At the State Government Leadership Foundation, we support access to affordable, common sense healthcare provided by the current healthcare industry. We are opposed to the over-reaching, government-run health care system that will demolish healthy competition, service quality and patient privacy. Consumers are better off when they control how their money is spent and have a broader choice of health care policies and plans. The SGLF supports healthcare reforms that protect providers from junk lawsuits, encourage innovative state programs, and promote healthier lifestyles.
As one of the largest pieces of federal and state budgets, health care is an issue that the SGLF is deeply invested in. Due to the expansion of Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP and other state and public health care programs, government is in control of a large part of the health sector.
Our current system is flawed and change must come at both the federal and state levels. Individuals and families should be able to both own and control their own health care policies and take them with them from job to job without penalties. They should also be able to purchase these plans at a price they wish to pay and that are in line with their own needs.
In order to accomplish these goals, states – and not the federal government – should be determining what health care system or model works best for their individual state.
Steps to creating a better health care system
1: Place Control and Money in Consumers’ Hands
- Limit regulations
- Provide better information to help patients and doctors make more informed treatment decisions
2: Align Expectations with Reality
- Promote fiscally responsible competition within Medicare – bids against each other
- Allow all plans greater flexibility to develop innovative plans
3: Create Accountability in the Health System
- Provide better access to affordable private insurance
- Reform medical liability system – limit malpractice awards
News & Articles
AZ House speaker: Senate-approved Medicaid bill won't pass through house
Senate Majority Leader John McComish, who put together the coalition of Republicans and Democrats that pushed the bill through his chamber, said the ideal situation would be if Tobin allows a vote on that plan. McComish said, though, he and the other four Republicans who went against the wishes of the Senate GOP majority would not have done so -- and exposed themselves to political risk -- if they thought the plan would wind up in the House trash bin. "I believe that it's not a secret that there's a coalition (in the House) that has enough numbers to vote that out,'' McComish said, just as they did in the Senate.
Poll: 41% of small businesses are holding off on hiring because of Obamacare
I quote from Gallup’s report: “When asked if they had taken any of five specific actions in response to [Obamacare], 41% of small-business owners say they have held off on hiring new employees and 38% have pulled back on plans to grow their business. One in five (19%) have reduced their number of employees and essentially the same number (18%) have cut employee hours in response to the healthcare law. One in four owners (24%) have thought about eliminating healthcare coverage for their employees” (emphasis mine). Starting in 2014, Obamacare requires firms with an average of fifty or more full-time workers in the previous calendar year – 2013; this year – to provide health insurance to their employees or face penalties. This creates what economists (and non-economists) describe as an incentive not to hire a fiftieth worker. It may even provide an incentive for firms to let a few workers go if doing so would get them under fifty workers. These poll results suggest that both are happening.
GOP: ObamaCare compliance burden nears 190 million hours
"Every hour and dollar spent complying with the Democrats’ health care law are time and resources being taken from spending time with family, growing a business and creating jobs, or caring for patients," House Republicans said in a release. Some of the 190 million hours will fall to insurance companies, some to doctors and hospitals, and some to individuals — the total represents all of the work required under all of the regulations implementing some part of ObamaCare. Some of the most burdensome provisions include changes to Medicaid eligibility, mandatory calorie labeling on restaurant menus and tax credits to help small businesses pay for health insurance.
Medicaid expansion remains big question mark as Michigan budget debate continues
LANSING, MI -- Michigan lawmakers have worked quickly on budget bills for next fiscal year, with one notable exception: The Senate has yet to consider the Department of Community Health budget, which leaves open the question of whether the state will accept and appropriate federal funds to expand Medicaid, as proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder. Advancing a bill without funds for expansion, as the House has done, could derail the proposal, while inclusion could set up a point of debate between the chambers to be ironed out in coming weeks. Snyder is among a handful of Republican governors across the country who have backed Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Health Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, which seeks to extend coverage to millions of uninsured Americans.
Obama: There Will Be “Bumps” and “Glitches” in Obamacare
Moreover, with just six months until open enrollment for the exchanges begins, the poll found that “about half the public says they do not have enough information about the health reform law to understand how it will impact their own family, a share that rises among the uninsured and low-income households”—the two groups the law is most likely to benefit. In addition, another story about the harmful effects of Obamacare’s employer mandate is in the news. The employer mandate forces all employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer government-approved health coverage or pay a penalty. To avoid the cost of coverage and the penalty, many employers are increasingly shifting their full-time workers to part time. As NPR reports, Rob Wilson, president of the temp agency Employco said it is impacting his business too, “Instead of saying, ‘I want one person for 40 hours a week,’ [employers are saying], ‘I’ll take two people for 20 hours or 25 hours a week.’”
