Governors Take Action on Federal Health Care Reform Law


Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle issued an Executive Order on April 7 creating an Office of Health Care Reform (OHCR). Under the leadership of Wisconsin's Secretary of Health Services and Commissioner of Insurance, OHCR will develop a state implementation plan for the federal law signed by President Obama on March 23. Wisconsin's goals include developing strategies to obtain federal funds for a state high-risk pool for residents who had been denied insurance coverage due to pre-existing conditions; to build on the successes of Wisconsin health care reform initiatives such as BadgerCare Plus, FamilyCare, and SeniorCare; to inform Wisconsin residents about choices that will be available to them this year and milestones toward full implementation in 2014, using methods such as a very well-designed website (; and to develop state-based health insurance purchasing exchanges, the centerpiece of health care reform in 2014. Other Governors issuing recent Executive Orders include Washington Governor Chris Gregoire, who on April 1 directed the administrator of the State Health Care Authority, key cabinet officials, and the state budget director to develop preliminary health care reform implementation recommendations by August 1.  Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm issued an Executive Order on March 31 creating a Health Insurance Reform Coordinating Council, as well as an Office of Health Insurance Consumer Assistance within Michigan's Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation.  Governor Granholm directed the coordinating council to evaluate the federal health care reform law, engage relevant stakeholders, and develop a Michigan implementation plan.  Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley issued an Executive Order on March 24 creating the Maryland Health Care Reform Coordinating Council, which will issue a preliminary analysis by July 15, 2010 and a complete report by January 1, 2011 on Maryland's strategies for implementation.  Maine Governor John Baldacci directed his Office of Health Policy and Finance and other state agencies to develop options for meeting the requirements of the federal health care reform law.  Other Governors directing action on federal health care reform, beginning even before final Congressional action last month, include Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell, who created a Rapid Review Panel of state agency directors and insurance experts in January, and Vermont Governor/NGA Chairman Jim Douglas, who created a Health Care Cabinet last October to coordinate health reform initiatives across all Vermont state government agencies and to closely monitor and evaluate federal health care reform legislation as it unfolded.       

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Categories:Health and Human Services


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