4 areas of health policy state legislators agree on

Emily Rappleye (Twitter) - Print  | 

States are positioned to take the reins of healthcare reform as progress continues to stagnate at the federal level, according to a viewpoint written for NEJM.

The authors conducted a nationwide survey of state legislators who work on health committees to see how they rank current health policy priorities. Despite a divisive political environment, the survey revealed four important areas of bipartisanship:

1. Most legislators had disdain for the "dysfunctional and chaotic environment in Washington" because it limited their ability to plan strategically.  

2. Across states and political parties, access to healthcare is a top priority. Most states weren't talking about rewriting the ACA, but rather how to make incremental changes to improve access, like through Medicaid expansion or more robust insurance exchanges.

3. Costs are an area for potential bipartisan agreement. Both parties currently prioritize addressing costs, but there is no consensus on how to solve the issue or even where the problem originates.

4. Both parties agree their philosophical differences over the role of government are the greatest roadblock to healthcare reform. However, the survey indicated legislators from both sides are ready to find ways around this issue.

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