Members of Congress came to the fall meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to stump for a bill that could turn states into health insurance reform laboratories.
Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., described their bill, H.R. 506, the Health Partnership Through Creative Federalism Act, here at an NAIC government relations leadership council session.
The bill calls for the federal government to form a bipartisan State Health Innovation Commission that would offer grants to states, groups of states and portions of states.
Grant recipients could use the money – and exemptions from some of the usual laws and regulations governing health insurance – to experiment with ideas such as creating new tax credits, expanding Medicaid or State Children’s Health Insurance Program plans, forming new pooling arrangements, setting up single-payer systems, or beefing up health savings account options, Baldwin and Price said.
Baldwin said she hopes implementing the health insurance regulation pilot program would give new life to existing reform ideas.
The bill recognizes that “states already have a leg up on the feds when it comes to health care,” Price said.