first_imgVermont Gov. Jim Douglas officially kicked off his yearlong National Governors Association (NGA) Chair s initiative, Rx for Health Reform: Affordable, Accessible, Accountable, at the National Press Club today. In his remarks, he also offered some initial reactions to the recently released Senate Finance Committee proposal. Douglas s initiative focuses on the critical need for health reform to reduce health care costs, ensure Americans get the highest quality of care and increase coverage for those who lack health insurance. States have proven that we can achieve real health reform that includes more cost-effective and efficient health care strategies to improve the delivery of care, said Gov. Douglas. States continue to show leadership and innovation in improving the way health care is delivered.Douglas also addressed the critical role states will play in implementing any reforms.  Governors will have a lead role in implementing the broad policies set by Congress.  It will take much preparation and potential restructuring on the part of governors, but we will step up to fulfill the promises of reform.  He complimented the Senate Finance Committee for the substantial changes made in Medicaid, but continued to express concerns about increasing the costs to states. Coverage without significant improvements to the health care delivery system and efforts to lower health care costs will eventually cause further strain on an already unsustainable system, Gov. Douglas said. True reform cannot be done on the backs of the states, nor can it be done without the states.  With the nation spending almost $7,500 per person for health services each year, Rx for Health Reform emphasizes the urgent need to make health care in the United States more affordable, more accessible and more accountable. While there is broad consensus on the need to reform health care in this county, achieving it will require teamwork, compromise and a willingness to address the tough issues surrounding health care. Gov. Douglas s initiative will help governors as they make critical decisions about health reforms.To address key challenges, Rx for Health Reform will:· Provide governors with the information they need to transition to a new health care system;· Develop state-based system improvements and cost containment measures; and· Prepare states for implementation, such as insurance market reforms, state exchanges and other national health reforms.At the conclusion of the event, Gov. Douglas unveiled the Rx for Health Reform. The site will serve as a clearinghouse for all initiative news, activities and published materials.For additional information Rx for Health Reform, visit www.nga.org/ci(link is external). The full text of the speech is attached. Source: Douglas’ office. 9.17.2009 AttachmentSize Gov Douglas National Press Club Speech-Sept 17.pdf28.77 KBlast_img