THE HCC BLOG

THE LEBANON DEMOCRAT: Pody speaks to Wilson County Tea Party

POSTED about 4 weeks ago BY HEALTH CARE COMPACT

He shared not only the bills he will he sponsored this session, but also the strategy he uses to decide on how he will vote on a bill.  He began with a description of the preliminary mechanics of how the House operates before it rolls into full Session.

The House is charged with meeting 90 legislative days during the next two years. A legislative day is logged when roll call is taken and typically happens Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The first two weeks of the session are primarily organizational when seating, office and committee assignments are made, Pody explained.

This year, Gov. Bill Haslam called a special session of the legislature to decide whether to approve the Insure Tennessee Medicare expansion program.  Pody questioned the governor’s reasoning for this because he did not have the votes going into it. Five of six committees within the House could have killed the bill, but the Senate did instead.

“If someone asks me, ‘Will you co-sponsor this bill?’ my response will always be, ‘Let me read it first and understand it,’” Pody said.  

He said lobbyists and other representatives promoting bills will try to offer a quick summary of its content to get him to sign on as a co-sponsor, but he holds his ground. As a result, Pody’s name shows up the least among all of the representatives as a co-sponsor of bills moving through the House.

In addition to reading and understanding a bill, Pody said he makes it a point to talk to all sides of the issue before committing to a decision.  

“Some may try to accuse me of waffling because these steps take time,” he said. “But when I make a decision I want it to be one of substance because it will affect the lives of many people.”

Once he has read and understands a bill and has spoken to those parties affected, Pody shared the decision Ps he uses to decide how he will cast his vote: 

• Is the issue principle based?  Using his pro-life position as an example, he cited his vote will always reflect his principles.

• What is the policy? Or, how do we get there? He used the various roads on a map as a metaphor to explain there is more than one path to reach a conclusion.

• What are the politics? The system of government is not perfect and issues are subject to political influence, Pody said.

• What is the level of passion? Not all bills are created equal.  Some are more important than others.

• People – who is affected?  “I represent 67,000 people and my vote needs to reflect their needs,” Pody said.

• Where is the proof?  Volunteers help by digging through piles of information to get to the real facts of the matter.

• Pray for guidance. Once all the information is gathered and evaluated, he prays for guidance to cast the right vote.

Concluding his remarks on strategy he moved into a discussion of the bills he plans to sponsor this session.  

“The Healthcare Compact bill would keep the federal government out of our health care system. It nearly passed last year, and I believe there was a good chance it will pass this year,” Pody said.

He also plans to sponsor a bill to make the attorney general an elected office with a six-year term. If it was to be made a four- or eight-year term, it would align with the governor’s race, which he felt would be influenced the candidate running.

Emission testing of new cars less than three years old with less than 36,000 miles should be eliminated. He said it is nothing more than an added tax on new car owners and plans to sponsor a bill calling for the emission testing rules to be changed.

With the recent passage of the Keystone Pipeline bill, Pody said he would like to pass a resolution citing with its completion, the U.S. should be buying its imported oil from Canada rather than the Middle East. He would also like to see sales tax from tire sales in Tennessee be allocated to the Tennessee Department of Transportation instead of raising the gasoline tax in the state.

The next Wilson County Tea Party Meeting will be April 27 at the Ward Ag Center. Laurie Cardoza-Moore will be the guest speaker. She is president of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations and is an expert on Israel. Visit wilsoncountyteaparty.com for more information.

THE HILL: Is Supreme Court’s chief justice ready to take down ObamaCare?

POSTED about 4 weeks ago BY HEALTH CARE COMPACT

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts faced a conservative backlash after casting a decisive vote to save ObamaCare in 2012. 

Now he must weigh in on the law once again. 
 
The case of King v. Burwell, set for arguments before the Court on Wednesday, threatens to gut the law by invalidating subsidies to help millions of people buy insurance in the roughly three-dozen states relying on the federally run marketplace. 
 
