ADEA State Update

Bipartisan Group of Governors Sends Letter to Congress on Health Care and Medicaid Reform

(State Policy, Insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, ACA, Federal Policy, Medicare and Medicaid Services) Permanent link   All Posts

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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 citizens.

“This 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:

  • Improve affordability: Insurance 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. 
  • Restore 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. 
  • Provide 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. 
  • Improve 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 individuals. 

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