Bipartisan group backs health reform implementation

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 31, 2011

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Former Senate Majority Leaders Bill Frist, MD (R, Tenn.), and Tom Daschle (D, S.D.) and former Democratic Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland have launched an effort to help states share practices to make their health systems more sustainable.

The three -- working through the Bipartisan Policy Center, which Daschle co-founded in 2007 -- will hold public and private discussions during the next year with state, federal, business and work-force leaders on the challenges and opportunities facing states' health systems. The project will focus on implementing the health insurance exchanges and health insurance regulations required by the national health reform law. It also will address ongoing health system issues, such as health professionals shortages, health information technology and medical liability reform.

Dr. Frist said in a statement on Jan. 18 that states have a strong role to play in health reform implementation. "While the law is not perfect, it is now the foundation upon which all future reform will be based."

Strickland said their work will attempt to bridge partisan divides. "The debate about health care reform is ongoing, but it is my hope that our effort will go beyond the rhetoric and deliver pragmatic, practical approaches that work."

Daschle developed a blueprint for health reform in 2008 with fellow former Senate Majority Leaders Bob Dole (R, Kan.) and Howard Baker (R, Tenn.).

Note: This item originally appeared at

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