While it is legally far different than the 2012 case — a question of interpreting the text of the law rather than ruling on its constitutionality — Roberts faces the same kind of scrutiny. 
 
After Roberts’s surprise ruling in a 5-4 decision to uphold the law the last time, conservatives denounced him as a sellout. Conservative host Glenn Beck printed T-shirts with Roberts’s picture above the word “COWARD.” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, now a possible Republican presidential candidate, said Roberts was “just playing to the editorial pages of The Washington Post and The New York Times.”

CBS reported after the decision, citing two anonymous sources, that Roberts had switched his vote to uphold the law and withstood a fierce lobbying campaign from the conservative wing of the Court. 
 
Now conservatives are putting pressure on Roberts again. John Yoo, who was a prominent lawyer in President George W. Bush’s Justice Department, wrote in National Review that the new case gives Roberts “the chance to atone for his error in upholding Obamacare.”
 
But it remains unclear which way Roberts will rule. The challengers argue that the plain English of a phrase in the law referring to marketplaces “established by the state” clearly prohibits subsidies from being disbursed on federally run exchanges not established by states. 
 
The administration argues that is a nonsensical reading of one phrase that is contradicted by the rest of the law, which makes no mention of restricting subsidies only to some states. 
 
Supporters of upholding the subsidies also have their eyes on Roberts. “The chief is clearly the prime person to look at,” said Simon Lazarus, senior counsel at the Constitutional Accountability Center. 
 
The legal world is buzzing about a decision the Supreme Court handed down on Wednesday, thinking it might provide a window into how Roberts will rule in King. 
 
In the case, Yates v. United States — which centers on a fisherman accused of destroying evidence that he violated restrictions — Roberts joined a majority opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal, holding that a fish is not a “tangible object” under a certain law. While a fish is literally a “tangible object,” Ginsburg, along with Roberts, pointed to Congress’s intent in passing the law, which was to crack down on financial fraud, and said that fish have nothing to do with that. 
 
“When interpreting statutory text, Roberts isn’t as fixated on isolated words and phrases as some Justices sometimes are,” Laurence Tribe, a Harvard law professor who taught Roberts as a student, wrote in an email. “He pays close attention to the context in which phrases appear and to a statute’s overall purpose. That became especially clear when he joined Justice Ginsburg’s plurality opinion on Feb. 25 holding that fish didn’t count as ‘tangible objects.’”
 
But Jonathan Adler, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University, and an architect of the challenge to the subsidies, said “no one believes” that context is not important. 
 
He focuses instead on the justices’ history of saying that “you can’t rewrite clear terms” in a law. 
 
A window into Roberts’s thinking that could give hope to the challengers of the subsidies, on the other hand, is the chief justice’s opinion in the 2013 case striking down part of the Voting Rights Act. There, he reasoned that Congress could simply redo the outdated formula for applying the law that he was striking down, without factoring in congressional gridlock. 
 
That shows Roberts is willing to adopt “pretend naïveté about the political process,” and eases the way for him to strike down provisions by simply giving the problem back to Congress to fix, said Richard Hasen, a law professor at the University of California. 
 
Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, who make up the liberal wing of the Court, are widely expected to vote to uphold the subsidies. Justices Alito, Thomas, and Scalia are seen as more likely to vote to strike them down. Justice Kennedy, often the swing vote, could be in the air along with Roberts. 
 
“Justice Kennedy and the chief tend to be more in the middle,” said Chris Walker, an Ohio State law professor and former clerk for Kennedy. 
 
“They tend to be lighter versions of textualism,” he said, meaning that they are more likely to also consider factors like the purpose of the law as a whole. 
 
A broader potential factor in Roberts’s decision is his interest in the legitimacy of the Court in the eyes of the public, and his worry about appearing too partisan. 
 
"We are not Republicans or Democrats," Roberts said in a speech in September. "I'm worried about people having that perception."

By: Peter Sullivan

FORBES: Obamacare Is Punishing Working-Class Americans

POSTED one month ago BY HEALTH CARE COMPACT

Employees at Staples will soon get a little bit more vacation — thanks to Obamacare. Unfortunately, that time off will be unpaid — and in most cases, unwelcome.

