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States should be allowed to implement key health reform law provisions early, experts say
Date:5/23/2011

NEW YORK, May 23, 2011More than eight of 10 leaders in health and health care policy (82%) believe states should be allowed to implement key provisions of the Affordable Care Act early with full federal support, ahead of the timeline outlined in the law. Such key provisions include expanding Medicaid eligibility to cover more low-income families and creating insurance exchanges with premium subsidies. Findings are from the latest Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey, which asked respondents about the relative authority states and the federal government should have implementing health care reform.

There are wide differences of opinion in Congress and among industry experts about the degree to which the federal government or individual states should have authority over health reform. When asked about the overall statefederal balance in the Affordable Care Act, 41 percent of opinion leaders said the federal government should have more authority and 29 percent say that the law has struck an appropriate balance between states' and the federal government's roles. Only 25 percent of respondents thought the states should have more authority.

On many health care reform provisions, opinion leaders were somewhat more likely to think the federal government should have a stronger role. For instance, under the law, new federal rules will prohibit insurers from restricting coverage or basing premiums on health status or gender. Half of health care opinion leaders support granting the federal government more power to set such health insurance market rules; 23 percent feel the law got the balance between the federal government and states about right. In addition, half of respondents favor a stronger role for the federal government in developing and spreading innovative provider payment methods, including new models like accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes.

A wide majority of opinion leade
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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