Legislation Would Encourage State-Based Health Care Efforts
A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Wednesday is expected to introduce a bill that would provide grants to state and local governments to test various health reform strategies, CongressDaily reports.
The bill's Senate sponsors are Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio), and its House sponsors are Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Tom Price (R-Ga.) and John Tierney (D-Mass.).
State and local reform plans would have to be approved by a bipartisan "State Health Innovation Commission." Reforms could include the use of tax credits to encourage the purchase of insurance; expansions of Medicaid, SCHIP or health savings accounts; and the creation of insurance pools or single-payer health care systems.
After five years, the commission would examine the outcomes of the state and local reform efforts and make recommendations to Congress for national reform (Johnson, CongressDaily, 1/17).