The retailer, which employs 85,000 people, has limited part-time work to 25 hours a week to avoid Obamacare’s fines for not providing insurance to those who work 30 or more hours a week.

President Obama refused to acknowledge that his healthcare law played a part in Staples’ decision. “I haven’t looked at Staples stock lately or what the compensation of the CEO is, but I suspect that they could well afford to treat their workers favorably,” he said of the company during a recent interview. “Shame on them.”

But if Obamacare had never become law, scores of working-class Americans would be logging more hours and making more money. The president’s health law has effectively taken money out of their pockets.

The main culprit is Obamacare’s employer mandate. This year, companies with 100 or more employees must provide all who put in 30 or more hours a week “affordable” insurance that meets Obamacare’s generous coverage standards. Next year, the rule will apply to companies with 50 or more workers.

The law defines coverage as affordable if it consumes less than 9.5% of an employee’s income.

Companies that refuse to comply are subject to fines equal to the lesser of $2,000 per worker, with the first 30 exempted from the calculation, or $3,000 per employee who goes on to secure subsidized coverage in Obamacare’s individual insurance exchanges.

The average cost of individual employer-sponsored health insurance exceeded $6,000 last year. The fines for failing to provide it can amount to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It’s no wonder that companies are trying to dodge these expenses by making full-time employees part-timers. Workers ultimately pay the price, as they notch fewer hours and take home smaller paychecks.

Staples isn’t the only employer to cut hours. Investor’s Business Daily has tallied more than 450 private companies and government agencies that have done the same.

Betsy Webb, a school superintendent in Maine, recently testified before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions that her school system will have to cut substitute teachers’ hours, as it can’t afford to provide them health insurance. The school will also have to require those working two part-time jobs for the district to quit one of them.

As she told the senators, everyone loses.

Other schools have had similar experiences. More than 200 colleges have cut work hours because of the mandate, according to the College Fix, a higher education news source.

The Obamacare-fueled switch to part-time work is exacerbating our economy’s ongoing struggle to create full-time jobs. Andy Puzder, chief executive for CKE Restaurants, recently told a Senate panel that nearly 2 million people were working two part-time jobs last year. That’s the highest level since the government started tracking in 1994.

Even though the recession officially ended almost six years ago, there are still 6.8 million people working part-time today who want a full time job. An additional 6 million want a job but have quit looking altogether.

None of these data points suggests that Obamacare is helping working Americans.

Economists at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management agree. They’ve concluded that the employer mandate is doing more harm than good to workers. Even the liberal Urban Institute’s research has demonstrated that the mandate will do almost nothing to increase the rate of insurance coverage.

The U.S. Supreme Court could strike a significant blow against the employer mandate — and thereby help businesses and workers alike — when it hears King v. Burwell on March 4. At issue is whether the federal government can provide subsidies for insurance purchased through the federal healthcare.gov insurance exchange.

Obamacare’s text suggests that the feds cannot. Section 36B clearly states that the government can offer tax credits only to those people enrolled in “an Exchange established by the State.” Healthcare.gov does not fall under that category.

A Supreme Court ruling against Obamacare would effectively repeal the employer mandate in the 37 states served by healthcare.gov. After all, businesses only face a penalty for not providing affordable insurance if their employees purchase subsidized coverage through the exchanges. No subsidies, no penalty.

Obamacare’s definition of 30 hours as full time would no longer be valid. Employers could put people back to work.

Several senators don’t want to wait for the High Court to act. Sens. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), John Barrasso, (R-Wyo.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and John Thune (R-S.D.) have co-sponsored legislation that would repeal Obamacare’s 30-hour rule nationwide — and define a full-timer as someone who works 40 hours a week.

Sens. Orin Hatch (R-Utah) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) have sponsored a measure that would go even farther — and repeal the employer mandate altogether. Twenty-six other senators have co-sponsored the measure.

