States Weigh Joining Compact To Get Out of Reform Law Provisions
Many state lawmakers who are opposed to the federal health reform law are weighing the benefits of joining an interstate compact, which would supersede a number of provisions in the overhaul, Kaiser Health News/Washington Post reports.
The Health Care Compact is an attempt to shield states from a whole area of federal law. The compact would replace federal health care programs with a series of block grants to the states.
The initial grants would be pro-rated based on 2010 funding levels, and would rise in future years based on inflation and population increases. The compact would not apply to military personnel, veterans or Native Americans.
States Moving Toward Compacts
Three governors -- from Georgia, Oklahoma and Texas -- already have signed compact legislation into law. Meanwhile, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) let the compact become law without his signature.
In addition, 14 states have drafted or introduced legislation to join the compact, while lawmakers in nine of those states have brought it to the floor. Supporters of the compact hope to have 40 states put it on their legislative calendar in 2012.
Supporters say that if a significant number of states pass the compact legislation, they will submit it to Congress for approval. Critics of the compact say it is unlikely to be approved by Congress.
Joining the compact has certain drawbacks, according to KHN/Post.
Some state officials, including Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R), worry that it would undermine their authority. The compact cannot be amended unless all participating states agree to it and resubmit the bill to their legislatures
Â In addition, joining the compact could disqualify participating states from receiving federal matching funds for state Medicaid spending (Gugliotta, Kaiser Health News/Washington Post, 9/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.