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5 State Healthcare Solutions in Post-Obama America

BY LINDSAY BOYD

November 2, 2016 2:03PM

Recently, the State Policy Network has assembled a healthcare working group, comprised of myself and a handful of other policy wonks from leading think tanks across the country to identify reforms that make the most of our states’ flexibility.

Authored by Naomi Lopez Bauman, this healthcare policy “toolkit” provides actionable legislative initiatives that lawmakers can embrace for the 2017 legislative sessions. Below are just 5 examples drawn from the lengthy list that Tennessee legislators can pursue with the intent of insulating our state from further dependence on Washington:

  • Implement a robust and timely verification system that verifies, in real-time, eligibility for Medicaid and other welfare programs.
  • Remove barriers that artificially limit patients’ access to healthcare facilities, procedures, and providers- such as restrictive scope of practice laws and our remaining certificate of need (CON) laws that consistently restrict competition.
  • Protect and empower healthcare innovators, especially when they offer consumers an affordable option to access timely care such as the expanded coverage of telemedicine services and unique applications like Doctors on Demand.
  • Pass legislation requiring state government employees pay the ACA’s Cadillac taxes if they don’t opt for ACA-compliant plans. The Cadillac tax is an excise tax on “lavish” health care plans that are no longer available to many Americans. Not one dime of these taxes contributes to health care services or coverage for state employees.
  • Make Direct Primary Care (DPC), which allows physicians to contract directly with patients for a monthly fee covering their primary care needs, an option available for state employee health plans with complimenting catastrophic coverage. Such DPC contracts range from $30-$80 per month, an affordable cost that can save state tax dollars and empower state employees with more flexible quality care.

To learn more about what Tennessee lawmakers can do, visit the full toolkit for line-by-line solutions that address a number of specific healthcare issues.