The president may have assumed that companies would simply absorb the cost of his employer mandate. But companies cannot conjure out of thin air the thousands or millions of dollars needed to comply with the president’s diktats.

As long as Obamacare and its employer mandate exist, working Americans will continue to pay a hefty price.

Sally C. Pipes is President, CEO, and Taube Fellow in Health Care Studies at the Pacific Research Institute. Her latest book is The Cure for Obamacare (Encounter 2013).

FORBES: How Obamacare Pits Insurers Against The Medical Industry

POSTED one month ago BY HEALTH CARE COMPACT

Health plans say they were caught unprepared by the cost of covering a new cure for hepatitis C. They say they didn’t foresee the spending, and didn’t plan for it. Yet everyone else in healthcare seems to have known price tag well in advance.

Wall Street analysts predicted the number of patients doctors were “warehousing” for immediate treatment. The drug’s maker, Gilead Sciences GILD +1.81%, Inc, had telegraphed the pill’s list price well before its launch. The estimated FDA approval date was known for almost two years before the medicine went on sale. In fact, a unit of United Healthcare published some of the best analysis of the projected costs – two years ago.

Were the health plans being disingenuous, or purposely naïve? More likely, they were setting up a political contest that’s going to become more customary as a result of Obamacare. With insurers’ ability to raise premiums tightly controlled by Washington, and with new costs imposed through federal mandates that regulate what they must cover, the plans are going to be increasingly pressed to find political justification for premium hikes. This year, a new drug became the perfect foil.

These shenanigans are not a new phenomenon – the various actors in healthcare have long treated the industry’s economics as a zero sum game. Each sector blames the others for their rising costs. Insurers, for their part, have long used healthcare charges as justification for their premium hikes, whether it’s the rising cost of hospital care, paying doctors, or — in this case – new drugs and medical devices.

But Obamacare asserts tight regulation over the annual premium increases that insurers can take, nationalizing that process. Now premium increases aren’t reported on a state-by-state basis, but closely watched as a national standard.

That turns the industry’s rate cycle into a closely watched political event. It will require a rotating roster of cause célèbre to give reason to premium hikes — politicizing that process. This will put insurers at odds with the products and services they purchase on behalf of their customers. To keep their hands cleaner, individual health plans will wage these national fights through their Washington trade association.

These premium decisions were once local events, swayed by economic factors that were particular to each state. We’re already seeing that these rate cycles will be increasingly noisy, and national, adding to the political scrutiny. Insurers need politically minded arguments that can resonate across different markets – and most of all, resound in Washington. This year, a new cure for hepatitis C became the justification.

When it comes to drugs, in particular, health plans have long complained that they get caught off guard by the cost of having to cover new innovations. But the drug pipeline isn’t a mystery. The list of drugs awaiting FDA approval is available through Google GOOGL -1.42%. Wall Street analysts carefully estimate the odds of approval, the expected prices, and projected sales. These numbers make their way into the financial press.

Take Sovaldi, the cure for hepatitis C that has the subject of the health insurance industry’s recent protests. In November 2013, the widely followed investment research firm ISI Group published a survey of more than 200 investors where it reliably estimated the expected cost and market size for Sovaldi, well ahead of its launch. Investors accurately expected a 12-week course of therapy to be list priced at around $85,000 (the actual cost of the drug is now substantially lower, on the order of about $50,000 owing to price competition that has led to discounts).

Like reports published by Guggenheim in November 2012, and Citigroup C -1.35%in March 2012, analysts predicted rapid early uptake of Sovaldi as a result of patients that had been “warehoused” by doctors. These were patients who had decided to temporarily forgo other available treatment for their hepatitis C in anticipation of the new and more effective generation of drugs, of which Sovaldi was the first.

All of this is consistent with opinions expressed in an April 12, 2013 survey of 50 payers from the health insurance space that was published by healthcare analysts at the investment bank JP Morgan. Taken about eight months before the drug’s December 6, 2013 approval, the survey found a “majority of payors aware of and prepared for a large influx of warehoused hep c patients in treatment.”

