Convergence Center For Policy Resolution

Convergence's
HEALTH REFORM ROUNDTABLE

Reaching bipartisan agreement on shortterm efforts to shore up the nation’s healthcare system.

The Vision

Members of the Roundtable believed critical matters relating to health reform needed to be addressed quickly and – importantly – bipartisan approaches were possible. While roundtable members held diverse political views and policy outlooks, they believed health reform solutions exist that can transcend partisanship and ideology. 

The Problem

At the time of the Roundtable, the Congressional effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) had stalled, sparking urgent questions about what’s next and whether a bipartisan agreement could be achieved to address important U.S. health reform needs. 

0%

Between 2010 and 2016, the number of non-elderly uninsured adults decreased by 41 percent.
HHS

Overall, nearly 20 million more people had coverage in 2016 than before the ACA was passed.
KFF

By 2013, the year before the major coverage provisions of the ACA went into effect, more than 44 million people lacked coverage.
KFF

Under the ACA, millions of people have gained health coverage, and the uninsured rate dropped to a historic low in 2016.
KFF

Convergence Dialogue Consensus Blueprint

These five health policy matters were designed to be addressed by the end of the federal fiscal year, September 30, 2017. These recommendations are designed to provide stability in markets until a longer-term resolution can be achieved and, most importantly, to protect coverage and health care access for those relying on them now. 

Extend federal funding through 2019 for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

This extension will ensure affordable coverage for children, including children in low income working families that cannot afford the cost of their own employers’ family plans. Members also support extending funding for community health centers through 2019. 

Ensure There Are Enough Caregivers

Near-term, high-priority actions are needed to address economic insecurity among paid caregivers, workforce shortages, burnout and exhaustion, and turnover. In parallel, longer-term actions are needed to broaden the “pipeline” of caregivers and create a true caregiving profession with ladders of advancement.

Implementation of effective measures to stabilize the federal and state health insurance exchanges/marketplaces for individual health insurance.

Millions of people rely on subsidies created through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for their health coverage. The cost sharing reduction subsidies should be funded through congressional appropriation to assure that lower-middle income policyholders will have access to insurance and can afford their coverage. Congress needs to reassess the ACA’s insurance market stabilization mechanism. The federal government should continue enrollment programs designed to inform people about the benefits that are available to them and to aid their enrollment in such benefits. 

Congress should seek smart and effective tools to incentivize all Americans to sign up for health insurance.

In a country as large and diverse as the U.S., and for a health system as technically complex as ours, broad outcomes, goals and values must be set at the national level, but there must be wide flexibility at the state level on how to achieve those objectives. 

Greater flexibility to respond to the desire of state governments for broader freedom in program innovation, provided appropriate guardrails.

Members support enhanced financing flexibility for states that seek to increase access to affordable coverage for their low and moderate-income populations. Members encourage Congress to consult with states and others on how to refine the guardrails to provide enhanced flexibility. More financing flexibility could better enable states to achieve innovations that promote continuity, health care efficiency, and coverage innovation. 

Judicious expansion of health savings accounts (HSAs) use by consumers and employer.

This includes using HSA funds for premium payments and reforms that make pre-funded HSAs available to lower income people who choose to enroll in high deductible health plans for which a linked HSA is essential — as a trust-building step across the partisan divide. 

Project Outcomes

Finding Common Ground in Health Care

As members of the Roundtable, Ron Pollack and Grace-Marie Turner appeared on C-SPAN to discuss finding common ground on health care through a bi-partisan lens.

Testimonials

In the News

the-washington-post-logo

Bipartisan Health Policy Coalition Urges Congress To Strengthen The ACA

“An unlikely coalition of liberal and conservative health-policy leaders is calling on Congress to strengthen the existing health-care law in a variety of ways to help Americans get and keep insurance. In particular, the group is urging the government to continue paying all the federal subsidies provided under the Affordable Care Act and to help Americans enroll in coverage.”

wall-street-journal-logo

Health-Reform Principles That Can Cross Party Lines

Convergence’s Health Reform Roundtable published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on their views on health reform. A subscription is required to read the full article “Health-Reform Principles That Can Cross Party Lines.

vox-logo

Top Democratic, Republican Health Experts Agree On This Plan To Fix Obamacare

“A prominent and unlikely group of liberal and conservative health experts have authored an ambitious plan to fix the Affordable Care Act — and they plan to make a hard push for their ideas on Capitol Hill. The plan is notable because it has the support of especially well-connected health advisers on both sides of the aisle.”

Interested in funding a project in the future?

Check out our donate page or contact our development team to learn more.

Never Miss an Update!

Health Reform Roundtable

Convergence Health Reform Roundtable

Health Reform Roundtable members announced an agreement on proposals for Congressional action on health reform in 2017 that sought to transcend ideology and partisanship (click on cover to read full statement).

The agreement is intended to foster bipartisan cooperation on next steps for improving America’s health care system. It offered the first legislative road-map after the passage of the Affordable Care Act for early, incremental steps to improve health care.

FAQs

The agreement received coverage in over 100 media outlets including:

The Roundtable released two health reform propositions in an op ed piece in the Wall Street Journal on June 26, 2017. The accompanying press release highlights the recommendations and lists the signers.

As members of the Roundtable, Ron Pollack and Grace-Marie Turner appeared on C-SPAN to discuss finding common ground on health care through a bi-partisan lens.

Watch the interview clip below.

For more information about Convergence health care projects, visit our California Health Reform Initiative and Future of Health project pages.

Subscribe

* indicates required