Implementation Efforts Continue At The State Level
In Virginia, Democratic lawmakers are pushing a proposal to establish a state-based exchange. These legislators see their plan, which is built on the argument that state action would keep the federal government from being involved, will draw support from others regardless of their feelings about the health law itself. Meanwhile, Montana's high-risk insurance pool is running out of cash.
The Washington Post: Health Insurance Bill Would Keep Feds At Bay, Va. Democrats Say
Virginia House Democrats proposed a measure Tuesday to establish health insurance exchanges in the state to meet requirements of the federal health care law, calling it a way to keep Washington at bay. … Democrats cast the legislation as something lawmakers could embrace regardless of their stance on the Affordable Care Act. If the law withstands a Supreme Court challenge, Democrats argued, Virginia should have a home-grown plan ready so the federal government doesn't impose one (Vozzella, 1/10).
(Montana) Helena Independent Record: High-Risk Insurance Pools Out Of Funds
Montana's federally funded health insurance "high risk pool" for the hard-to-insure will blow through its initially allocated $16 million this year, and needs another $6 million to $7 million to cover its 2012 costs, officials said Tuesday. The $16 million, issued in mid-2010 as part of the federal health care-reform law, was supposed to cover costs of the subsidized health insurance program through 2013, for as many as 400 people covered by the pool. Yet initial cost estimates turned out to be too low, because the medical costs per covered customer are higher than expected, said Cecil Bykerk, executive director of Montana's pool (Dennison, 1/11).
In other news, the Boston Globe offers a local take on the a number of New England health professionals who were named to be "innovation advisors" as part of the health overhaul.
Boston Globe: 11 Local Health Professionals Named 'Innovation Advisors'
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has named 11 health care providers from New England, including four from Boston, to join the first class of "innovation advisors." The advisor program, created by the Affordable Care Act, is designed to give medical professionals the skills they need to assess and change the health care of large groups of patients, including in areas of economics and population health. They also will become point people for testing and ramping up pilot programs for changing the health care system (Conaboy, 1/10).