science and engineering.

    Mr. Hurley told the audience that state investment in higher education is being reduced and the impact will be dramatic. He noted that there are three things driving increases in higher education costs: students with disabilities, English Language Learners and technology costs.

    Mr. Rhoda spoke briefly about the Complete College Tennessee Act passed in 2010. One of the main higher education reforms is in funding. Specifically, the outcomes-based funding formula adopted in Tennessee bases the entire institutional allocation of state appropriations on the basis of outcomes including, but not limited to, degree production, research funding and graduation rates at universities, and student remediation, job placements, student transfer and associate degrees at community colleges. Each of these outcomes is uniquely weighted at each institution.

20th Annual Higher Education Government Relations Conference Session Highlights:

  • Lieutenant Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, in a session titled Leading in the New Higher Education Era, said that a change in education is on the horizon, just like iTunes, Uber and e-Trade radically changed their respective industries. He noted that no two people learn the same way, and as a result, education should be individualized. Mr. Newsom stated that California has doubled its tuition since 2007. He told the audience that we are educating people to un-employability if we do not invest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs.
  • In the Driving a Results-Oriented Higher Education State Policy Agenda session, Elizabeth Gutierrez, Director of State Policy, Lumina Foundation, said that Lumina’s Goal 2025 focuses on improving student outcomes, aligning investments with student needs and creating smarter pathways for students in an effort to increase the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60% by the year 2025.

    Speaker Chris Bustamante, President, Rio Salado College (Ariz.), said that Rio Salado has 48 start dates for new semesters. He noted that their success is a result of more than simply offering online courses, but instead developing “innovative schedules” that provide greater access to education. Mr. Bustamante also stated that he is reaching out to the adult population because without them, the college will not meet its completion goals. He told the audience to put at-risk students at the forefront of any new funding model, since colleges generally receive more funds for at-risk students.
  • Chancellor of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, Dr. Glen Johnson, and Associate Vice President for Government Relations and State Policy, American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Dr. Daniel Hurley, spoke in session titled Forging a New Compact Between States and Public Higher Education. The speakers noted that from 1987 to 2012, there was a 62% increase in full-time student enrollment in public higher education institutions. However, during that same time period, state appropriations per full-time equivalent student decreased by 30% and state higher education spending as a share of states’ general fund budgets dropped by 16%.

    The speakers told the audience that the AASCU Task Force on Making Public Higher Education a State Priority is calling for the creation of a new compact between state governments and higher education in an effort to fully leverage the capacity of public colleges and universities to strengthen the economic security of the country.

    The compact asks higher education leaders to do the following:
    • Build bridges to develop mutual understanding between state policymakers and higher education.
    • Enhance literacy of higher education finance among state policymakers.
    • Understand state policy and political challenges.
    The compact asks state policymakers to do the following:
    • Collaborate with higher education leaders to establish a shared agenda.
    • Understand the mission and goals of public higher education.
    • Provide sufficient, consistent and sustained state funding.
    • Recognize institutional and system efforts toward cost containment and college affordability.
    • Provide relief from regulations that impede institutional flexibility, cost effectiveness and responsiveness.
     

For a summary on recent federal legislative and regulatory news about oral health, dental education and dental research, read our ADEA Washington Update.

Keep up with recent state legislative and regulatory news about oral health, dental education and dental research in your state with the ADEA State Update.