What You Need to Know
- Nevada has a more flexible approach to provider network construction than Colorado's public option program does.
- The new federal CMS administrator helped Oregon officials think about their options.
- Connecticut officials let public option legislation die in committee.
Gov. Steve Sisolak of Nevada is close to signing a state “public option” health plan bill, and two top Democrats in Congress — Sen. Patty Murray, D- Wash., and Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J. — are asking the public for ideas about a public option bill they’re drafting.
Murray is the chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Pallone is chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Different players define “public option” in different ways. The most common proposals and programs involve efforts by the government to provide a standardized, low-cost health plan that will use the power of competition to improve the state of the commercial health insurance market.
Washington state’s Cascade Care public option plans came to life Jan. 1.
The House and the Senate in Colorado have both passed different versions of H21-1232, the Colorado Option public option plan bill, and the House is now considering adoption of the amended Senate version.
Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, who is now the administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), was in charge of the team that prepared a report Oregon policymakers are using to evaluate public option program proposals for Oregon.
Members of the Nevada Assembly voted 26-15 for final passage of Senate Bill 424, a bill that would require state officials to develop a public option plan that would be available to individuals and small businesses in the state.
The program would use a competitive bidding process to hire health plans or other organizations to administer a plan that might look like something like a Medicaid buy-in plan aimed at individuals and small employers.
The Nevada Senate approved the bill by a 12-9 vote May 24.
Sisolak told reporters last week that he plans to sign the bill, according to local press reports.