Part-timers to lose pay amid health act's new math
Some workers are having their hours cut so employers won't have to cover them under Obamacare. But many will benefit from the healthcare law's premium subsidies and Medicaid expansion.
Uncertainty Still Clouds Health Care Law
There is even confusion about whether the health care law is still, in fact, law. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey [PDF] conducted in April found that 41 percent of American adults did not know that the Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land. A separate tracking survey conducted by Kaiser, which has done far more surveys on health care than any other polling organization, found that roughly half of American adults said they did not have enough information about the law to understand how it will affect them. The tracking poll found that there had actually been an increase in the percentage of American adults with no opinion about the health care law.
Daniel Kessler: The Coming ObamaCare Shock
Millions of Americans will pay more for health insurance, lose their coverage, or have their hours of work cut back.
Start with people who have individual and small-group health insurance. These policies are most affected by ObamaCare's community-rating regulations, which require insurers to accept everyone but limit or ban them from varying premiums based on age or health. The law also mandates "essential" benefits that are far more generous than those currently offered. According to consultants from Oliver Wyman (who wrote on the issue in the January issue of Contingencies, the magazine of the American Academy of Actuaries), around six million of the 19 million people with individual health policies are going to have to pay more—and this even after accounting for the government subsidies offered under the law. For example, single adults age 21-29 earning 300% to 400% of the federal poverty level will be hit with an increase of 46% even after premium assistance from tax credits.
Hundreds to be hired to help Arkansans enroll in insurance exchange
Poll shows support for Medicaid expansion in Michigan, but political differences evident
LANSING, MI - A new poll says a majority of Michigan voters favor expanding Medicaid through the federal Affordable Care Act, but there are differences based on political preferences. The poll says 60 percent of voters indicated they supported Medicaid expansion after they heard a brief description of eligibility requirements and the number of working adults who would qualify for the coverage. Twenty-six percent were opposed and 14 percent were undecided. The poll was commissioned and done by EPIC-MRA of Lansing. The survey of 600 voters was conducted April 13-16 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. The poll was released Friday.
Opponents of Brewer's Medicaid plan speak out, present alternatives
Thursday’s rally came as Senate President Andy Biggs, who also opposes what Gov. Jan Brewer wants to do, drew a line in the stand. He vowed to do all he can to not even allow a vote on her proposal. Biggs’ position does give him vast powers to sideline legislation. “I’m not going to allow late introduction of a bill,” he told Capitol Media Services, pointing out the deadline for that was months ago. And Biggs said even if what the governor wants does end up at the Senate, whether from a House bill or an amendment to something else, “I never made a commitment I’d put it on the floor” for a vote. House Speaker Andy Tobin has not taken such an absolute stand. But Tobin said he would not allow a vote in his own chamber on Brewer’s plan as it now stands.
Mo. Senate Votes Down Federal Medicaid Expansion
The vote was just the latest in a series of similar defeats in the Missouri Legislature for the Medicaid expansion backed by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and called for under President Barack Obama’s health care law. But this vote carried a bit more weight. That’s because it ensured that neither the Senate nor the House version of the budget includes the Medicaid expansion. Under legislative rules, negotiators cannot insert money into the final budget that wasn’t in either chamber’s plan.
Ever-fewer California employers offering health insurance
The survey also found that larger employers with high proportions of full-time workers were most likely to offer health insurance to workers and that deductibles tended to be much higher among small employers than among large ones. Finally, 21 percent of employers reported that they had increased the share of insurance costs borne by employees during the preceding year, while 17 percent either reduced workers' costs or absorbed increases.
State leaders deal with consequences of rejecting Medicaid expansion in Obama health overhaul
Concern about such consequences helped forge a deal in Arkansas last week. The Republican-controlled Legislature endorsed a plan by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe to accept additional Medicaid money under the federal law, but use the new dollars to buy private insurance for eligible residents. One of the main arguments for the private option was that it would help businesses avoid tax penalties. The Obama administration hasn’t signed off on the Arkansas deal, and it’s unclear how many other states will use it as a model. But it reflects a pragmatic streak in American politics that’s still the exception in the polarized health care debate.
Passage of health care expansion came down to teamwork
Last fall, Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe said he supported expanding Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. The law proposed expanding state Medicaid rolls to include everyone earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level not currently on Medicaid — an estimated 250,000 people in Arkansas. Beebe, a 20-year veteran of the state Senate who gain a reputation for being a legislative leaders and consensus builder, argued that federal health reform was going to happen and millions of taxpayer dollars could be spend on improving care for needy Arkansans or shipped out of state to help others. The federal government would pay the full cost of the expansion for the first three years, after which the state’s share of the cost would increase gradually to 10 percent.
