Prior to last Monday's White House health care forum in Des Moines, Iowa, one of fiveregional forums being held across the country, the Iowa Senate passed two significant
health care reform measures - one symbolic and one substantive.
There are stark differences between the two presidential campaigns'
approaches to federal-state relationships. Differences range from the
amount of funding appropriated for programs run by the states to
whether the candidates would strengthen or weaken state regulatory
To address voters' concerns and reach the goal of health
care for all, reform must guarantee comprehensive coverage for all residents as
well as tackle the escalating cost of health care and ensure the highest
quality of care possible. These areas - cost, quality, and access - are
This section outlines the key values that any policymaker
should incorporate into a comprehensive reform package tailored to their
own state's needs, with the goal of achieving affordable, quality health care
for all residents.
In a new report, Progressive States Network updates a fall 2007 edition of the Stateside Dispatch and discusses the growth of legislative measures to protect consumers from unaffordable health care costs. Individual Health Care Mandates and the Problem of Affordability
uses the experience of Massachusetts' individual mandate as a case
study to demonstrate the need for strong language ensuring
affordability and profiles various legislative models for affordability
After more than a year
of negotiation, compromise, and ample national attention, major health
care reform in California was dealt a seemingly lethal blow on
Monday. The compromise health care measure, ABX1 1, was rejected by the Senate Health Committee by a none-too-subtle 7 to 1 vote.
The reform, which resembled the 2006 Massachusetts law, was largely
crafted by Speaker Nunez and the Governor after an earlier version was
vetoed by Schwarzenegger in September. Senate President Pro Tem
Perata, while a participant in negotiations throughout, never came to
fully back the latest measure.