Tom Daschle, Bill Frist Offer States Help For Bipartisan Reform

Democrat Tom Daschle and Republican Bill Frist, MD, both former Senate majority leaders, plan to help states create their own healthcare reform plans under the auspices of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., according to a release by the center.

While Republicans in several states are considering legislation to stifle the federal healthcare reform law, the former senators will chair the "Leaders' Project on the State of American Health Care" to help each state meet its own budgetary, demographic and health reform challenges.

"The failure to realize transformational change will make it impossible for states to meet their current or future public health, workforce, delivery and budgetary responsibilities," the center stated.

One of the most promising areas of agreement may be state health insurance exchanges, web-based portals created by each state where consumers can buy insurance, as well as insurance rate review, cost controls and quality improvement, the center said.

In June 2009, the center released a bipartisan healthcare reform plan developed by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle and Bob Dole.

"The only way [health reform] will work is if it's bipartisan or even nonpartisan," Sen. Daschle told Politico.

Read the Bipartisan Policy Center release on healthcare reform.

Read more coverage of the states and healthcare reform:

- Three More States Ready Lawsuits Against Healthcare Reform

- Governors Want Reform Law Changed So They Can Reduce Medicaid Coverage

- Few People Signing up for New Preexisting Condition Coverage

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