Many States To Expand Health Insurance To More Residents

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The Philadelphia Inquireron Thursday examined recent efforts by states to expand healthinsurance coverage to more residents and to make health care moreaccessible and affordable. According to the Inquirer,legislatures in more than two dozen states have begun to considerproposals to expand health insurance to more uninsured residents, andfour recently have enacted such proposals.

Jennifer Tolbert, a policy analyst for the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured,said, "There is clearly broad interest across the country and in manystates in developing broad strategies to address the problem of theuninsured" that "seek to build on existing public programs such asSCHIP."

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Richard Cauchi, health program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures,said, "This activity is genuinely local, not national," adding, "Eachstate is calculating its own needs and resources and checking financerealities." He said, "With 2008 sessions just 12 weeks away, it shouldbe an interesting year" (Goldstein, Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/11).

Opinion Piece

In the absence of federal action on health care, "[s]tates areproviding the leadership that is moving health care reform across statelines and building momentum for national reform," Washington state Sen.Karen Keiser (D), and Adam Thompson, senior health policy analyst atthe Progressive States Network, write in a San Francisco Chronicleopinion piece. According to Keiser and Thompson, "we need states to beleaders on health care reform if we are ever to have a federalsolution," in part because states are pressuring federal legislators toact on the issue (Keiser/Thompson, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/10).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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