2005 HEALTH LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM
- Support using the expiration of the Health Care Reform Act of 2000 (June
30, 2005) to make New York's health care system more affordable and more
Specifically: Support the recommendations of the Berger Health Care Reform Work Group, formed by Governor Pataki, which include many of the same conclusions long-held by The Business Council:
- restructuring and rightsizing the hospital system to make it stronger.
- maintaining the "public good functions of hospitals, including a reallocation of funds to support more accountable and cost-effective practices.
- improving hospital quality, including designation of centers for excellence and having New York State formally join Leapfrog.
- improving health information technology by seizing the momentum generated by President Bush in creating the office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Support the electronic health records initiative of the Taconic IPA and other regional collaboratives that are created.
In addition, The Business Council supports:
- adoption of pay for performance systems that reward measurable quality outcomes.
- reductions in the assessments employers pay for graduate medical education.
- simplifying access and use of the state's SPARCS system.
- medical liability tort reform.
- adopting the recommendation of the state Comptroller to bring HCRA funds on-line as part of the state budget.
- oppose the off-loading of general public health programs onto HCRA taxes.
- Support Medicaid reform that reduces the growth in expenditures and improves patient care:
- allow county executives to apply for a waiver from the state's prescriptive requirements so that they are able to design a more creative and cost-effective model.
- design a benefit package that more closely reflects the benefits offered by private sector and government employers.
- priority focus on high-cost patients with chronic illnesses and regional disparities in Medicaid costs. Support maximum flexibility in the implementation of disease state management pilot programs - such flexibility, for instance, would allow for a regional-based demonstration program.
- engage in parallel discussion of state takeover of Medicaid costs with an iron-clad requirement that local taxes be reduced.
- Support initiatives to make health insurance more affordable by:
- allowing employers to maximize use of the Health Savings Accounts created by the federal Medicare Modernization Act, by also allowing them to purchase a consumer-driven
health insurance plan, as embodied in Freedom Health Plan legislation introduced by Senator Seward and Assemblyman Morelle.
- Oppose initiatives that make health insurance more expensive:
- strongly oppose play or pay proposals that call for steep, punishing new taxes on businesses that can not afford to purchase health insurance for their workers.
- oppose new health insurance mandates.
- oppose cost-shifting from the direct pay market to the small group market.
- Serve as a catalyst to corporate members, local chambers and regional health care coalitions who are pursuing collaborative and creative health care solutions at the regional level:
- help empower community leaders.
- provide data to community decision-makers.
- facilitate the transfer of best practices between regions.