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
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.
House Republicans strip Medicaid expansion out of state budget proposal
Medicaid expansion sent to governor
Missouri Gov. Nixon seeks Medicaid answers from feds
Nixon, a Democrat, has made Medicaid expansion under the terms of President Barack Obama’s health care law his top legislative priority this year, despite resistance from a Republican-led legislature over expanding eligibility to as many lower-income adults as envisioned by the federal law. Seeking potential areas of compromise, Nixon said he spoke by phone Tuesday with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about how much flexibility Missouri might have and still receive full federal funding under the 2010 federal Affordable Care Act.
Indiana Senate revives Medicaid bill in state budget
But an Indianapolis Star review of the state budget found much the Senate’s version of the Medicaid expansion included in the budget bill. The Senate is expected to approve the budget today, and the House and Senate will negotiate a final version in the next few weeks. Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, said he revived the Senate’s version of the Medicaid bill to give lawmakers more control. “The legislature wants to have the chance to review any waiver that may be secured by the governor,” Kenley said. “That’s not a criticism of the governor, so much as it is that we have a strong interest in what it will do both fiscally and in what type of waiver program we want to have.”
Medicaid expansion fight focuses on access, rising expenses
Lipstein is describing an estimated 300,000 Missouri residents, including the growing number of people living in poverty since the Great Recession. Many of these people work, but receive no health benefits. And some of them are among those who would have qualified for assistance before state budget cuts eight years ago lopped them off the Medicaid rolls. These are the same Missourians who show up at hospital emergency departments for treatment, and whose care BJC and other health systems have to write off. Often, the trip to the ER could have been avoided by a visit to a doctor’s office. Or, because such patients haven’t received ongoing medical care, they are hospitalized at a life-threatening stage of a chronic disease.
Exchange, tax repeal give Otter a good session
Along with that win, Otter is also claiming a $20 million tax break for businesses on their personal property as another milestone for his administration. It's not exactly the full repeal he pitched in his Jan. 7 State of the State speech, but he says what emerged was a good start. In past sessions, Otter has taken a licking from supposed GOP allies in the House and Senate on key priorities such as his disastrous 2009 bid to raise Idaho's gas tax and registration fees. This time, however, he had what was arguably the most-successful legislative season of his seven-year gubernatorial career.
Alabama will not enforce health care law's provisions
Bentley rejects health care law's consumer mandates
This isn’t the first time Bentley, a physician, has rejected portions of the Affordable Care Act. The law allows states to operate their own health insurance exchanges, but Bentley opted to let Washington run Alabama’s exchange. He also rejected the option of expanding the state’s Medicaid program to cover more low-income people.
UPDATE Senate passes health care expansion
Actual implementation of the proposal hinges on House and Senate approval of a separate appropriation to be included in the state Department of Human Services budget — requiring a three-fourths vote in each chamber — and final approval of the plan by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The so-called private option, which Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe negotiated with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius with ideas from Republican lawmakers, has softened staunch GOP resistance to any expansion of health care under the federal health care reform act known as Obamacare.
Virginians split on Medicaid expansion, new poll finds
Democrats support expansion 73-18 percent, while Republicans and independents oppose it 67-22 percent among the GOP and 47-40 percent among independent voters. Women back the expansion, which is available through the federal health care law, 48-39 percent while men oppose it 48-42 percent. Black voters support it 68-20 percent and white voters 50-38 percent, the poll shows. State lawmakers have also been split on expansion, which is still the topic of hot debate.
Governor of Tennessee Joins Peers Refusing Medicaid Plan
With his health care law, President Obama wanted to make Medicaid, the federal-state health program for poor people, available to many more Americans, covering those earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (currently up to $15,856 a year for an individual). But when the Supreme Court upheld the law last year, it ruled that states could opt out of the Medicaid expansion. For states that opt in, the federal government will pay the full cost of expansion from 2014 to 2016, with its share gradually decreasing to 90 percent in 2020. So far, about two dozen governors, most of them Democrats, have said they want to expand Medicaid.
New Jersey Medicare Spending Outpaces Rest Of The Nation
Some of the extra spending was explained by higher salaries, age, income, and higher cost of health care, but that doesn't account for all of it, said Andrew J. Rettenmaier, executive associate director of the NCPA and an author of the study. There is some speculation about the spending gap between New Jersey and other states. One theory is the access to “robust health care infrastructure,” said Alan C. Monheit, associate director of the Center for Health Economics and Health Policy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. This robust health care accounts for patients wanting to have more tests done, see more specialists, and have more high cost procedures.
Montana House panel removes most of health coverage plan, then OKs
The committee voted 10-6 on a party-line vote to send HB623 to the House floor, with Democrats opposed. HB623, in its original form, would hand out $4 million in grants the next two years to low-income households, so they could become eligible for federal subsidies to help them buy health insurance from private companies. It also would have created a 12-person “citizens council” appointed by Republican leaders of the Legislature to examine health care reforms, cost containment, reforms of Medicaid and other health care items over the next two years. But, at the request of Smith, the committee’s Republican majority removed those contents and left only a requirement that any Montanan attending an out-of-state medical school and who get tuition help from a state program must practice medicine in Montana for four years after graduating.
Senate passes health bill
Measure would expand Medicaid coverage, set rules for insurance marketplace
Senate approves Medicaid expansion plan
Move sets up showdown with Branstad, whose alternative 'Healthy Iowa Plan' will likely pass House
“Iowans get the biggest bang for their tax dollar by expanding Medicaid,” Jochum said. Jochum was supported by Sen. Jack Hatch, D-Des Moines, who complained an alternative proposal by Branstad, a Republican, will lead to many Iowans seeking costly health care in emergency rooms. He described Branstad’s proposal as inefficient and remarked, “The governor’s plan limits patient access.”