2004 LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM
Following is The Business Council's 2004 Legislative Program. It identifies priority issues to be addressed by the Committees and Councils during 2004.
- 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, such as the Community
Technology Assessment Advisory Board in Rochester, the Leapfrog Group improvements, public measurements of quality by the Niagara Health Quality Coalition and performance payment plans like Bridges to Excellence.
- Support Medicaid reform that reduces the growth in expenditures and
improves patient care.
- priority focus on high cost patients with chronic illness and regional disparities in Medicaid costs;
- harness information technology;
- promote greater private sector health insurance coverage;
- state takeover of the system with iron-clad requirement that local taxes be reduced;
- model benefits after benefits provided in the private sector.
- Support initiatives to make health insurance more affordable by a) allowing employers to purchase a foundation health plan similar to Healthy New York, b) opposing new mandates and creating a cost-benefit commission, c) allowing flexibility and choice in benefit design by encouraging consumer-driven health plans, d) opposing cost-shifting from the direct pay market to the small group market. The Business Council supports a requirement that Chambers of Commerce be allowed to market and administer Healthy New York.
- 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.
- Support greater accountability for employer expenditures for bad debt and charity care through the hospital system. Employers pay a tax on their hospital bills to support this system.
- Support state initiatives that promote corporate wellness programs and provide criteria by which to measure the success of the programs.
- Support medical liability tort reform.