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STATE COVERAGE INITIATIVES: Will Moving Toward Universal Coverage Make the System Work Better for Everyone?

Friday, October 26, 2007

There is mounting evidence that the U.S. system is often financially inefficient and delivers poor quality. There is also research suggesting that having so many people without insurance can adversely affect the quality of care for everyone, even those with insurance. A new report by The Commonwealth Fund sets forth principles for providing universal coverage in ways that could promote a high performance health care system. Several states are already trying to reform their health care systems.

How is implementation of universal coverage progressing in Massachusetts? How are negotiations moving forward in California and Pennsylvania to pass health care reform legislation? What is the connection, if any, between state reform initiatives, which center on coverage expansions, and improving the performance of the health care system? What is the role of the federal government in health care reform?

To discuss these and related questions, The Commonwealth Fund and the Alliance for Health Reform sponsored an October 26 briefing, which also provided a progress report on initiatives in California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Panelists were: Sara Collins, The Commonwealth Fund; Ann Torregrossa, Pennsylvania Governorís Office; Leif Wellington Haase, New America Foundationís California program; Sarah Iselin, Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy; and Tom Miller, American Enterprise Institute. Ed Howard of the Alliance moderated.


Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform, Moderator
Sara Collins, The Commonwealth Fund, Speaker
Ann Torregrossa, Pennsylvania Governor's Office, Speaker
Leif Wellington Haase, New America Foundation's California program, Speaker
Sarah Iselin, Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, Speaker
Tom Miller, American Enterprise Institute, Speaker

Transcript, Event Summary and/or Webcast and Podcast

Transcript: State Coverage Initiatives (Adobe Acrobat PDF), 11/7/2007
Full Webcast/Podcast: State Coverage Initiatives

The transcript, full webcast and podcast for this briefing are provided by Kaiser Family Foundation.

Speaker Presentations

Collins - Why Universal Health Insurance is Necessary for a High Performance Health System (PowerPoint), 10/26/2007
Haase - California: Riding the Wave to Universal Coverage? (PowerPoint), 10/26/2007
Iselin - Health Care Reform: Massachusetts One Year Later (PowerPoint), 10/26/2007
Miller - Universal Coverage: Curb Your Enthusiasm (PowerPoint), 10/26/2007
Torregrossa - Prescription for Pennsylvania (PowerPoint), 10/26/2007

(If you want to download one or more slides from these presentations, contact us at info@allhealth or click here for instructions.)

Source Materials

A Roadmap to Health Insurance for All (Adobe Acrobat PDF), The Commonwealth Fund, 10/18/2007
Aiming Higher: Results from a State Scorecard on Health System Performance (Exec Summary) (Adobe Acrobat PDF), The Commonwealth Fund, 6/1/2007
States in Action: A Bimonthly Look at Innovations in Health Policy, March/April 2007 (Adobe Acrobat PDF), The Commonwealth Fund, 3/20/2007
Health Insurance Connectors and Exchanges (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 9/1/2007
Getting Ready for Reform: Insurance Coverage and Access to and Use of Care in Massachusetts... (Adobe Acrobat PDF), The Urban Institute, 8/28/2007
The Massachusetts Health Reform: Assessing Its Significance and Progress (Adobe Acrobat PDF), The Heritage Foundation, 9/21/2007
Massachusetts Health Reform: Employers, Lower-wage Workers and Universal Coverage (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Center for Studying Health System Change, 7/1/2007
The Massachusetts Health Plan: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Adobe Acrobat PDF), The Cato Institute, 6/28/2007
How 10 People Reshaped Massachusetts Health Care (Adobe Acrobat PDF), The Wall Street Journal, 5/30/2007
California Health Care Reform: Then and Now (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Office of the Governor of California, 10/9/2007
Estimating the Hidden Tax on Insured Californians due to the Care Needed and Received by... (Adobe Acrobat PDF), New America Foundation, 5/21/2007
Comparison of California Health Coverage Expansion Proposals (Adobe Acrobat PDF), California Healthcare Foundation, 10/12/2007
Rx for Pennsylvania (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Office of the Governor of Pennsylvania, 1/1/2007
Speaker Biographies (Word Document), Alliance For Health Reform, 10/26/2007
Selected Experts (Word Document), Alliance For Health Reform, 10/26/2007

Offsite Materials (briefing documents saved on other websites)

Massachusetts Universal Care Plan Faces Hurdles, The New York Times, 7/1/2007
MA Health Plan May Exempt 20% of the Uninsured, The Boston Globe, 4/12/2007
CA Senate Republicans Introduce Health Care Solutions, California State Senate Republican Caucus, 10/10/2007
Unions Give Up on Governor's Health Plan, Los Angeles Times, 10/16/2007
Health Care Bill Vetoed, The Sacramento Bee, 10/13/2007
Universal Push for Insurance, Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/11/2007
First Pieces of Governor Rendell's 'Prescription for Pennsylvania' Signed Into Law, Office of the Governor of Pennsylvania, 7/20/2007
A State Finds No Easy Fixes on Health Care, The New York Times, 7/10/2007


Sara Collins of The Commonwealth Fund-- speaker at the October 26th briefing cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund.

Leif Wellington Haase of New America Foundation's California Program -- speaker at the October 26th briefing cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund.

Ann Torregrossa of the Pennsylvania Governor's Office -- speaker at the October 26th briefing cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund.

Tom Miller of the American Enterprise Institute -- speaker at the October 26th briefing cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund.

Sarah Iselin of the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy -- speaker at the October 26th briefing cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund.


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