Monday, June 13, 2011

Governor Mary Fallin Joins Other Governors in Releasing Medicaid Reform Principles

Fallin, 28 other GOP Governors Send Letter to Washington
Gov. Mary Fallin
Governor Mary Fallin today joined 28 other GOP governors in announcing seven guiding principles for reforming Medicaid.
The principles will serve as a framework as governors continue working with Congress as it considers how to reform Medicaid.
“Given the flexibility to craft their own solutions, states can meet the health care challenges of their citizens better than a one-size-fits-all plan handed down from Washington,” Fallin said. “These principles will serve as a guide as we work with the federal government to improve the delivery of Medicaid.”
The seven principles are:
1.         States and territories are best able to make decisions about the design of their healthcare systems based on the respective needs, culture and values of each state.
2.         States and territories should also have the opportunity to innovate by using flexible, accountable financing mechanisms that are transparent and that hold states accountable for efficiency and quality healthcare.  Such mechanisms may include a block grant, a capped allotment outside of a waiver, or other accountable and transparent financing approaches.
3.         Medicaid should be focused on quality, value-based and patient-centered programs that work in concert to improve the health of our states’ citizens and drive value over volume, quality over quantity, at the same time containing costs. 
4.         States and territories must be able to streamline and simplify the eligibility process to ensure coverage for those most in need, and states must be able to enforce reasonable cost sharing for those able to pay.
5.         States and territories can provide Medicaid recipients a choice in their healthcare coverage plans, just as many have in the private market, if they are able to leverage the existing insurance marketplace through innovative support mechanisms.   
6.         Territories must be ensured full integration into the federal healthcare system so they can provide healthcare coverage to those in need with the flexibility afforded to the states.
7.         States must have greater flexibility in eligibility, financing and service delivery in order to provide long-term services and support that keep pace with the people Medicaid serves. New federal requirements threaten to stifle state innovation and investment.  In addition, since dual eligibles now constitute 39 percent of Medicaid spending, Medicare policies that shift costs to the states must be reversed and the innovative power of states should be rewarded by a shared-savings program that allows full flexibility to target and deliver services, which are cost-effective for both state and federal taxpayers.

From the letter:

"The first step for a successful Medicaid transformation is the full repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act...."

"...we have witnessed over the years as federal funding has expanded, so has federal control."

"...states have been caught in more intensive federal constraints that add little to the value or quality of services being delivered...."

"...states have proven themselves to be the real innovators in health care delivery while the federal government has operated Medicaid in a very prescriptive manner."

"States should not have to seek waivers to manage their unique programs."

"Even prior to the PPACA, Medicaid had become one of the most challenging components of the budget puzzle, consuming between 15 to 25 percent of most state spending."

"This consumption of state resources is crowding out other essential services such as education, public safety and even public health. This is not sustainable."

Governors signing the letter:

Governor Terry E. Branstad, Iowa

Governor Robert J. Bentley, Alabama
Governor Sam Brownback, Kansas
Governor Sean Parnell, Alaska
Governor Janice K. Brewer, Arizona
Governor Bobby Jindal, Louisiana
Governor Rick Scott, Florida
Governor Paul R. LePage, Maine
Governor Nathan Deal, Georgia
Governor Haley Barbour, Mississippi
Governor David Heineman, Nebraska
Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, Idaho
Governor Brian Sandoval, Nevada
Governor Mitch Daniels, Indiana
Governor Dennis Daugaard, South Dakota
Governor Chris Christie, New Jersey
Governor Susana Martinez, New Mexico
Governor Bill Haslam, Tennessee
Governor Jack Dalrymple, North Dakota
Governor Rick Perry, Texas
Governor Gary R. Herbert, Utah
Governor John R. Kasich, Ohio
Governor Mary Fallin, Oklahoma
Governor Robert F. McDonnell, Virginia
Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin
Governor Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania
Governor Matthew H. Mead, Wyoming
Governor Nikki Haley, South Carolina
Governor Luis Fortuño, Puerto Rico

Link to the letter
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