On June 16, Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA) and six other governors
sent a letter to U.S. Senate leaders urging
Congress to take any version of the House-passed American Health Care Act
(AHCA) off the table and start over again with a bipartisan solution to the
health care needs of the people in this country.
“Whatever health care changes come from Washington will ultimately have
to be managed by states and the current path is troubling for governors across
the country—no matter their party,” Gov. Wolf said in a press statement
following the submission of a bipartisan letter to Congress.
Along with Gov. Wolf, Govs.
John Kasich (R-OH), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Steve Bullock (D-MT), Charles
Baker (R-MA), Brian Sandoval (R-NV) and John Bel Edwards (D-LA) also signed on
to the letter asking Congress to develop a proposal that is fiscally sound and
provides quality, affordable health care coverage for America’s most vulnerable
bipartisan coalition of governors is a recognition of the severe consequences
from a proposal like the U.S. House-passed repeal plan or anything similar that
could be proposed by the U.S. Senate. The cuts to Medicaid would shift huge
costs to states and put coverage for seniors, the disabled and many others in
jeopardy. We need an open, bipartisan and intellectually honest discussion
about health care and that’s the opposite of what’s happening in Washington,” said Gov. Wolf.
The bipartisan letter also outlines
four guiding principles that members of Congress should consider:
reforms that increase access to quality, affordable health insurance coverage
must be coupled with reforms to address rising health care costs across the
health care system. Insurance reforms should be done in a manner consistent
with sound and sustainable cost control practices while also including the
three guiding principles below.
stability to insurance markets:
Americans without access to employer-sponsored coverage or government plans
need to have access to a healthy, stable and competitive market of insurers
from which to choose.
state flexibility and encourage innovation:
As laboratories of democracy, states can develop innovative approaches that
have the potential to strengthen health insurance for all Americans. Within
standards that protect the most vulnerable, states should have appropriate
flexibility to implement reforms in a manner that is responsive to local and
regional market conditions.
the regulatory environment: As
the principal regulators of insurance, states are in the best position to
promote competition within state insurance markets. Federal efforts should
provide appropriate standards to protect consumers while limiting duplicative
or burdensome regulations and providing relief to small business owners and