Reaching bipartisan agreement on short–term efforts to shore up the nation’s healthcare system.
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.
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.
Between 2010 and 2016, the number of non-elderly uninsured adults decreased by 41 percent.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.