Sovaldi, in the end, didn’t disrupt the industry’s earnings. The health plans reported favorable quarters all year. They’ve been one of the best performing sectors on Wall Street. All of the major plans had positive prior period reserve development (PPRD) meaning that they actually put away more money then they spent, even while they were funding the rollout of Sovaldi. None of the plans were upside down.

Even if the health plans didn’t specifically reserve against the anticipated costs of Sovaldi, it didn’t matter. They all had extra money built into their budgets.

But the drug provided some timely justification for rate increases during the current cycle, even as the cost of providing each course of the hepatitis C treatment has fallen sharply owing to new competition. It was an easy argument for the insurance industry to roll out on a national scale, and one that resonated in Washington, where anti-drug industry bias runs strong. Insurance rate increases are now more highly politicized than ever before. Obamacare proponents are trying to keep them low to show that the law is working. Critics point to outsized increases as proof its not.

This has put the insurance industry in an economic bind. Obamacare saddles insurers with new, costly mandates and regulation. At the same time, it caps their operating margins. It squeezes their budgets at the same time that the legislation adds to their costs. The end result? The industry’s finances are no longer based on the laws of economics, or healthcare. They are decided by the rules of politics.

So insurers are pressed to find politically palatable justification for their rate hikes. They can’t blame Obamacare with the Obama White House still in charge of these decisions. Their rows were once made before state legislatures and insurance commissioners. Now they’re made on Capitol Hill and Independence Avenue.

By: Scott Gottlieb

THE JOURNAL-NEWS: State Rep. Wes Retherford introduces State-based alternative to Obamacare

POSTED one month ago BY HEALTH CARE COMPACT

COLUMBUS — If Ohio likes its Obamacare, it can keep its Obamacare – but it won’t have to if a group of state lawmakers have their way.

State Rep. Wes Retherford, Hamilton -House District 51, and Rep. Terry Boose, Norwalk – House District 57, have introduced legislation that would give Ohio greater control over federal health care programs. It’s called the Health Care Compact, and it would allow Columbus to regulate health care and provide an alternative to Obamacare.

“We’ve begun to see with Obamacare and the Veterans Administration debacles that a centralized health care system run out of Washington is destined to fail.  States should be free to come up with the approach that best reflects the needs and wants of its citizens,” Retherford said. “By transferring decision-making authority, responsibility and control of federal health care funding from Washington, D.C. to Columbus, the Health Care Compact gives Ohio the option to choose a different health insurance system than Obamacare, one that actually works to meet our families’ needs.

“The Health Care Compact will shield Ohio citizens and businesses from the burdensome regulations of Obamacare, and protect our seniors from the $700 billion dollars that Obamacare cuts from Medicare to pay for Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies,” he said.

The move to give states more say-so over health care policy is gaining momentum. The Health Care Compact has been approved by nine states — Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Kansas and Utah.

“Under the Healthcare Compact we won’t have a national program. Some states could implement a single-payer system, while others push more market-oriented mechanisms.  Others could choose to remain in the federal program,” Wetherford said.  “The Health Care Compact has only one single requirement for every state: it requires that federal health-care dollars be spent on health care, and only on health care – they cannot be siphoned off to other, non-health-care programs. After that, the citizens of Ohio and their representatives in Columbus will decide how those dollars will be spent to provide the best health care for the citizens of Ohio.”

Under the Interstate Health Care Compact, Ohio would receive annual federal funding that must be spent on health care programs within the state.  Ohio’s allotment would be calculated from a baseline of 2010 federal health care spending in the state, adjusted for changes in population and inflation.

State compacts are governing tools that have been used on a number of occasions to establish agreements between and among states. Mentioned in Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution, compacts are the constitutional instruments that provide authority and flexibility to the states for administering specific programs. Congressional approval is required for states to enter into a legally binding compact.

