Bipartisan Policy Center Launches New Health Project Led by Former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist

January 25, 2011 by matray

side note: I find this very interesting. In today's partisan political climate, can Sens. Daschle and Frist find common ground to the nation's healthcare ailments? Calling “constructive engagement on health reform vital to our nation’s future,” the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) launched its Health Project on Jan. 18, led by former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist as well as former Gov. Ted Strickland. “We know there remains a great political divide over the future of the healthcare system, but the need for substantive discussions and cooperation has never been greater,” said Sen. Daschle. “An economically sustainable health system is in our collective interest, and I look forward to working with the states to help them lead the way with health reform. If the states succeed, we as a nation will make significant progress.” The BPC will embark on a comprehensive review of the numerous challenges and opportunities confronting states as they deal with delivery, cost and coverage demands in their health systems. Through a series of private and public discussions, the BPC will engage state, federal, business and workforce leaders over the next year. “The emphasis on a strong, active state role is the most significant element of the new healthcare law, and moving forward we need to continue to create and implement solutions that work for state leaders,” said Sen. Frist, referring to the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act. “While the law is not perfect, it is now the foundation upon which all future reform will be based. Working in close coordination with the states, our project will provide support as they make crucial and often difficult healthcare decisions. We must face our healthcare crisis, and I look forward to making real progress on these issues through this substantive and forward-leaning project.” The BPC Health Project is initially focusing on several key areas of concern: insurance exchanges; insurance reforms; and delivery system reforms, including health information technology, the health professional workforce, healthcare efficiency and medical malpractice reform. For each issue area, the BPC will identify and share best practices among the states and host roundtable discussions to facilitate a thoughtful, bipartisan dialogue among stakeholders at the state and federal level and in the industry and marketplace. “We will be collaborating together to target and highlight a range of solutions, not just one solution, to the many financing and delivery challenges facing the states,” said Gov. Strickland. “To ensure that we are responsive to and truly understand different state needs, our project will seek input and guidance from a broad group of both Republican and Democratic governors. The debate about healthcare reform is ongoing, but it is my hope that our effort will go beyond the rhetoric and deliver pragmatic, practical approaches that work.” Sens. Daschle and Frist as well as Gov. Strickland will lead the project with guidance from healthcare experts and project co-directors Sheila Burke and Chris Jennings. The BPC’s first healthcare project culminated in the release of a bipartisan blueprint for healthcare reform, Crossing Our Lines, by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle and Bob Dole in June 2009. The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) is a non-profit organization that was established in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell to develop and promote solutions that can attract public support and political momentum in order to achieve real progress.

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