Michigan bill expands health care providers' right to refuse care
Supporters say the legislation protects religious freedom and is needed particularly in the wake of the federal health care law mandating employer-provided birth control in their health plans. Opponents counter that the bill is an overreach that wrongly lets health workers and organizations impose their beliefs on patients, putting their treatment at risk. “We feel like it’s the right balance between patient care and the rights of individuals who work in that field to have a clear conscience,” said Sen. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, sponsor of the bill pending on the Senate floor.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin urged to reconsider Medicaid decision
Former Oklahoma Health Commissioner Dr. Mike Crutcher joins Oklahoma House Democrats calling for Gov. Mary Fallin to expand access to Medicaid, the federal health care program for the poor.
Fallin decided last year not to expand Medicaid coverage, saying it would be unaffordable, costing the state of Oklahoma up to $475 million between now and 2020, and would also further Oklahoma's reliance on federal money that may or may not be available because of federal fiscal problems. The federal Affordable Care Act originally required that states, beginning in January, expand Medicaid to cover people younger than 65 with income below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. But in June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a part of the health care law that penalized states for not expanding Medicare, which meant states could decide whether to participate.
Medicaid expansion in Ohio could be back in play
“The key is whether the 275,000 additional lives would be covered, and the entire half-million folks who are planning to come onto Medicaid as a result of the woodwork effect, that they are able to get the full complement of benefits whether it’s the traditional approach versus (a hybrid),” Carney said. The “woodwork effect” is expected when the federal Affordable Care Act’s requirement that most people obtain health insurance takes effect, and those who are eligible for Medicaid but not yet signed up will actually enroll. House Republicans last week stripped Kasich’s proposed Medicaid expansion from his two-year budget bill. The plan would have covered people making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, bringing in about$13 billion in federal money over seven years under the federal health-care law.
Wyoming health exchange decision could be two years away
Instead, lawmakers should learn from the experience of the federal exchange set to begin operating in Wyoming next year. “Otherwise the probability we’ll screw it up ourselves is pretty high,” Scott said. The federal health reform law known as Obamacare requires states to begin running exchanges in 2014. Federal officials promise to operate exchanges on behalf of states that don’t comply. Scott doesn’t expect a final decision on exchanges before 2015 or even possibly a year after that.
Montana GOP working on alternative to Medicaid expansion
The alternatives would be in place of Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock’s proposal to expand Medicaid to extend federally funded coverage to 70,000 low-income Montanans starting next year – a proposal that the Republican-controlled Legislature has resisted. Jim Molloy, a top adviser to the governor, said Thursday the governor’s office has met with some legislators working on alternatives, and that Bullock “is willing to consider any proposals that will provide coverage for uninsured Montanans and do so in a way that begins to reform our health-care delivery system and puts Montana’s tax dollars to work creating good-paying jobs in our state.”
Arizona Legislature closing in on Medicaid vote
They include not only minority Democrats but moderate Republicans. Those groups need to join together to overcome opposition from conservative Republicans opposed to Brewer’s embrace of a key provision of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law. House speaker Andy Tobin disagrees, saying he thinks he’s short of votes in the House. The proposal would add about 300,000 Arizonans to the nearly 1.3 million now enrolled.
UPDATE House OKs health care expansion proposals
A more critical vote on health care expansion will come when the House considers HB 1219, an appropriation bill that would clear the way for the state to use federal money for the program. Passage would require a three-fourths majority, or 75 votes in the 100-member House — at least a dozen more votes than either version of the enabling legislation got Thursday. House Speaker Davy Carter, R-Cabot, who favors the private option, said Thursday his preference was for the House to pass the appropriation on Friday, but he said he was considering requests from some House members to delay a vote until Monday so they could visit with constituents over the weekend.
Snyder's plans for fixing roads, expanding Medicaid stalled by GOP
But gov remains optimistic as state budget talks resume
The Medicaid and road tax efforts are the biggest issues facing the Republican-controlled Legislature as lawmakers returned here Tuesday after a two-week break, hoping to hammer out a 2014 fiscal year budget plan by June. A House Republican budget plan does not include Snyder's Medicaid expansion or request for $1.2 billion in new money for highways, bridges and local roads. On Thursday, a Senate subcommittee also is expected to approve a Department of Community Health budget without the $1.3 billion the federal government is offering initially to add 320,000 low-income residents to Medicaid.