More than 96 percent of health care is provided and consumed within a state by residents of that state. The Health Care Compact recognizes that since the lions share of health care is locally provided and locally consumed, regulating it at the state level makes more sense than mandating a single set of policies from Washington. Centralized micromanagement of a complex industry serving more than 300 million people won’t work.

“Americans are expected to spend $4 trillion on health care this year,” Retherford said. “Letting one group of bureaucrats manage that in Washington makes no sense. Each state is different — different demographics, different insurance companies, different political perspectives — so a single national solution is madness. The Interstate Health Care Compact allows for uniquely tailored, state-based solutions to health care delivery and affordability problems.

“A one-size-fits-all health care policy handed down from Washington simply does not work.

The Health Care Compact gives states decision-making authority so they can design healthcare programs that meet their unique needs and priorities,” said Shonda Werry, executive director of Competitive Governance Action, the non-profit organization that advocates for interstate compacts.

THE SIDNEY POST: State Rep. Wes Retherford introduces State-based alternative to Obamacare

POSTED one month ago BY HEALTH CARE COMPACT

COLUMBUS — If Ohio likes its Obamacare, it can keep its Obamacare – but it won’t have to if a group of state lawmakers have their way.

State Rep. Wes Retherford, Hamilton -House District 51, and Rep. Terry Boose, Norwalk – House District 57, have introduced legislation that would give Ohio greater control over federal health care programs. It’s called the Health Care Compact, and it would allow Columbus to regulate health care and provide an alternative to Obamacare.

“We’ve begun to see with Obamacare and the Veterans Administration debacles that a centralized health care system run out of Washington is destined to fail.  States should be free to come up with the approach that best reflects the needs and wants of its citizens,” Retherford said. “By transferring decision-making authority, responsibility and control of federal health care funding from Washington, D.C. to Columbus, the Health Care Compact gives Ohio the option to choose a different health insurance system than Obamacare, one that actually works to meet our families’ needs.

“The Health Care Compact will shield Ohio citizens and businesses from the burdensome regulations of Obamacare, and protect our seniors from the $700 billion dollars that Obamacare cuts from Medicare to pay for Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies,” he said.

The move to give states more say-so over health care policy is gaining momentum. The Health Care Compact has been approved by nine states — Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Kansas and Utah.

“Under the Healthcare Compact we won’t have a national program. Some states could implement a single-payer system, while others push more market-oriented mechanisms.  Others could choose to remain in the federal program,” Wetherford said.  “The Health Care Compact has only one single requirement for every state: it requires that federal health-care dollars be spent on health care, and only on health care – they cannot be siphoned off to other, non-health-care programs. After that, the citizens of Ohio and their representatives in Columbus will decide how those dollars will be spent to provide the best health care for the citizens of Ohio.”

Under the Interstate Health Care Compact, Ohio would receive annual federal funding that must be spent on health care programs within the state.  Ohio’s allotment would be calculated from a baseline of 2010 federal health care spending in the state, adjusted for changes in population and inflation.

State compacts are governing tools that have been used on a number of occasions to establish agreements between and among states. Mentioned in Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution, compacts are the constitutional instruments that provide authority and flexibility to the states for administering specific programs. Congressional approval is required for states to enter into a legally binding compact.

More than 96 percent of health care is provided and consumed within a state by residents of that state. The Health Care Compact recognizes that since the lions share of health care is locally provided and locally consumed, regulating it at the state level makes more sense than mandating a single set of policies from Washington. Centralized micromanagement of a complex industry serving more than 300 million people won’t work.

“Americans are expected to spend $4 trillion on health care this year,” Retherford said. “Letting one group of bureaucrats manage that in Washington makes no sense. Each state is different — different demographics, different insurance companies, different political perspectives — so a single national solution is madness. The Interstate Health Care Compact allows for uniquely tailored, state-based solutions to health care delivery and affordability problems.

“A one-size-fits-all health care policy handed down from Washington simply does not work.

The Health Care Compact gives states decision-making authority so they can design healthcare programs that meet their unique needs and priorities,” said Shonda Werry, executive director of Competitive Governance Action, the non-profit organization that advocates for interstate compacts.

State Rep. Wes Retherford Introduces State-based alternative to Obamacare

POSTED one month ago BY HEALTH CARE COMPACT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday February 17, 2015

Contact: Curtis Ellis 917 861-2233 curtiswellis@gmail.com

 

State Rep. Wes Retherford Introduces State-based alternative to Obamacare

“If you like your Obamacare, you can keep your Obamacare – but you don’t have to”

 

COLUMBUS — If Ohio likes its Obamacare, it can keep its Obamacare – but it won’t have to if a group of state lawmakers have their way. State Representative Wes Retherford (Hamilton -House District 51) and Representative Terry Boose (Norwalk – House District 57) have introduced legislation that would give Ohio greater control over federal health care programs. It’s called the Health Care Compact and it would allow Columbus to regulate health care and provide an alternative to Obamacare.

“We’ve begun to see with Obamacare and the Veterans Administration debacles that a centralized health care system run out of Washington is destined to fail.  States should be free to come up with the approach that best reflects the needs and wants of its citizens.  By transferring decision-making authority, responsibility and control of federal health care funding from Washington DC to Columbus, the Health Care Compact gives Ohio the option to choose a different health insurance system than Obamacare, one that actually works to meet our families’ needs,” says Rep. Wes Retherford.

"The Health Care Compact will shield Ohio citizens and businesses from the burdensome regulations of Obamacare, and protect our seniors from the $700 billion dollars that Obamacare cuts from Medicare to pay for Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies," says Rep. Wes Retherford.

The move to give states more say-so over health care policy is gaining momentum. The Health Care Compact has been approved by nine states - Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Kansas and Utah.

“Under the Healthcare Compact we won’t have a national program. Some states could implement a single-payer system, while others push more market-oriented mechanisms.  Others could choose to remain in the federal program,” Rep. Wetherford says.  “The Health Care Compact has only one single requirement for every state: it requires that federal health-care dollars be spent on health care, and only on health care – they cannot be siphoned off to other, non-health-care programs. After that, the citizens of Ohio and their representatives in Columbus will decide how those dollars will be spent to provide the best health care for the citizens of Ohio.”

Under the Interstate Health Care Compact, Ohio would receive annual federal funding that must be spent on health care programs within the state.  Ohio’s allotment would be calculated from a baseline of 2010 federal health care spending in the state, adjusted for changes in population and inflation.

State compacts are governing tools that have been used on a number of occasions to establish agreements between and among states. Mentioned in Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution, compacts are the constitutional instruments that provide authority and flexibility to the states for administering specific programs. Congressional approval is required for states to enter into a legally binding compact.

Over 96% of health care is provided and consumed within a state by residents of that state. The Health Care Compact recognizes that since the lions share of health care is locally provided and locally consumed, regulating it at the state level makes more sense than mandating a single set of policies from Washington. Centralized micromanagement of a complex industry serving more than 300 million people won’t work.

“Americans are expected to spend $4 trillion on health care this year.  Letting one group of bureaucrats manage that in Washington makes no sense. Each state is different –different demographics, different insurance companies, different political perspectives – so a single national solution is madness,” says Rep. Wes Retherford. “The Interstate Health Care Compact allows for uniquely tailored, state-based solutions to health care delivery and affordability problems.”

"A one-size-fits-all health care policy handed down from Washington simply does not work. The Health Care Compact gives states decision-making authority so they can design healthcare programs that meet their unique needs and priorities," says Shonda Werry, Executive Director of Competitive Governance Action, the non-profit organization that advocates for interstate compacts.

The Health Care Compact was developed to offer Americans more influence over decisions that govern health care. The Health Care Compact is a project of Competitive Governance Action, a 501(C)(4) organization committed to educating and advocating for the concept that problems should be solved by the smallest, least centralized, most local authority that may effectively address the matter. Central to the concept is the devolution of political power from the federal government to state and local governments, to individuals and to non-government community and religious institutions.

 

 

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